An initiative to ease soldiers back into civilian life has earned thousands of returning veterans their commercial driver's licenses (CDL).
The success of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Military Skills Test Wavier Program comes at a time when school districts nationwide are scrambling to resolve a scarcity of school bus drivers.
In the last four years, the U.S. Department of Transportation program has helped more than 10,000 veterans and active duty personnel obtain a CDL by waiving the skills test portion of the application process to become a bus or truck driver.
“It is our duty to help returning veterans transition into civilian life, and I am proud that so many have used this program to secure careers in the transportation sector,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Coordinated by the Department of Defense and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administration, the initiative has also facilitated a reduction in the expenses for qualified drivers and operating costs to state licensing agencies.
Individuals taking advantage of the program include former military personnel, Reserves, National Guard and U.S. Coast Guard service members.
This boost in the driving pool should come as a relief for school districts across the country that are currently dealing with a shortage of eligible school bus drivers necessary to fill routes and get children to and from class.
“We want to put their valuable skills and experience to work driving the nation’s economy,” said Foxx.