Transportation Grant Unites Veterans with Trucking Industryby Jana Ritter - Published: 7/08/2013
The Disabled Veterans National Foundation (a non-profit veterans service organization that focuses on helping men and women who serve and return home wounded or sick after defending our safety and our freedom) applauds the Department of Transportation's grant to assist veterans in getting hired in the commercial trucking industry.
On July 3rd, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced almost $1 million in grants to 6 schools around the country to help train veterans and their families for transportation careers. The grants, administered by the FMCSA, are being offered as part of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training (CMVOST) grant program.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that commercial trucking is a high-growth industry, with nearly 300,000 jobs expected to be filled by 2020. The grants to these schools are expected to help meet this growing need for commercial truckers, while giving veterans training and job placement in the field. The CMVOST grants are expected to train 300 students through the six colleges.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, stated that his measure is extremely practical since veterans often receive relevant training for this type of position through their military experience. FMCSA Administrator, Anne Ferro, echoed that statement, and added that this initiative will further improve the transition from military to civilian life of many individuals.
"This measure is very common sense, and we are very pleased to hear that the Department of Transportation has taken such a keen interest in assisting veterans after their service," said Precilla Wilkewitz, President of DVNF. "With veterans' employment a constant concern, this is a smart way to address that issue, and keep veterans competitive in the job market."
The FMCSA grant is another push in its commitment to veterans. In 2011 it established its commercial learner's permit rule, giving state driver licensing agencies the authority to waive the skills test portion of the commercial driver's license test if the applicant demonstrates two years of safe driving experience in military equivalents of commercial motor vehicles.
The US government is also offering tax credits to employers that hire veterans who have been unemployed, and federal grants are being made available to organizations to carry out various initiatives. A number of companies working in cooperation or partnership with such organization have made it a point to fill job openings with veterans, especially those returning from the latest US campaigns in the Middle East.
Once such program, Joining Forces, “is a comprehensive national initiative to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned," the program's web site states.