Subcommittee Will Hold Surface Transportation Reauthorization Roundtable

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For Immediate Release: February 21, 2014
Contact: Jim Billimoria, Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446

Washington, DC - The Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, chaired by U.S. Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI), will hold a roundtable policy discussion on Wednesday with representatives of the transportation community in preparation for the development of a surface transportation reauthorization bill.

The federal surface transportation programs were most recently reauthorized in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, which was enacted on July 6, 2012.  MAP-21 expires in September, and Wednesday’s roundtable is part of the Committee’s process for developing the next bill.

The roundtable is open to the public, and is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 in 2167 Rayburn House Office Building.  The roundtable will not be webcast.

In addition to Subcommittee Members, roundtable participants will include:

·  The Honorable Bill Graves, President and CEO, American Trucking Associations

·  Mr. Greg Cohen, President and CEO, American Highway User Alliance

·  Mr. James Corless, Campaign Director, Transportation for America

·  Mr. Bill Hughes, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Retail Industry Leaders Association

·  Ms. Janet Kavinoky, Director, Transportation Infrastructure, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

·  Mr. Pat Loftus, Chairman Emeritus, National Steel Bridge Alliance

·  Mr. Aric Newhouse, Senior Vice President, Policy and Government Relations, National Association of Manufacturers

·  Mr. Edward Wytkind, President, Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO

Member Alert - 2.20.2014

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Another new round of fraudulent USDOT letters dated February 18, 2014 are starting to circulate among motor carriers. The letters appear to be from the "U.S. Department of Transportation Procurement Office" and signed by a fictitious name of "Louis JAMES - Senior Procurement Officer". The letters are attempting to obtain banking information from the targeted companies. A sample of the letter is here.

Carrier officials who feel they have been victimized by providing banking information should notify their banking institution and report the crime to law enforcement officials immediately.  

You may also go to the FMCSA or USDOT OIG websites below for more information:


DoD MOU: Title IV Participation Requirement

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A notice from Dawn Bilodeau, Chief, DoD Voluntary Education

Your participation in the Department of Defense’s Voluntary Education Programs provides valuable educational opportunities to our Service members in direct support of their professional and personal development.  We applaud your efforts and look forward to a continued partnership in support of new Voluntary Education Program policies and objectives.

We anticipate issuance of the final rule and change 2 to DoDI 1322.25, Voluntary Education Programs, in the coming months.   As you are aware, this issuance includes several new requirements in support of the President's Executive Order 13607, "Establishing Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Servicing Service Members, Veterans, Spouses, and Other Family Members", signed April 27, 2012 (available at  In conjunction with the new issuance, ALL participating educational institutions will be required to sign the new DoD Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).  The sign-by date has not yet been established but will be no sooner than 60 days following the publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. 

This notice focuses on clarifying the proposed Title IV participation requirement in order to jump-start your preparations.  The new issuance requires educational institutions to be certified to participate in federal student aid programs through Department of Education (ED) under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.  Title IV certification may be provisional so long as the educational institution maintains eligibility to participate in the Federal Direct Loan Program.

As an educational institution with a current DoD Voluntary Education Partnership MOU, you will have 18 months following the publication of the final rule in the Federal Register to successfully meet the Title IV requirement.  During this time, you will be allowed to continue participating in the Tuition Assistance program, enrolling new and current students as long as you are actively pursuing Title IV eligibility.

If you are not currently certified to participate in federal financial aid programs, the first step toward meeting the Title IV requirement is issuance of an official OPE ID number by ED.  IMPORTANT NOTE:  Only educational institutions with an OPE ID number issued by ED will be able to initiate an application for the new DoD Voluntary Education Partnership MOU.  Your institution can apply for an OPE ID following the guidelines outlined at     

Your institution can request and be issued an OPE ID within a few weeks.  Issuance of an OPE ID number; however, does not make an educational institution Title IV eligible or meet the new requirement for Title IV participation….it is only the first step.  Your institution will still need to complete and submit the electronic application and all supporting materials in accordance with ED guidance.  Because we understand the application and approval process may take from 2 – 12 months, depending on the preparedness of the educational institution to meet Title IV requirements, we are providing the previously discussed 18 month window to become compliant. 

To learn more about applying for an OPE ID and Approval to Participate in Federal Student Financial Aid Programs, visit:  If you have questions on the application process, please contact ED directly for assistance.

Note: 1. This notice and instructions on how to apply for an OPE ID will be posted in the DoD MOU Resources section at

2. This email was sent to all institution Primary and Secondary POCs along with the Signing Authority.   


Dawn Bilodeau

Chief, DoD Voluntary Education

Military Community & Family Policy

Trucking Hopeful for More Driver-Training Aid as Obama, Congress Look to Expand Programs

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Don LefeveThe Article contains an interview with CVTA President & CEO, Don Lefeve.

By Daniel P. Bearth, Staff Writer

This story appears in the Feb. 17 print edition of Transport Topics.

Recent moves by President Obama and congressional leaders to expand job-training programs are raising hopes the government will do more to help individuals learn to be truck drivers, industry officials said...

“WIA is a valuable and significant source of funding for students looking to get trained [as truck drivers],” said Don Lefeve, president of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association in Springfield, Va. “Passage of legislation is a priority for us and our members.”... Continue reading.


Member Alert - 2.18.2014

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We have been notified about the following from Iowa Central Community College:   
"Contacted by Scammer David Williams 318-865-9934 for CRST, checked with CRST DOESN'T WORK FOR THEM"
Please be sure to remind your students to be very careful with the information they provide over the phone.
Thanks to Jeff Frank of Iowa Central Community College for the heads up.

ATRI Research Examines Safety Impacts of Driver Simulator Training

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Arlington, VA – A new research white paper examining safety impacts of simulator training for truck drivers was released today by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI).  The report, Safety Impacts of Truck Driver Simulator Training, investigated the effectiveness of using customized truck driving simulators to target specific driving behaviors that have been associated with increased crash risk.

This study incorporated driving behaviors previously identified in ATRI’s Predicting Truck Crash Involvement report.  The study developed a series of “targeted” training scenarios for use in driving simulators.  ATRI then partnered with motor carriers to collect driver safety and training data for drivers trained on both general and ATRI-customized scenarios.  Finally, the safety performance differences between drivers were analyzed at 6- and 12-months post-training based on the type of simulator training received.

The initial results at 6-months post-training suggested that drivers who received the targeted simulator training had fewer safety incidents over time, but those effects dissipated at the 12-month mark.  While driver turn-over may play a role in the declining significance, the white paper suggests that carriers examine the frequency of sustainment training for drivers.

Truck driving simulators provide carriers with the ability to offer a wide variety of training exercises to drivers from the safety and convenience of a classroom.  By focusing training efforts on correcting behaviors that have a known correlation to crash risk, carriers can take a proactive step towards preventing future crashes.

A copy of this report is available from ATRI by clicking here.

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.

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.