New Grants Help Veterans Become Commercial Drivers

Red semi truck hauling cargo on the road.

One of the best ways to search for a new career is to focus on an industry that's steadily expanding and needs new workers. Fortunately for job-seeking veterans, the transportation industry fits that bill. Commercial driving jobs aren't just in high demand, the barrier to entry has never been lower. Typically, would-be drivers need to complete weeks or months of training to obtain a commercial driving license (CDL) and the appropriate endorsements. But, that relies on the availability of the right programs in your area. If your local college doesn't support the right programs, you can't get the right training.

In a move that acknowledged the value of veterans in the workplace as well as the growing need for commercial drivers, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that nearly $2.3 million has been doled out in grants to 13 technical and community colleges throughout the U.S. That amount is double what was provided in 2014. The grant money will help improve and expand on programs that focus on getting veterans and their family members CDLs and proper endorsements.

To see if a college in your area benefits from any of these grants, see the official list from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

If you have commercial driving related experience from your time in the military, you'll also benefit from the fact that the Military Skills Test Waiver Program now officially includes all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Instituted in 2011, this program allows veterans with the proper military experience to waive the two year safe driving experience requirement which expedites the application process.

For more information, visit the following: Department of Transportation FMCSA FMCSA Military Page

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