The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced on Oct. 18 that it has awarded nearly $1 million in grants to seven technical and community colleges to help military veterans become commercial bus and truck drivers.
“These types of programs are just one small way in which we can show our appreciation and commitment to our nation’s veterans,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in announcing the grants which are intended to assist more than 250 students. “These men and women represent the absolute finest of our country, and with the help of programs like this, they will be prepared to be some of the safest commercial drivers on the road.”
FMCSA awards grants to a variety of educational institutions that provide truck driving training, including 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 FMCSA grants were awarded to Joliet (Illinois) Junior College; Hawkeye (Iowa) Community College; Johnson County (Kansas) Community College; Central (Oklahoma) Technical Center; Rogue (Oregon) Community College District; The Sage (Pennsylvania) Corporation; and Tidewater (Virginia) Community College.
“We charge each of the institutions that will receive a grant to train those that have served our nation in the armed forces to be the very best professional drivers in the industry,” FMCSA Administrator T.F. Scott Darling said. “In this profession, being the best requires an absolute commitment to making safety the top priority, and I believe there is no group better prepared to do that than our veterans.”
FMCSA has proposed a three-year pilot program that allows a limited number of individuals between the ages of 18 and 21 to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce if they received specified heavy-vehicle driver training while in military service and are sponsored by a participating motor carrier.