The leader of an association representing commercial truck driver training programs praised comments by President Trump in Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, and called on Congress to ensure student access to CDL programs.
Commercial Vehicle Training Association President Don Lefeve Wednesday said he applauds Trump’s “focus on rebuilding our nations’ infrastructure, workforce development, and expansion of vocational training. Renewed investments in our deteriorating highways and bridges, and our workforce development system are long overdue.”
Lefeve said there are three other policies that will remove obstacles for people seeking to become a commercial driver. He said:
“First, Congress should address our nation’s CDL skills testing delays problem by including a fix in any infrastructure package it passes. Skills testing delays are keeping driver applicants from securing a test appointment to obtain their commercial driver’s license (CDL) within a reasonable time. In many states, these applicants are waiting nearly 60-80 days before getting an appointment. Without a CDL, drivers are unable to enter the trucking industry, which makes fixing our nation’s infrastructure longer and more expensive.
“Second, we urge Congress to fully fund Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs at authorized levels. This is a critical source of funding that future drivers depend upon to get into trucking. Any cuts to the program will only exacerbate the driver shortage problem.
“Third, we need to lower the interstate driving age to 18 so, as the President stated, ‘future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential.’ Commercial driving is at a competitive disadvantage to other vocations because current regulations require anyone driving interstate to be 21 or older. Quality driver training and continued driver development will serve as a starting point for these discussions.”