If you're a veteran or active member in the U.S. armed forces and are planning to transition into the civilian workforce, the federal government has a program that can help you get a job in the transportation sector.
Thanks to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Military Skills Test Waiver Program, more than 10,000 veterans and active duty personnel have found jobs in the industry.
According to the FMCSA, in the first three years of the Military Skills Test Waiver Program, nearly 6,000 former military personnel obtained a civilian commercial driver's license (CDL). In the past year, another 4,000 Reserves, National Guardsmen, and U.S. Coast Guard service members have found work through the program.
"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," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a press release. "Just as important, we want to put their valuable skills and experience to work driving the Nation's economy."
State licensing agencies, including the District of Columbia, are given the power to waive the skills test portion of the CDL application thanks to the program, which began in 2011. Active duty or recently separated veterans who possess at least two years of safe driving experience operating a military truck or bus are allowed to bypass the test, which expedites the civilian CDL application process and reduces expenses for qualified individuals and operating costs to state licensing agencies.
According to the FMCSA, veterans are transitioning into civilian jobs as commercial truck and bus drivers in record numbers.
"In the near future, the need for skilled truck drivers is expected to grow dramatically," said FMCSA Chief Counsel Scott Darling. "Having skillful and experienced drivers operating on our roadways will lead to increased safety for every member of the motoring public."
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