In an effort to bring veterans back into the civilian workforce, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has provided $2.3 million in grants to 13 technical and community colleges nationwide to help train veterans for jobs as bus and truck drivers.
The money will be spread over 13 educational institutions across the country that provide truck driving training for hundreds of new students.
This U.S. Department of Transportation funding, which is double what it was last year, is provided through the FMCSA Commercial Motor Vehicle-Operator Safety Training (CMV-OST) grant program.
“We doubled the amount we have previously provided through this grant program because of the important role qualified commercial truck and bus drivers hold in moving our economy forward,” said Scott Darling, acting administrator for FMCSA.
According to Duane DeBruyne, deputy director of communications for FMCSA, the grant program set the goals of expanding the number of CDL holders possessing enhanced safety training to reduce the number and severity of crashes involving buses and large trucks, along with assisting veterans, including National Guard members, reservists and spouses to transition into these roles.
“Across all the commercial driving sectors, and certainly including school bus operations, qualified, well trained drivers are always needed,” said DeBruyne.
The schools that were tapped for funding include accredited public or private colleges, universities, vocational-technical schools, post-secondary educational institutions, truck driver training schools, associations, and state and local governments, as well as federally recognized Native American tribal governments.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx reported that one of the fastest growing employment markets is for qualified commercial vehicle drivers, which Foxx considered “one of the most important.”
“We support job opportunities for veterans who have served our country, but not only because it is the right thing to do, it also makes good sense. Veterans bring invaluable experience to the industry and can enter the workforce quickly,” said Foxx.