FMCSA eliminates requirement for military CDL holders to pass knowledge, driving skills tests

Military members looking to become truck drivers may have an easier time in doing so as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has authorized states to waive the commercial learner’s permit (CLP) knowledge test and driving skills tests. It does not direct the states to do so but allows each state to at its own discretion.

The ruling was announced in a Federal Register Final Rule this morning. Specifically, the rule states that “certain individuals who are, or were, regularly employed within the last year in a military position that requires, or required, the operation of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV)” are eligible to skip the knowledge test portion of the CDL process. “This rule includes the option for an SDLA [State Driver Licensing Agency] to waive the tests required for a passenger carrier (P) endorsement, tank vehicle (N) endorsement, or hazardous material (H) endorsement, with proof of training and experience.”

Spc. Trey Dodds, a truck driver with the 110th Composite Truck Company, attaches a trailer to a vehicle as evening falls on Thursday, September 13. Soldiers worked into the night preparing vehicles for rapid deployment to hurricane-affected areas along the American East Coast.

The rule also states that certain drivers can be exempted from taking the driving skills test as well.

“This rule gives states the option to waive both the CDL knowledge and driving skills tests for certain current and former military service members who received training to operate CMVs during active-duty, National Guard or reserve service in military vehicles that are comparable to CMVs,” the rule states. “The combined effect of the Military CDL I rule and this rule will allow certain current or former military drivers, domiciled in participating States, to transition to a civilian CDL more quickly due to their armed forces training and experience.”

Many in trucking have viewed veterans as a key piece to help alleviate the driver shortage but concerns over the timeliness of that process and the inability of states to recognize veteran’s driving experience have slowed that process.

One of the factors that delay licensing is that CDL holders must pass requirements in their home states – which for military members is often not the state in which they are stationed.

The Military CDL I rule, issued in October 2016, sought to alleviate this by allowing states to extend up to 1 year the time a candidate has to apply for a test waiver after leaving the military. It also allowed the state where the military member is stationed to coordinate with the member’s home state on the knowledge or skills test.

This rule, first published on June 17, 2017 as proposed rule, received 17 comments, FMCSA said, with 15 in support. Among those submitting supporting comments was American Trucking Associations (ATA), the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA), the Propane Gas Association of New England (PGANE), the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), and the Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA).

Many commenters felt the rule would reduce the burden to enter the industry, including the time it takes to become licensed, and help in recruiting efforts.

Read this article in full at freightwaves.com

Finding the Future Workforce for State DOT’s Becoming Tougher

With the unemployment rate hitting an 18-year low of 4 percent this July and “Baby Boom” generation workers now retiring at roughly 10,000 per day, industries across the United States are finding it harder to recruit and retain workers.

Roger Miller, Secretary of Transportation for Washington State DOT

A study released by consulting firm Korn Ferry in May predicts that a growing “skilled talent” shortage could impede global economic growth, which could result in 85.2 million unfilled jobs worldwide by 2030.

“The world can’t afford to have tens of millions of unfilled jobs,” noted Alan Guarino, vice chairman of Korn Ferry’s CEO and Board Services division, in a statement. “Companies must work to mitigate this potential talent crisis now to protect their future. If nothing is done, this shortage will debilitate the growth of key global markets and sectors.”

That labor shortage is beginning to felt more – and more acutely – within the state departments of transportation, as worker retirements can often result in a loss of valuable institutional knowledge as well.

“The one thing that concerns me most as a CEO, and what I am now spending a lot of my time on, is our workforce. Great men and women work for WSDOT but approximately half of them are eligible to retire today and the higher you go up the food chain, the more eligible they are to retire. The institutional memory that leaves us when they retire is really scary,” explained Roger Millar, secretary of transportation for the Washington State DOT, in a presentation July 17 at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials 2018 Joint Policy Committee Meeting.

“So we are working hard to encourage the ones who can stay to stay and we are inviting more new people to join our world. But it is hard to compete with the likes of local employers like Microsoft – we can only pay half of what they pay,” he said. “So we offer flexible work schedules and internships. We are also looking at more diversity because we will be a multicultural community. It’s a demographic fact but also a huge opportunity for us. So we want our hiring practices to be inclusive.”

Matthew Garrett, director of the Oregon DOT, added in a separate speech at the policy meeting that technological change is also a factor re-shaping the workforce needs of the state DOT community.

“Technology threatens to remake every aspect of every company and industry that we deal with,” he stressed. “So you must ask yourself these questions – what do you foresee the most significant challenge to retraining workers for the new jobs of this brave new world? Is the private sector focused on that challenge? Is our educational system, which is built around four-year degrees up to the challenge in a world that needs continuous training?”

