The FMCSA today announced that the agency has awarded $1 million in grants to nine technical and community colleges throughout the county to help train returning military veterans for careers as bus and truck drivers.
The grants are funded through the FMCSA’s Commercial Motor Vehicle-Operator Safety Training (CMV-OST) grant program.
The FMCSA awards CMV-OST grants to accredited public or private colleges, vocational-technical schools, post-secondary educational institutions, truck driver training schools, state and local governments that provide truck driver training.
The funds are to be used to recruit, train and provide job placement assistance to military veterans. Nearly 400 students will benefit from the grants.
“Those that we entrust to protect and serve our nation deserve opportunities that utilize the skills and training they received on the job on military bases overseas and at home,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We can think of none more appropriate to safeguard our highways as commercial vehicle drivers than the thousands of veterans who have already proven they can safely handle large vehicles under extremely stressful circumstances.”
“These unique grants are designed to help recruit, train and place veterans and their spouses in good jobs that are in high demand and in an industry that is vitally important in keeping our national economy moving forward,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “Graduates of these training programs are continuing to serve our nation by ensuring that the goods and products we depend on are delivered professionally, efficiently and, most importantly, safely.”
The awards were made to the following organizations:
Florida – South Florida State College, Avon Park, Fla., $58,003
Illinois – Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Ill., $165,800
Minnesota – Century College in White Bear Lake, Minn., $91,080
Missouri – Crowder College, Neosho, Mo., $72,160
Nebraska – Metropolitan Community College, Omaha, Ne., $47,614
Pennsylvania – Northampton County Area Community College, Bethlehem, Pa., $134,400
Pennsylvania – The Sage Corporation, Camp Hill, Pa., $249,968
Texas – Lone Star College-North Harris, Houston, Texas, $73,704
Virginia – Tidewater Community College, Norfolk, Va., $107,271
“In July 2014, FMCSA announced that the Military Skills Test Waiver Program had been expanded http://www.dot.gov/briefing-room/dot-expands-program-help-veterans-get-jobs-professional-truck-and-bus-drivers to include all 50 states and the District of Columbia,” the FMCSA press release states.
Under the Military Skills Test Waiver Program, state licensing offices may waive the skills test for anyone who is currently active duty or who has recently left the military and who possesses at least two years of safe driving operating a military truck or bus.
The waiver expedites the CDL application processes and reduces expenses for qualified individuals, the FMCSA says.
To learn more about the Commercial Motor Vehicle – Operator Safety Training Grant Program, please visit http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/grants/cmv-operator-safety-training-grant/commercial-motor-vehicle-cmv-operator-safety-training.