The government is making a concerted effort to get new truck drivers on the road. That’s for sure. In fact, the FMCSA put in place several new programs. Currently, one of them has a military angle and it’s getting started right now.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, it is currently accepting applications for a pilot program that allows 18 to 20-year-olds who have the U.S. military equivalent of a commercial driver’s license to operate trucks in interstate commerce.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao says, “This program will help our country’s veterans and reservists transition into good-paying jobs while addressing the shortage of truck drivers in our country.”
Here’s how it works. The pilot program will enable a small number of people between the ages of 18 and 20 to drive trucks for interstate commerce. Moreover, these drivers must possess the military equivalent of a CDL. Not only that, they also have to be sponsored by a participating truck company. Additionally, throughout the three to four year run of the program, the safety record of new drivers will be compared to those of a control group of drivers.
Enthusiasm for the New FMCSA Programs
“We are excited to launch this program to help the brave men and women who serve our country explore employment opportunities in the commercial motor vehicle industry. With the nation’s economy reaching new heights, the trucking industry continues to need drivers and have job openings. We encourage veterans and reservists to apply and to learn more about this exciting new program,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond Martinez.
Transportation Director Chao announced this program in July 2018. Furthermore, at the news conference, she expressed high hopes for the program. Only time will tell, but at least the program is off and running.
What do you think? Is the program a good idea?