The Ohio lawmakers say that their state is so desperate for truck drivers that they are considering bills that would funnel millions of dollars into truck driver training programs.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers have come together to address what they call a workforce shortage in the trucking industry. They have introduced a package of four bills intended to attract more qualified workers into the state’s trucking jobs. One of the proposed bills would have Ohio spend $5 million to provide scholarships to help CDL students pay for trucking school. A second bill would spend $3 million on tax credits for trucking companies to help them pay for driver training.
The third bill would make it easier for trucking companies to obtain insurance for younger drivers. The final bill in the package would ease the transition into the trucking industry for military veterans.
Senator Cliff Hite, a bill sponsor, says that the bills are good for Ohio’s economy and for the state’s job seekers: “This is a huge opportunity for the state of Ohio. We have the job openings, 8,000 to 9,000 job openings.”
The Ohio Trucking Association backs the bill package. They say that without it, 175,000 trucking jobs could be unoccupied in the next seven years.