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GI Bill Comparison Tool

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by Curtis L. Coy
Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity
Veterans Benefits Administration
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Washington, DC 20420

What’s the first thing you do when shopping for a big ticket item? You might shop around, ask friends and relatives for their opinion or compare items online. In today’s world of instant online access to a wealth of consumer information – from online reviews to info graphics comparing products, product websites and online shopping sites – consumers are used to finding and comparing information online before they buy.

Thanks to VA’s new GI Bill® Comparison Tool, you can now find information online about Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and the schools and training programs available to education beneficiaries.  Before this tool launched, estimating how much beneficiaries may receive under the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit was challenging. The new comparison tool makes it easy to estimate Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits with just one click.

In addition, you can find and compare information on our 10,000+ approved education and training programs, including estimated tuition and fee amounts and your projected housing allowance. Also available are each school’s graduation rate, student loan default rate and Yellow Ribbon participation. Together, the GI Bill benefit estimator and school comparison information enable students to compare education options and make the best decision for their future.  In the future, VA will add additional functionality to the tool, including the ability to compare up to three schools side-by-side.

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Deadline Extended to March 15, 2014 - "Be Ready. Be Buckled." Art Contest.

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Please remind your employees and members CRAYONS CAN SAVE LIVES, TOO! There is still time for their children, neighbors, and friends to participate in the annual “Be Ready. Be Buckled.” Kids’ Art Contest. They can also sponsor a classroom or school. The contest runs through March 15, 2014.  

As a collaboration between FMCSA and the CMV Safety Belt Partnership, the art contest is for children in grades K - 6 (ages 5-12) with relatives in the truck and bus industries (or more simply…you). The contest focuses on urging truck, bus and all drivers to buckle up to save lives and reduce injuries.

Winning contestants will be invited to visit Washington, DC, with their parents on Monday, May 5, to participate in recognition activities at USDOT Headquarters and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. Two grand prize winners, one from grades K-2 and one from grades 3- 6, will be presented with framed replicas of their artwork, a certificate of appreciation signed by Secretary Foxx and Administrator Ferro, and a monetary award courtesy of some of the CMV Safety Belt Partners. Ten artists receiving an Honorable Mention will also be featured in the 2014 CMV Safety Belt Planner along with the two grand prize winners and presented with a certificate of appreciation.

Encourage kids to get creative as they remind truck and bus drivers to buckle up!

Participant Brochure | Sponsor Form

For more information about the contest, visit fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/safety-belt/index.htm.

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New Research Shows FMCSA Safety Measurement System is an Improvement for Identifying At-Risk Companies

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A new study confirms that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) is more effective at identifying commercial bus and truck companies of all sizes for targeted enforcement than the system it replaced. Researchers analyzed the association between historical carrier data and future crash involvement by taking two years of pre-SMS safety data for a subset of carriers, running it through the system’s algorithm, and then following those companies’ crash records for eighteen months. Results show that the companies the SMS would have identified for interventions, such as roadside inspections, warning letters and on-site investigations, had a future crash rate of more than double the national average. In addition, 79 percent of the carriers that SMS would have ranked as high risk in at least one of the seven safety categories it monitors, had higher future crash rates compared to those it would not have identified. SMS is a component of the agency’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, which was launched in 2010 to identify and prioritize motor carriers that pose the highest threat to public safety for enforcement interventions. The study was conducted by the Volpe Center and peer-reviewed by independent experts.

 

The full report is available at http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/Documents/CSMS_Effectiveness_Test_Final_Report.pdf.

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CVTA Attends MCSAC Meeting

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CVTA attended the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) meeting on Monday and Tuesday. The meeting's purpose was to discuss and prioritize their recommendations to Congress as Congress prepares for the upcoming Highway Transportation Reauthorization bill. A number of proposals were discussed, including Entry Level Driver Training, but it did not receive a majority of votes to be included in the top 10 recommendations. For additional coverage, please see CCJ's article here.

