Lone Star College System offers truck-driver training for veterans

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Lone Star College System is one of six colleges nationwide to receive part of an $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to train veterans and military families for jobs in the transportation industry. The grant from the DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was awarded as part of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training program.

LSCS received $184,260 from the grant to be used to fund tuition for veteran students to attend the Lone Star College-North Harris Transportation Institute and train for their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Class A.

This LSCS grant program, called “Pathways to Employment,” funds spots to train 60 veterans and/or their spouses – and economically-disadvantaged individuals – for long-haul trucking positions.

“The transportation industry is a big contributor to the Texas economy and we know trucking companies have a desperate need for skilled, dependable workers,” said Dr. Richard Carpenter, chancellor of LSCS. “We believe our military veterans fit that bill perfectly and we want to get them certified and trained for these jobs.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists commercial trucking as a high-demand job, with more than 300,000 additional positions expected by 2020. The DOT has taken a number of steps to help veterans qualify for trucking jobs and in 2011, the FMCSA finalized its commercial learner’s permit rule, giving state driver licensing agencies the authority to waive skills tests if the applicant demonstrates two years of safe driving experience in the military, driving the same type of vehicles.

The LSCS Transportation Institute offers hands-on training that meets or surpasses minimum requirements to successfully complete the CDL exam. Not only do participants receive classroom training regarding rules and regulations, they also receive behind-the-wheel instruction – including many hours dedicated to learning how to back a truck, an essential element of a CDL exam.

As a final step in the LSCS Pathways to Employment grant program, the LSC-North Harris Transportation Institute has also established relationships with transportation carriers that have agreed to pre-hire all candidates upon admittance into the course. Those students who successfully complete the course requirements and obtain their CDL Class A will secure a job with companies like Service Transport, Swift Transportation, US Xpress and Werner Enterprises, all partners in this LSCS program. “This is a win-win situation for our veterans as well as the over-the-road companies that intend to hire them,” said Dr. Carpenter.

To learn more about the LSC Transportation Institute, call 281-765-7750.

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