Tidewater Community College received a seventh federal grant to help train military veterans and their spouses for careers in trucking.
The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently awarded TCC a $94,842 grant, which will be administered by the college’s Center for Military and Veterans Education (CMVE).
“So far we’ve helped more than 200 transitioning military, veterans and dependents train for a career in trucking at no cost to them,” said Alesia Wroten, veteran resource liaison with TCC’s CMVE. “We are grateful to be one of two schools in Virginia to receive this funding, especially as the need for trained truck drivers is growing nationwide.”
According to the American Trucking Association, the United States will be short 175,000 drivers by 2026. A lack of drivers continues to make goods more expensive and delays orders as freight rates are climbing.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average age of a commercial truck driver is 55 years old. A significant percentage of these drivers will retire over the next 10 years.
TCC is one of 21 educational institutions that received funds from the $2 million federal grant to help train veterans for jobs as commercial bus and truck drivers.
Since TCC received its first grant in 2014, 220 veterans and spouses have enrolled in the Truck Driving program.
Recipients of the grant pay nothing to complete the one-semester, 16-credit certificate. Students learn how to drive a truck in state-of-the-art simulators that allow them to practice in varied road and weather conditions. The program includes 140 hours of on-the-road training. Course work qualifies students to obtain the Class A CDL (commercial driver’s license) from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
Classes are taught at the Center for Workforce Solutions on College Drive in northern Suffolk. Day, evening and weekend sessions are available.
Contact Alesia Wroten, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-822-7714, for information on qualifying for the grant program.