The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is offering grants totaling almost $1 million to increase enrollment and provide job placement for veterans and military families in the commercial motor vehicle industry.
The announcement comes one day after Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx was confirmed as the 17th U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary.
“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,” Foxx said in a news release that went out with Wednesday’s announcement. “The transportation industry provides a unique opportunity for military families and veterans to utilize skills they developed in the service, and we hope these grants will lead to more veterans joining the ranks of our country’s commercial vehicle drivers.”
The grants were awarded to six colleges across the country as part of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training grant program.
FMCSA awarded the following grants, which could provide training for as many as 300 new students across the six colleges:
- Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen, Wash., $131,041
- Long Beach Community College District, in Long Beach, Calif., $211,733
- Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College in Orangeburg, S.C., $150,000
- Lone Star College in Woodlands, Texas, $184,260
- Century College in White Bear Lake, Minn., $120,000
- Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Ill., $176,427
Representatives from FMCSA said the colleges were carefully selected based on grant proposals and geographic diversity. The agency also said guidelines and requirements may differ, so veterans and their family members should inquire about the program at the specific school they are interested in attending.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists commercial trucking as a high-demand job, with more than 300,000 additional positions expected by 2020.
In May 2011, the FMCSA finalized its commercial learner's permit rule, which gives state driver licensing agencies the authority to waive the skills test portion of the commercial driver’s license test if the applicant demonstrates two years of safe driving experience in military equivalents of commercial motor vehicles.
More information about the military waiver program can be found here.
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