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Legislative and Regulatory Update - 1-28-2014

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By Brad Ball, Chairman and Chuck Wirth, Vice Chairman

As the President addresses the nation tonight in his State of the Union speech, we want to update our membership on a number of items that the Legislative & Regulatory Committee is working on and items for you to consider as we progress through the year.

The Legislative & Regulatory Committee has identified a number of current and future policies such as Third Party testing/ State CDL testing inconsistencies, and government funding available to students which are important to CVTA members. In our latest call, we discussed potential CVTA policy positions on these and other issues. The Legislative & Regulatory Committee will put these positions forth to the Board of Directors, and they will determine the official CVTA position on each issue.

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Member Alert - 1.15.2014

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We have been notified about the following from both Western Pacific Truck School and TransAm Trucking:

Michael Phillips called a school saying he is with TransAm Trucking and needs 3 drivers this week and 10 next week, offering $1500 sign on bonus and Insurance after 90 days. Phone 817-921-3431, he spoke to several students last couple days but now the phone number goes to a clinic for refills on medications.
 
Please be sure to remind your students to be very careful with the information they provide over the phone.
 
Thanks to Dean Cochran and Maralyn Chavez for the heads up.

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CVTA First Webinar - A Success

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CVTA would like to thank Sharon Foster, Marketing Manager - Loyalty, Truck Service & Sales, TravelCenters of America for presenting: Professional Drivers - Good Image Good Health. This was a first in a series of Webinars CVTA will be presenting this year on a wide variety of issues. If you were unable to participate in the presentation you can listen and view the presentation at the following link. You must me a member of CVTA. If you need help with your login please contact Charlie Kim at 703-642-9444.

If there are topics you would like to see addressed in a future webinar please contact Cindy Atwood, 703-642-9444 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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FMCSA withdraws its December 26, 2007 Rulemaking on ELDT

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it has withdrawn its December 26, 2007, notice of proposed rulemaking regarding Entry Level Driver Training, and is proposing a new rulemaking based upon the statutory requirements set forth in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The official notice will appear in tomorrow's Federal Register.
 
In the notice, the FMCSA states that it "withdraws the 2007 proposal because commenters to the NPRM, and participants in the Agency's public listening sessions in 2013, raised substantive issues which have led the Agency to conclude that it would be inappropriate to move forward with a final rule based on the proposal. In addition, since the NPRM was published, FMCSA received statutory direction on the issue of entry level driver training (ELDT) from Congress via the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) reauthorization legislation. Finally, the Agency tasked its Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) to provide ideas the Agency should consider in implementing the MAP-21 requirements. In consideration of the above, the Agency has concluded that a new rulemaking should be initiated in lieu of completing the 2007 rulemaking."

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DoD MOU Partner Institution Notification of Complaint System

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This notice is for information purposes only. Early in the new year we expect the U.S. Government to launch a centralized online reporting system, allowing Service members, Veterans, and their families to provide feedback about educational institutions. The initiative, part of the President's Executive Order for Principles of Excellence, is designed to empower the students and their families by ensuring they have the best information needed to make the most informed educational choices while holding institutions of higher learning to the highest standards. This includes:

  • Providing meaningful information about the financial cost and quality of the school;
  • Preventing abusive and deceptive recruiting practices; and
  • Providing high-quality academic and student support services.

The Departments of Defense, Education, and Veterans Affairs, along with the Department of Justice, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission, are championing this effort.  More details to follow in the new year.

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Truckload Driver Turnover Dips

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Source: ttnews.com/articles/petemplate.aspx?storyid=33708

Large-Fleet Churn Still Tops 90% for 7th Qtr.

By Rip Watson, Senior Reporter

This story appears in the Dec. 16 print edition of Transport Topics.

Driver turnover ticked downward at truckload carriers during the third quarter but remained at relatively high levels, American Trucking Associations reported last week.

ATA said turnover at large truckload fleets slipped 2 percentage points to 97% and that at smaller fleets it dropped 8 percentage points to 74%.

Continue reading at: ttnews.com/articles/petemplate.aspx?storyid=33708