Florida Ramps Up Number of CDL Schools
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Florida is now able to train 3,500 truck drivers yearly due to its funding of workforce training as the state approved six new third-party FleetForce truck driving schools.
The state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (HSMV) announced it was celebrating FleetForce Truck Driving School’s expansion to 10 new commercial driver license sites thanks to new locations in Daytona Beach, Fort Myers, New Port Richey, Niceville, Ocala and Sunrise.
“Floridians rely on commercial vehicle drivers more than they realize, from being the conduit in national supply chain shortages to boosting economic growth and recovery. CDL drivers are absolutely essential,” Robert Kynoch, executive director of the state HSMV, noted March 21.
The new additions to branch out CDL training capabilities throughout Florida were made possible when Gov. Ron DeSantis awarded $8.2 million in September 2022 to several state colleges to expand the capacity of CDL training programs across the state.
“The expansion of FleetForce’s CDL truck driving school provides opportunity to those interested in the transportation industry,” Kynoch said.
Today, FLHSMV is celebrating the expansion of FleetForce CDL Truck Driving Schools in Florida from four locations to 10 statewide.
PRESS RELEASE: https://t.co/kBB39FlsAx — FLHSMV (@FLHSMV) March 21, 2023
The colleges receiving the state funds last year and having CDL programs operated by FleetForce were Broward College, Daytona State College, Northwest Florida State College and State College of Florida. Since then FleetForce has been adding new locations and working with state officials.
HSMV officials perform initial site inspections of each new FleetForce location to ensure all required procedures are followed. The state, which also measures and approves each site’s test range and road test routes, reviews new prospective CDL testers to ensure they are qualified with training requirements to become a tester.
“The trucking industry is vital to sustaining and growing our nation’s supply chain and economy,” said Tra Williams, FleetForce president. “Thanks to support from the state of Florida, we will be able to generate over 3,000 new well-trained, commercial truck drivers annually, which will provide good-paying jobs, support businesses and strengthen communities.”
The HSMV also announced that two other third-party CDL trucking school sites (Gainesville and Lake City) are planned this year.
Based in Sarasota, Fla., FleetForce’s website lists $78,445 as the average truck driver salary in Florida.
DeSantis spoke a week before the HSMV announcement about the importance of having more truck drivers in the state.
“Four years ago, the state was producing about 600 truck drivers a year. Now, through all of our initiatives of the last four years we’re capable of producing 3,500 truck drivers each and every year. You want to talk about supply chain? You want to talk about making sure our economy runs? These guys are really important for that,” he said.
He said Floridians can have successful careers by obtaining certifications and credentials without having to earn a traditional four-year university degree.
“Our state believes in expanding our workforce education opportunities so more Floridians can make a good living without a college degree,” DeSantis added.
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