This story appears in the July 28 print edition of Transport Topics.
President Obama signed into law a measure that provides new funding for job training and encourages local and state agencies and schools to work with employers to train workers for jobs in transportation and logistics and other industries.
Trucking leaders offered praise for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which drew support from Democrats and Republicans in Congress.
“This law helps ensure workers can obtain training funds to enter in-demand professions like commercial truck driving,” said Don Lefeve, president of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association in Springfield, Virginia.
CVTA-member schools train about 50,000 students annually at 180 locations in 41 states. Many of the schools rely upon grants and loans to help students pay for training, which can cost several thousand dollars.
Robert McClanahan, executive director of the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools, said he expects the law to increase the number of individuals who enroll in training programs.
“We applaud the signing of this bill and expect increased funding for entry-level driver training,” said McClanahan, who also works as director of Central Tech, a driver training school in Sand Springs, Oklahoma.
Lefeve said that he also continues to lobby Congress to look into delays in scheduling skills tests to issue new commercial driver licenses. In some states, that delay is up to 45 days.
On July 8, a group of 22 House members asked the U.S. General Accountability Office to assess the cost of delays and to examine issues, such as the use of training schools to conduct testing.
Under the new job-training law, local and state workforce investment boards must develop plans to focus more training on skills needed by industries facing labor shortages.
“This is a new strategy that we think will lead directly to more middle-class jobs,” Vice President Joe Biden said at the bill-signing ceremony July 22 at the White House. “These actions are going to help promote partnerships between educational institutions and workforce institutions. They’re going to increase apprenticeships, which will allow folks to earn while they learn. And it will empower job seekers and employers with better data on what jobs are available and what skills are needed to fill those jobs.”
President Obama asked Biden in January to lead a comprehensive review of job-training programs and recommend changes.
“There was a clear consensus,” Biden said. “We must rethink how we train today’s workers so that our programs are job-driven, teaching real skills that employers need.”
Secretary of Labor Tom Perez said the department will award $2.4 billion in competitive grants to schools and employment agencies that develop “job-driven” industry partnerships over the next two years. In addition, $100 million will be available for grants to help workers participate in apprenticeships.
Some in trucking have suggested allowing individuals as young as 18 to work as truck drivers as part of a closely supervised apprenticeship.
One of the problems for training schools in the United States and Canada is that truck driving is not considered a high-skill position, which makes it more difficult to compete for job-training funds.
Canadian trucking industry officials have expressed concern over a proposal by federal employment minister Jason Kenney to scrap a program that allows employers to hire foreign workers to fill temporary jobs.
“Companies that utilize the program to fill truck driver vacancies will be impacted,” said David Bradley, president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance in Toronto. “It’s not an ideal program, nor is it a solution to the shortage of qualified truck drivers. But it’s all that is available to fill some seats on a temporary basis for those who choose to use it.”
Bradley said the industry does not expect government to solve the driver shortage.
“When it comes to issues of compensation, lifestyle and training, the responsibility rests with the industry,” he said.
This story appears in the July 28 print edition of Transport Topics.
By James Jaillet @trucknews on July 24, 2014
Carriers should be on the lookout for fraudulent letters appearing to be from "Equifax Credit Information Services - Government division," said the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration this week in letters issued to its field offices.
The letters will be dated July 11, 2014, and signed by Thad Brown, FMCSA says, and they seek to obtain banking information for the companies targeted.
Congressman Jim Bridenstine Sees the Impact of the Truck Driving Industry with Visit to Roadmaster Drivers School
Jul 23, 2014 | Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On Friday July 18th, Congressman Jim Bridenstine visited Roadmaster Drivers School, a professional truck driving school specializing in comprehensive commercial driver training, in Tulsa, where he experienced firsthand the importance truck driving schools play in helping train the next generation of truck drivers moving freight and the US economy forward.
Roadmaster welcomed the Congressman with a tour, an opportunity to engage with students and staff, observe the truck driver trainees in action, and understand what it is like to be trainee.
“It was an honor to have our fellow Oklahoman and Congressman, Jim Bridenstine, visit Roadmaster Tulsa,” said Debbie Burke, Director Roadmaster Tulsa. “We were thrilled to give him a campus tour, see our training in action, and discuss the numerous employment opportunities available to our students and our valuable relationships with the local WIA offices, ORO, Indian Tribes and the VA to assist with funding. Roadmaster is proud to provide quality training for a life-long skill and a professional career in an in-demand industry. We enjoy being a part of each student’s success and changing their life. We are thrilled to help put Oklahomans to work every day in a country that relies so heavily on the trucking industry and the transportation of goods imperative to our everyday life.”
