FMCSA investing $1 million into driver training for veterans

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will invest $1 million to help U.S. veterans train for careers as truck drivers and help alleviate a shortage of skilled drivers.

FMCSA will provide grants to nine technical and community colleges to bolster their driver training programs for veterans. The funding, which will help train 400 new student drivers, will be provided through the FMCSA’s Commercial Motor Vehicle-Operator Safety Training grant program.

In July, the FMCSA expanded a program that lets state licensing agencies waive the skills test portion of a CDL application for veterans with at least two years safe driving experience.

The Veterans Resource Network runs a Troops to Truckers program to help unemployed or underemployed veterans find funding, training and jobs in the trucking industry. In addition, many trucking companies offer scholarships and other inducements to veterans. Driver issues topped the list of concerns reported in a recent survey of trucking executives.

The nation’s largest truckload carriers are raising driver pay by as much as 13 to 14 percent on average and offering other benefits to attract and retain more skilled truck drivers.

The 2014 FMCSA CMV-OST grants will go to:

  • South Florida State College, Avon Park, Florida: $58,003
  • Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Illinois: $165,800
  • Century College, White Bear Lake, Minnesota: $91,080
  • Crowder College, Neosho, Missouri: $72,160
  • Metropolitan Community College, Omaha, Nebraska: $47,614
  • Northampton County Area Community College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: $134,400
  • The Sage Corporation, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: $249,968
  • Lone Star College-North Harris, Houston, Texas: $73,704
  • Tidewater Community College, Norfolk, Virginia, $107,271