FMCSA grant to help military veterans obtain CDLs
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has awarded an Iowa college to help military veterans obtain commercial driver’s licenses.
Des Moines Area Community College received the $88,460 grant through FMCSA’s Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training Grant program. The college says its goal is to train and graduate 20 military veterans and help them land driving jobs.
The grant will help the college cover tuition, fees and other costs related to obtaining a CDL. DMACC Transportation Director Dave Pfiffner says the college’s curriculum includes 180 classroom hours, 30 off-road hours and another 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training.
Hawkeye Community College received a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration called “Trucking with the Troops”. Through this program, Hawkeye can provide help with fees and tuition during their 6 and 16-week programs at the Regional Transportation Training Center. Military veterans, their spouse, and children can get part of their tuition covered along with fees related to training and driving a semi-truck. In some cases, veteran’s benefits have been used to cover the rest of the student’s tuition. Grant money also covers fees for items such as fuel and tires, a physical, drug screening, driver’s license, and student activities.
Nine veterans or family members who are recipients of the grants have completed the course so far, and another six are currently taking one of the courses. With the current driver shortage, Iowa Workforce Development projects more than 1,400 annual openings for truck drivers in Iowa through 2022.