The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said it had awarded $2.3 million in grants -- twice the amount awarded in 2014 -- to 13 technical and community colleges to help train military veterans and family members for jobs as commercial bus and truck drivers.
FMCSA’s Commercial Motor Vehicle-Operator Safety Training (CMV-OST) program awards grants to various educational institutions that provide truck driving training. Congress established the CMV-OST program in 2005 as part of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). The 2015 FMCSA grants announced today will provide training for hundreds of new students at the following institutions and organizations:
California – West Hills Community College District, Coalinga
Georgia – Central Georgia Technical College, Macon
Maryland – Cecil College, North East
New York – Erie 2 Chautauqua Cattaraugus BOCES, Angola
North Carolina – North Carolina Department of Transportation, Raleigh
Ohio – Cuyahoga Community College District, Cleveland
Oklahoma – Central Technical Center, Drumright
Pennsylvania – Lancaster County Career & Technology Center, Willow Street
Pennsylvania – Northampton County Area Community College, Bethlehem
Pennsylvania – The Sage Corporation, Camp Hill
South Carolina – Orangeburg-Callhoun Technical College, Orangeburg
Texas – Alamo Colleges/ St. Phillip’s College, San Antonio
Virginia – Tidewater Community College, Norfolk
The training grants aren't the only step FMCSA has taken to encourage military veterans' transition into transportation. 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 can waive the skills test portion of the commercial driver's license (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.
FMCSA last year also announced that, beginning with Virginia residents, returning military service personnel who possess a state-issued Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) certificate due to a limb impairment will automatically be recognized as equivalent to an FMCSA-issued SPE certificate and allowed to obtain an interstate CDL. FMCSA encourages other state licensing agencies to establish comparable equivalency SPE programs.