Garrett noted that this movement forward “can be exciting and refreshing” and lead to new ways of doing business. “But it also demands that we must adapt and support a culture that’s reimagining our work structure and learning platforms, that’s moving to continual education training and retraining across all portfolios within a state DOT,” he emphasized.

Shailen Bhatt, president and CEO of ITS America and the former executive director of the Colorado DOT, explained in an interview with AASHTO Journal on July 27 that “workforce issues have changed a lot” in the state DOT community, but in many cases for the better as there is more positive appeal for transportation jobs among younger workers.

Read more at AASHTOjournal.org

Transportation Reimagined: A Roadmap for Clean and Modern Transportation in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Region

Seven states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic plus Washington, D.C. have pledged to work together to rebuild their transportation system for the 21st century. Given the looming threat of climate change, it is clear that this system must be stronger, cleaner, and more equitable. This report offers a blueprint for such a system. In it, NRDC recommends walkable, bikeable streets and expanded, accessible public transit. We also recommend expanding electric cars, buses, trains, and even garbage trucks—with the charging infrastructure to keep them going. Lastly, we implore decisionmakers to prioritize vulnerable and historically marginalized communities, including the elderly, low-income communities, and communities of color.

Modernizing the region’s transportation system will require strong commitments and investments from regional, state, and local leaders. Businesses, government agencies, community organizations, and residents must be included in the discussion. But while the scale of our transportation challenges is large, the benefits of clean and modern transportation are enormous and well worth the effort. We encourage policymakers, residents, and businesses to think boldly. If done right, the region’s transportation modernization can become a beacon to the rest of the country and the world

To Download the full report, visit the National Resource Defense Council

American Trucking Association to Create 50,000 Career Opportunities

Today, leaders from the American Trucking Associations pledged that the trucking group would provide at least 50,000 people enhanced career opportunities as part of today’s Trump administration announcement to provide pathways to better careers for a half a million Americans.

“ATA is proud to be part of this effort to provide enhanced career opportunities to hard-working Americans. Our nation’s economy depends on our trucks moving goods from ports, factories and farms to stores and homes – and we depend on the millions of men and women who drive those trucks, maintain those trucks, load and unload those trucks and route those trucks,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “We appreciate President Trump and Secretary Acosta making this a priority and having the vision to follow through with today’s executive order. We hope that through this workforce development effort, we will be able to connect more Americans to family-supporting incomes and address the persistent shortage we face in attracting enough well-trained workers to our industry.  The economy is strong and unemployment is low, but there are critical shortages of skilled workers in sectors of the economy, like truck drivers, technicians and mechanics.  We support these efforts to help ensure Americans have the skills and training needed to support the modern economy.”

ATA was represented at today’s White House event by past ATA Chairman Dan England, chairman of the board at C.R. England Inc., Salt Lake City.

“C.R. England believes in providing hard-working Americans a path to a better life,” England said. “That’s why we work so hard at our driving schools and training facilities, giving people a place to learn important and valuable skills that can keep our industry and our economy moving.

“Our industry is under constant pressure to bring in new drivers and new technicians to replace an aging workforce and to keep up with the demands of a modern, just-in-time economy,” he said. “Today’s announcement underscores our commitment, and ATA’s commitment, to doing all we can to provide opportunities for careers in trucking.”

At today’s announcement, ATA pledged to offer enhanced career opportunities to 10,000 people a year, every year, for the next five years, bringing the total commitment to 50,000.

Read the full release at trucking.org 

Project Bike Tech Educating Students for a Bike Mechanic Career

Project Bike Tech (PBT) is a non-profit specializing in educating high school students on bike mechanic skills and provide career preparation training. As they move forward into their 10-year anniversary they are expanding their educational program to Colorado.

Currently, Project Bike Tech is operating in multiple California schools and this move to Colorado expands PBT to a national level and sets the stage to innovate program offerings to include college credit eligible programs and an emphasis with the math and science in bike design.

Originally the program was founded as a 4-semester Career Technical Education class, and PBT has already successfully launched young people into careers within the bicycle industry. Preparing young people with bike mechanical skills is an important component of a future career within the bicycle industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for bicycle repair jobs is forecast to grow nationally by 29.3 % by 2026 leading to a significant shortage of bike mechanics as cycling emerges as a critical component of urban transportation planning.

According to Mercedes Ross, PBT’s Executive Director, “Nationally, demand for bicycle technicians is expanding rapidly. Students in our classes are exposed to an immersive educational experience centered around bicycle mechanics while learning key life skills like resume writing, job interview techniques, and teamwork.” The PBT curriculum also encompasses other core academic principles like mathematics, physics, and engineering that fit in with more traditional academic concepts. “We’ve created a hands-on class that can not only produce graduates who are primed for a position in a bike shop right away, but also exposes our students to a myriad of career opportunities in the bicycle and outdoor industries,” added Ms. Ross.

