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FEDERAL RESOURCES FOR TRANSITIONING SERVICE MEMBERS AND VETERANS PURSUING CAREERS IN THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY

Our nation’s outdated infrastructure, the COVID-19 pandemic, and a historic volume of goods moving through our economy have created a supply chain backlog, which has stressed our transportation industry and resulted in a critical shortage of truck drivers. In response, the Biden-Harris Administration launched a Trucking Action Plan to Strengthen America’s Workforce and our nation’s veterans are excellent candidates to help address these challenges and build the next generation’s trucking workforce. The following federal programs and resources are available to transitioning service members and veterans as they prepare to secure a meaningful career with family-sustaining wages in the trucking industry. 

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Offers skills assessments, career-mapping tools, and credentialing exploration workshops to transitioning service members and their spouses. Registered Apprenticeship 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 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 TRANSPORTATION, FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ADMINISTRATION (FMCSA) Skills Test Waiver States may waive commercial driver’s license (CDL) skills test for qualified military personnel (all states participate). Even Exchange Program (Knowledge Test Waiver) States may waive both CDL skills and knowledge tests for qualified military personnel (Available in CA, GA, IA, ID, IL, KS, KY, MO, NC, ND, NM, SC, VA, VT, WI, and WV). Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Grant Program Trains service members, veterans, and military spouses in the safe operation of commercial vehicles.

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) Resource for service members seeking information on how to leverage their military training to obtain civilian credentials. MilGears 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. Soldier 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 Network Offers Marines and family members connections to military-friendly employment, education, and entrepreneurship opportunities, including SkillBridge and Registered Apprenticeship Programs.

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (VA) 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) 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.

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