The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced nearly $2.3 million in grants, double the amount provided in 2014, to 13 technical and community colleges across the country to help train veterans and their families for jobs as commercial bus and truck drivers. The funding is provided through FMCSA’s Commercial Motor Vehicle - Operator Safety Training (CMV-OST) grant program.
“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,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “One of the most important, fastest growing employment sectors is for qualified commercial vehicle drivers and veterans bring invaluable experience to the industry and can enter the workforce quickly.”
FMCSA awards CMV-OST grants to a variety of educational institutions that provide truck driving training, including accredited public or private colleges, universities, vocational-technical schools, post-secondary educational institutions, truck driver training schools, associations, and state and local governments, including federally-recognized Native American tribal governments.
The 2015 FMCSA grants will provide training for hundreds of new students.
The Commercial Motor Vehicle – OST program was established by Congress in 2005 through the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), to expand the number of commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders possessing enhanced operator safety training to help reduce the severity and number of crashes on U.S. roads involving large trucks and buses.
In July 2014, FMCSA announced that the Military Skills Test Waiver Program had been expanded to include all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Under this program, state licensing agencies have authority to waive the skills test portion of the CDL application for active duty or recently separated veterans who possess at least two years of safe driving experience operating a military truck or bus. Waiving the skills test expedites the civilian commercial drivers licensing application process and reduces expenses for qualified individuals and operating costs to state licensing agencies.