FMCSA announces grants to train Veterans for transportation jobs
When those who served us overseas return home and begin seeking career opportunities, we owe them a fair shake along with our gratitude. And with the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicating that commercial trucking is a high-growth field--with more than 300,000 additional positions expected by 2020--connecting America's Veterans and their families with career opportunities in trucking makes good sense.
So today, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced almost $1 million in grants to six colleges that will help increase enrollment in commercial motor vehicle training programs and provide job placement assistance for veterans and their spouses. That will make it easier for veterans and their spouses to obtain Commercial Driver's Licenses and find jobs.
As Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said, “The least we can do for the men and women who put their lives on the line for our country is to help ensure they can find good jobs when they leave the service.”
FMCSA awarded the grants, which could provide training for as many as 300 new students, to:
- Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen, WA;
- Long Beach Community College District, in Long Beach, CA;
- Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College in Orangeburg, SC;
- Lone Star College in Woodlands, TX;
- Century College in White Bear Lake, MN; and
- Joliet Junior College in Joliet, IL.
On the one hand, we have a career field that needs drivers, and on the other, a talented pool of job-seekers ready to step in as soon as they can get the training they need. Putting them together just makes sense.
Today's awards are part of FMCSA's Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training grant program and, as FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro noted, "represent one of the steps that have been taken to assist veterans in their transition from military to civilian life."
For example, since 2011, FMCSA policy has allowed states to waive the skill test for veterans seeking CDLs who have at least two years of military experience operating large, commercial-type vehicles..
We hope the grants announced today will lead to more veterans joining the ranks of our nation's commercial vehicle drivers, and we welcome the skills and experience they bring.
Todd Solomon works on digital media for the DOT Office of Public Affairs.