The United States is currently facing a driver shortage. By 2022, the United States will lack an estimated 239,000 truck drivers to meet capacity demand. Through its members, like Roadmaster, the Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA) is helping elected officials and government agencies understand the regulatory roadblocks, including the need for adequate funding for truck driver training, hindering individuals from getting hired and filling these critical positions.
“CVTA is thrilled that Congressman Jim Bridenstine choose to visit Roadmaster Drivers School and experience the important role driving CVTA schools play in training and placing students in high quality truck driving jobs," said Don Lefeve, President and CEO, CVTA. "A career in trucking begins with our schools and we appreciate the Congressman’s willingness to learn what it takes to undergo training for in-demand occupations like truck driving. Representative Bridenstine saw firsthand the positive impact our schools play in helping Americans enter this rewarding career. We look forward to continuing to work with the Congressman to ensure we are doing everything to support the next generation of truck drivers.”
The Congressman was a truck driver trainee for a day receiving instruction for pre-trip inspections, proper entry and exit of a big rig, and shifting patterns. He also had a chance to get behind the wheel and partake in hands-on training of starting, stopping, and backing of a Class A commercial motor vehicle.
“In my Navy career I made 330 landings on the deck of an aircraft carrier, but I must admit being a little apprehensive about getting behind the wheel of a big rig. After a few minutes with the Roadmaster instructors, I appreciated the quality of training the students receive. Visiting constituent business is a great way to better understand the challenges they face. I really enjoyed this time with Roadmaster Tulsa.”
About Roadmaster: Since 1992, Roadmaster Drivers School has gained a national reputation in the trucking industry for quality training of entry-level commercial truck drivers with over 70,000 graduates and currently offers 12 training locations across the U.S.
About CVTA: The Commercial Vehicle Training Association is the largest trade association representing the interest of truck driving schools, students, carriers, and other businesses that depend on their services. CVTA school members have 180 school locations in 41 States and graduate approximately 50,000 student annually.
CVTA: Drew Krejci,
ROADMASTER: Holli Hudson, Vice President of Marketing
Cutline: Congressman Jim Bridenstine had a chance to get behind the wheel of a Class A commercial motor vehicle while visiting Roadmaster Tulsa Driving School.
CVTA Celebrates Signing of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
Association and members applaud historic bi-partisan legislation designed to link training funds with in-demand jobs
Washington, D.C. (Jul. 17, 2014) - The Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA), the largest trade association representing truck driving schools, students, and motor carriers applauds the signing of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) into law. The historic bill streamlines and reauthorizes workforce programs through 2020. This law is the culmination bipartisan collaboration of lawmakers working with industry to improve the nation's workforce development system. Most importantly, our workforce system will now align training needs with jobs that can and need to be filled.
"This law helps ensure workers can obtain training funds to enter in-demand professions like commercial truck driving and CVTA applauds President Obama for signing this bipartisan legislation," said Don Lefeve, President and CEO, CVTA. "Over the next 10 years the driver shortage is only expected to get worse and we believe the law signed today will allow more workers to get the proper training needed to enter the trucking profession. CVTA schools and motor carriers produce and hire the most truck drivers in the country and we believe aligning training funds is good for the trucking industry which is the heart beat of the American economy."
The law signed today helps workers attain the skills necessary for existing and future jobs, and fosters a modern workforce to help make American companies meet their hiring needs and stay competitive. It also focuses on the creation of career pathway programs, improved integration and coordination of education and training services, development of sector based strategies, and addresses the need for adequate funding for truck driver training and other in-demand professions.
"CVTA members are focused on working within the trucking industry and across federal and state government to help ensure that more Americans can enter this rewarding profession that pays well," said John Diab, CVTA's Chairman. "CVTA schools not only offer the highest quality training in the industry, but have a great track record of success in placing students with quality motor carriers. We look forward to equipping the next generation of drivers with the skills necessary to achieve success."
CVTA believes quality training improves highway safety while simultaneously meeting the industry demand for drivers. WIOA funding ensures those who are looking to enter the trucking industry can receive the proper financial assistance to help obtain the right skills to get jobs in trucking that are currently unfilled.