You can find more information about Project Bike Tech on their website here.

 

Tools for the Zombie Apocalypse: Avoiding the Brain Drain in Transportation Organizations

Information is coming in and knowledge is going out more rapidly than anticipated. Not only are we losing knowledge from long-time employees, but consultants and contractors have an equal amount of knowledge that could escape at any moment.

  • How can transportation agencies make sure that essential knowledge is retained?
  • How can they make sure that employees have access to the right information at the right time to be effective and contribute to the success of the organization?

On July 13th and August 8th, the TRB Task Force on Knowledge Managment hosted a two part Webinar, “Tools for the Zombie Apocalypse: Avoiding Brain Drain in Transportation Organizations. For a recording of both parts, as well as links to the presentations, visit http://trbkm.org/kmwebinar/

NTTD Annual Conference

Oct 7-11, 2018, in Chattanooga TN – Transforming Transportation Training

Registration is open!

Each year NTTD highlights innovative training policies, programs and technologies that serve the unique needs of the transportation community, bringing together DOT staff and trainers, LTAP personnel, and national training resource experts from federal, university and private sector organizations. Members of the transportation training community exchange ideas about training innovations and resources, develop collaborative relationships and networks, and learn from leading experts in the field.

Registration is open! This year NTTD has several new registration options, including an early registration discount ($375.00 before August 8th), and a discount if more than one person from your organization registers for the conference. As trainers and networkers, we know of the added value when more than one member of an organization attends meetings and can work together, during and after the conference. Register today! Our colleagues at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville are managing registration to keep it secure and efficient.

Conference location & accommodations:

Room Reservations are now open.

Chattanooga Downtown Marriott for 103.00 USD per night
Book your group rate for National Transportation Training Directors 2018

Discover Chattanooga.

Confirmed Presentations and Workshops for 2018 (Schedule & descriptions to be posted soon)

  • TDOT’s Reconnect Program: Advancing workers with no Post-secondary education experience (TDOT staff)
  • Cooperation Pays: LTAP & DOT Training Program models for cooperation and coordination (LTAP presenters from CT, KY, ND, and others)
  • Tech in the Classroom for Learner Engagement (Garrett Wheat LADOT)
  • Video Content Management for Training Support (TDOT)
  • Planning and Training for a Successful Future -Advancement & Leadership (Maxine Wheeler, ALDOT)
  • From Presenter to Trainer workshop (with the National Highway Institute)
  • Supporting Emerging Leaders: Refresh your approach to organizational leadership training (Christine Hetzel, VTAOT; Tony Loomer, ITD)
  • State Sharing – a state-by-state overview of new innovations & practices

For more information, please visit the registration page at http://nttdonline.net/nttd-annual-conference/ 

Ninety-Eight Years Later: Empowerment in the 21st Century Workforce

On June 5, 1920, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau was established to promote the welfare of wage-earning women and to help advance opportunities for gainful employment. At the time, women represented just 21 percent of the workforce. Today, women comprise 47 percent of America’s workforce. Last month, the unemployment rate for adult women dropped to an 18-year low of 3.3 percent.

President Trump’s Administration is working to help all Americans access good, family-sustaining jobs. At the Women’s Bureau, we are focused on empowering women to thrive in all aspects of America’s dynamic economy.

Apprenticeships ‒ an earn-while-you-learn career pathway ‒ can help women enter careers in which they are historically underrepresented, such as construction, manufacturing, and STEM fields.

As the wife of a retired service member, another priority near to my heart is helping military spouses in the workplace. Nearly 80 percent of civilian military spouses move as a result of their spouse’s military service. Unfortunately, 40 percent of military spouses report that it took seven months or longer to find employment following a move.

Occupational licensing can create unnecessary barriers by restricting entry and re-entry into the workforce. The Department of Labor is encouraging states to evaluate and reduce unnecessary licensing burdens for individuals like military spouses who move across state lines with their service member. President Trump also recently signed an Executive Order that advances the Administration’s commonsense efforts to improve the portability of occupational licenses.

Finally, we are working to find the balance between families’ access to affordable, quality childcare and workforce participation. President Trump included a paid parental leave proposal in his Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019 budget requests – the first time in history such a proposal was included in a budget request.

Ninety-eight years since our establishment, the Women’s Bureau remains committed to helping women thrive in the 21st century workforce.

Patricia Greene is the Director of the Women’s Bureau.

For the whole article, please visit the Department of Labor website.

Know a veteran looking for a job? Check out Career One Stop

Put your military skills to work! Visit Career OneStop  and share this link with resources to help with resume writing, interview prep, networking, finding jobs, and matching military skills to civilian careers. The site will show you local job openings in those areas.

If you already know the career field or occupation you want to search for—and don’t want to search based on your military experience—please visit the Job Finder.