For Immediate Release
January 24, 2024
The Commercial Vehicle Training Association is proud to endorse H.R. 6655: A Stronger Workforce for America Act.
This bipartisan legislation reauthorizes the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the nation’s primary mechanism for investing in a skilled workforce.
“A Stronger Workforce for America Act makes critical improvements to our nation’s workforce system that will help jobseekers get the education and training they need to find rewarding careers in the transportation industry,” said Danny Bradford, Chairman of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association. “The provisions in this bill provide stable funding and tools to make the system work more efficiently for jobseekers and workforce providers alike.”
The Stronger Workforce for America Act contains several provisions to strengthen WIOA for jobseekers and increase access for education and training organizations providing essential skills development services:
- Critical Industry Designations: Critical industry skills fund designations allow states to identify workforce development priorities and provide additional resources to jobseekers in these industries.
- Regional Consortiums: Incentives to create regional consortia for workforce development areas can enable workforce development boards to better ensure that jobseekers are connected to industries and employers with a positive impact on a region’s economy.
- Innovative Service Delivery: The creation of state innovation demonstration authorityempowersstate and regional decisionmakers to engage with regional economies and improve outcomes for workers by piloting innovative ways to deliver services.
- Rapid Eligibility for Training Providers: Streamlined application processes for eligible training providers will result in faster eligibility determinations and minimize administrative burdens for training providers active in multiple states.
- Stable Funding: A strong funding foundation under authorized appropriations will better position WIOA to connect jobseekers to the upskilling services they need to succeed in today’s economy.
- Sufficient Funding for Jobseekers: New funding for Individual Training Accounts (ITA) for dislocated workers allows for targeted assistance to dislocated workers that ensures the funds available to jobseekers will be enough to cover professional training programs.
Each year, thousands of students rely on funding from the WIOA program to access professional truck driver training at CVTA schools.
For these students, this funding is lifechanging. It has allowed fresh starts for people who have struggled to provide for their families, seen their businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, or relied on welfare programs to meet their needs for food, housing, and health insurance.
By receiving professional truck driver training, these students have the opportunity to start good-paying careers. Median driver wages for different types of truck drivers ranged between $55,000 and $85,000 in 2021. At least three-in-four carriers offered employment benefits including paid holidays, paid leave, health insurance, and retirement plans.
There is strong demand for these drivers in the industry. The trucking industry continues to face a driver shortage, totaling nearly 78,000 drivers in 2022. In total, the American Trucking Associations estimates the industry will have to recruit nearly 1.2 million new drivers to replace retiring drivers, drivers who leave the industry, and to keep pace with industry growth.
CVTA commends leadership of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce for working collaboratively to bring forward bipartisan, substantive legislation. CVTA’s national membership encourages the House and Senate to swiftly pass this legislation and enact these essential reforms to WIOA.
Founded in 1996, CVTA is the largest association of professional truck driver training programs in the U.S. with 100 school members operating 400 locations in 46 states. CVTA schools collectively train over 100,000 entry level drivers each year.