To advocate for sensible solutions to industry challenges, lawmakers at every level of government need to understand how particular polices will affect stakeholders so they can best serve their constituents. Although advocacy in Washington is an important piece of shaping legislation, first-hand knowledge is invaluable in terms of educating those in power. While CVTA members have likely been engaged in CDL training for many years, politicians generally are unfamiliar with what it takes to train safe drivers and might not be equipped with the information needed to make the most sensible decisions when passing regulations. CVTA advocacy works because of members who are willing to advocate for themselves and serve as industry experts. One way accomplish this is by hosting a campus tour. This is vitally important to our continued success in Washington as we have found time and time again that these tours are what makes an impression on lawmakers and have lasting impacts.
Campus tours highlight the value of driver training programs, both locally and nationally. They allow CVTA members to show lawmakers why this industry, and in particular, why driver training programs matter. Tours allow members to show how CLD programs take individuals who are unemployed or underemployed, and equip them with the skills necessary to ultimately obtain a stable job. The more lawmakers understand this vital role, the more inclined they will be to help make resolve legislative challenges when they arise.
These tours also allow politicians the opportunity to see how the laws and regulations affect their constituents firsthand. Sadly, regulations that look good on paper do not always translate to real-world success in the transportation industry. By providing lawmakers with specific examples of laws and polices that affect CDL programs- issues like WIOA funding, veteran training programs and ELDT rulemaking- these issues become more than an abstract concept.
Finally, campus tours allow CVTA members to build relationships directly with their legislators. While as an organization CVTA can provide reports, numbers, and statutory positions, nothing is more powerful than putting a face to these proposed policy solutions. Because CVTA members are experts in their field, they are the best advocates of change. We hope that this campus tour is the first of many conversations.
If you are interested in conducting a campus tour, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will help connect you to an appropriate lawmaker in your area and provide you with any guidance needed to make the tour a success.