These 17 programs will allow our Veterans and Reservists to take their extensive training into good-paying jobs operating commercial vehicles or other jobs in the transportation industry.
If you are serving in the military and looking for a new career in the trucking or transportation industry, we would love to have you!
In an attempt to attract veterans to the industry, job search website Indeed.com has announced the funding of 500 CDL training scholarships for military veterans.
This guide will help you explore what options and opportunities are available for you to take advantage of to join our industry quickly and easily.
Why should military veterans join the trucking industry?
The global supply chain backlog caused by the pandemic has strained our transportation industry and created a critical shortage of truck drivers.
According to the American Trucking Associations, in 2019 the trucking industry was lacking about 60,800 drivers at the end of 2018 and the industry could be short more than 100,000 drivers in five years if conditions don’t change.
Read More: What is the Cheapest Way to get your CDL?
While demand for transportation workers will vary by region and occupation, there will be many job openings for high-skill and middle-skill workers across the transportation industry.
Our nation’s veterans are excellent candidates to help address our stressed transportation industry and its challenges.
As you know, retired or retiring military personnel have a proven work ethic, personal discipline and invaluable training and skills and will be a gain for our nation’s commercial motor vehicle (CMV) industry.
Simply, our industry is growing and many of you have the exact skills and experience that translates well into transportation.
Below are seventeen programs that help miliary veterans to transition to a new career. Many of these programs can be used to explore and simplify the transition into a career in trucking or transportation.
Department of Transportation (DOT and FMCSA) Military Programs
- Skills Test Waiver Program exempts qualified military drivers from having to take the CDL skills test. More than 23,000 service members and veterans have taken advantage of this exemption (all states participate).
- Even Exchange Program (or Knowledge Test Waiver) allows for qualified military drivers to be exempt from the knowledge test. When the exemption is used in conjunction with the Military Skills Test Waiver, this allows a qualified military driver to exchange his or her military license for a CDL (available in CA, GA, IA, ID, IL, KS, KY, MO, NC, ND, NM, SC, VA, VT, WI, and WV).
- Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Programis athree-year pilot program that will help individuals ages 18, 19, and 20 explore interstate trucking careers and help trucking companies hire and train new drivers through an apprenticeship pilot program.
- Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training Grant Programassists current or former members of the United States Armed Forces (including National Guard and reserve members) and their spouses in receiving training to transition to the motor carrier industry.
Department of Labor (DOL) Military Programs
- Transition Assistance Program (TAP) offers skills assessments, career-mapping tools, and credentialing exploration workshops to transitioning service members and their spouses.
- Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP)provides aid employment and technical education for veterans, leading to an industry-recognized credential. Veterans may use their GI Bill benefits in a Registered Apprenticeship.
- 90-Day Trucking Apprenticeship Challenge is an ongoing initiative encouraging employers to expand existing trucking apprenticeship programs, speed up the creation of new ones, and accelerate the time to hire.
- HIRE Vets Medallion Program identifies “veteran-ready” trucking and logistics employers.
Department of Defense (DOD) Military Programs
- Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) offers resources for service members seeking information on how to leverage their military training to obtain civilian credentials.
- MilGears is a career-building tool for service members, veterans, and military families that analyzes military training received and creates customized paths to civilian education, credentialing, and apprenticeships.
- SkillBridge provides active duty service members opportunities for training and development with civilian industry during their final six months of military service.
- Soldiers for Life Program assists employers with obtaining base access to participate in veteran and military spouse-focused hiring events and conduct outreach to transitioning service members.
- Marine for Life Networkoffers Marines and family members connections to military-friendly employment, education, and entrepreneurship opportunities, including SkillBridge and Registered Apprenticeship Programs.
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Military Programs
- Veteran Readiness and Employment Program (VR&E) Provides rehabilitation services to assist service members and veterans with a service-connected disabilities and an employment handicap to obtain and maintain employment in an occupation that is consistent with the individual’s interests, aptitudes, and abilities. Eligible individuals work closely with a trained vocational rehabilitation counselor to identify a vocational goal that meets these standards. If it is determined that a career in truck driving meets these standards, VA’s VR&E program will provide services, including training as needed, to assist the individual to obtain and maintain employment in this field.
- Education (GI Bill Benefits) Program supports service members, veterans, and their families by providing the benefits and resources to help them achieve their education goals. GI Bill programs support beneficiaries pursuing a career in commercial driving through training, on the job/apprenticeship opportunities, and reimbursement of licensing and certification fees.
- The Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP)offers education and training for high-demand jobs to veterans who are unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Military Programs
- Veterans Business Outreach Center Program (VBOC) provides business training, counseling, and resource partner referrals to transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses, including those who wish to become owner/operators in the trucking industry.
More information on these military driver programs, you can contact VETS-OUTREACH@dol.gov.
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