ALEXANDRIA, Va. – January 31, 2018 – CVTA President Don Lefeve issued the following response to President Trump’s State of the Union address.
“CVTA applauds President Trump’s focus on rebuilding our nations’ infrastructure, workforce development, and expansion of vocational training. Renewed investments in our deteriorating highways and bridges, and our workforce development system are long overdue.
Truck drivers are the backbone of our nation and the infrastructure we build. Commercial drivers move the very materials required to rebuild our country. Without drivers, our highways and bridges are not repaired, and our economy suffers. Quality driver training through CVTA’s vocational schools is not only important to highway safety, but important to our nation’s economy.
As Congress considers legislation to meet the President’s priorities, CVTA believes there are three policies that will remove obstacles for people seeking to become a commercial driver.
First, Congress should address our nation’s CDL skills testing delays problem by including a fix in any infrastructure package it passes. Skills testing delays are keeping driver applicants from securing a test appointment to obtain their commercial driver’s license (CDL) within a reasonable time. In many states, these applicants are waiting nearly 60-80 days before getting an appointment. Without a CDL, drivers are unable to enter the trucking industry, which makes fixing our nation’s infrastructure longer and more expensive.
Second, we urge Congress to fully fund WIOA programs at authorized levels. This is a critical source of funding that future drivers depend upon to get into trucking. Any cuts to the program will only exacerbate the driver shortage problem.
Third, we need to lower the interstate driving age to 18 so, as the President stated, ‘future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential.’ Commercial driving is at a competitive disadvantage to other vocations because current regulations require anyone driving interstate to be 21 or older. Quality driver training and continued driver development will serve as a starting point for these discussions.”
The Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA) is the largest association representing commercial truck driver training programs in the United States. CVTA members represent nearly 200 training providers in 42 states and train over 50,000 commercial drivers annually. Advancing the interests of trucking’s workforce providers and employers, CVTA advocates for policies that enhance safety through commercial driver training, enable students to secure employment within the trucking and bus industries, thus further advancing driver professionalism. For more information, visit www.cvta.org .
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