The Commercial Vehicle Training Association is the largest trade association representing truck driving schools, students, and motor carriers. CVTA school members have 180 school locations in 41 States and graduate approximately 50,000 students annually.
By Michele Fuetsch
Staff Reporter @ Transport Topics
After more than a decade of temporary extensions, the Workforce Development Act, which funnels money to states to train job seekers, including truck drivers, is closer to congressional approval.
A bipartisan five-year reauthorization bill was approved by the Senate on June 25 on a 95-3 vote. It heads back to the House, which passed its version last year but must concur on Senate amendments.
Unlike the existing workforce law, the bill more strongly ties training to high-demand occupations, said Don Lefeve, president of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association, which represents private training schools.
“It’s a really good improvement, and we think it’s good news for trucking,” Lefeve said of the Senate bill. “By definition, it’s going to be much more data-driven.”
Carriers are scrambling to find drivers as demand for freight continues to grow.
“Every year, there are roughly 35,000 more driving jobs to be filled [in trucking],” said Boyd Stephenson, director of hazardous material policy for American Trucking Associations... Continue reading.
The Hours of Service Coalition is urging you to act today.
Email your Senators today and urge them to support retaining Senator Collins’ Hours of Service Restart Study language in the FY 2015 T-HUD Appropriations bill and oppose any efforts to amend or eliminate it. To find their email address, please visit www.senate.gov
This week the full Senate will begin consideration of the FY 2015 T-HUD bill, which includes the Hours of Service Restart Study amendment sponsored by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME). This amendment was overwhelmingly approved in full committee by a bipartisan 21 to 9 vote.
During full Senate consideration this week an amendment is expected to be offered that would strike all or part of Collins' Hours of Service Restart Study language. This is why we need you to act today by calling or sending a letter to your Senators asking them to oppose any efforts to amend or eliminate Senator Collins’ language.
Senator Collins’ amendment suspends for one year, two driver restart requirements included in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) hours of service rules that became effective July 2013. These current rules require drivers to be off duty for at least 34-hours, provided that time-off includes consecutive 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods; and drivers are now required to wait 168 hours (i.e. one week) before being able to institute a restart.
Safety is the trucking industry’s highest priority. While we do not oppose the majority of FMCSA’s hours of service rules, these two targeted restart provisions actually jeopardize safety while also reducing driver’s wages and unnecessarily burdening the nation’s economy.
Retaining Senator Collins’ Hours of Service Restart Study language will reduce the risks and other harm associated with the newly imposed restart restrictions while the rule’s benefits and true safety impacts are being properly evaluated.
We urge you to contact your Senators today. Ask them to support retaining Senator Collins' Hours of Service Restart Study language in the FY 2015 T-HUD Appropriations bill and oppose any efforts to eliminate it.
Washington, D.C., June 6, 2014 - Following the Bureau of Labors Statistics release of May employment numbers, CVTA President and CEO Don Lefeve released the following statement:
"Today's job report is an important metric for measuring the health and growth of the US economy. The report also helps understand employment in the trucking industry.
"While the economy added 217,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.3%, for-hire truck transportation added 1,500 jobs. While this is positive, we all know it does not meet the needs of carriers and the industry as a whole. The trucking industry still has many jobs that need high quality truck drivers but are going unfilled.
"We need to spotlight why these jobs are not being filled and eliminate unnecessary roadblocks which are hindering individuals from getting hired. Roadblocks such as CDL skills testing delays, ensuring adequate funding for truck driver training, and others remain. It is important for us to educate key stakeholders, including Congress and State governments, on these and other issues in order to reduce barriers keeping people from getting good paying jobs.
"CVTA will continue to do everything we can to address these roadblocks to employment and ensure our members continue to training high quality truck drivers and place them in important jobs that will help drive our economy forward."
- Washington This Week
- CVTA Welcomes Step Forward in Addressing America's Workforce Development System
- ATTENTION Drivers and Carriers: New Regulation as of 5/21/14
- Member Alert - 4.21.2014
- Professional Truck Driver Institute Honors Terry Burnett with Lee J. Crittenden Memorial Award
- Drivers Face Delays in CDL Skills Test; Training Schools Ask Congress to Help
- Transport Topics Editorial: CDL Licensing Delays
- CVTA Webinar - All Politics is Local - Let Your Voice Be Heard
- CVTA Statement on President Obama's 2015 Budget Request
- Subcommittee Will Hold Surface Transportation Reauthorization Roundtable