By Aimee Napier, Napier Truck Driving Training
As a CVTA member for 13 years, I have relied upon the association to help solve problems when they arise. Generally, I am able to solve most problems on my own. However, sometimes I am not. Two weeks ago I was facing a nightmare scenario that I am happy to say was resolved because of my membership in CVTA. I am writing to all CVTA members to let them know the value of being a member in CVTA, but more important, to urge members to reach out and seek guidance if they ever face a similar scenario as I did.
Ohio is in the process of changing its Workforce system from the old WIA system to the new WIOA system. In this transition, Ohio requires all eligible training providers to fill out a set of new forms and be approved by the State. After completing my forms, I received an email that I had been denied. Since 1995 our school has trained thousands of students who come through the Workforce Program and we maintain a 94% placement rate for those students. I was baffled. When I reached out to contact the state, I learned we were denied because when we filled out the form, we were not accredited by an accreditor on the list. No matter how I tried to reason with gentleman with who I spoke, I got nowhere.
With frustration and fear setting in, I reached out to CVTA to inquire about this matter and seek their guidance on it. CVTA sprang into action for us. After reviewing the state forms, looking at the WIOA law, talking with the state officials to determine the problem, CVTA was able to connect us to the Governor’s office and to help identify the breakdown in the workforce process. The State’s form, which listed accreditors, failed to capture those programs that were also authorized and overseen by other state agencies and departments. Therefore, while some in the workforce department interpreted that a school had to be accredited in the formal, term of art sense, in order to qualify, CVTA help point out that the letter and intent of the new workforce law never intended to bar successful programs like ours to from operating. Allowing Napier and other quality programs to become eligible training providers to align training and jobs in high demand industries, like trucking, will continue to allow programs with a record of success to continue delivering this success.
CVTA advised the State to revise its criteria and approve programs that are overseen by other agencies and departments. I am happy to report that within days of raising this issue to CVTA, and through their help by conducting outreach with the Governor’s office, we were approved. While I hope your school will never have to undergo an experience like mine, but if you do, my advice is to reach out to CVTA to see if they can help. Because of CVTA’s quick action, the matter was resolved and CVTA has once again come to my rescue. A job well done!