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The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law created a pathway to address current truck driver shortages, and the Administration has announced a set of actions to address the expansion of trucking and support economic recovery. The Departments are accelerating the expansion of Registered Apprenticeship programs for drivers that put more skilled, safe drivers on the road; taking immediate steps to address the pandemic-driven delays in getting a commercial driver’s license; curbing the proliferation of low-quality training that increases the supply of less qualified drivers who end up in debt or being exploited; and expanding more seamless paths for veterans and underrepresented communities, such as women, to access good driving jobs.

Take steps to reduce barriers to drivers getting CDLs: DOT and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are supporting state departments of motor vehicles as they return to—or even exceed—pre-pandemic commercial driver’s license (CDL) issuance rates, which is helping bring more truck drivers into the field. FMCSA will provide over $30 million in funding to help states expedite CDLs. FMCSA is sending all 50 states a toolkit detailing specific actions they can take to expedite licensing and will work hand-in-hand with states to address challenges they are facing. FMCSA will also begin closely tracking delays, identifying states that have challenges with issuing CDLs, and communicating with all 50 governors about ways they can reduce delays in issuing CDLs.

In the next 30 days DOL and DOT will kick off listening sessions with drivers, industry and labor leaders, and advocates to hear their perspectives, profile promising practices, and source scalable solutions to retention and job quality issues for truckers.  The first events in this series are happening in South Carolina. FMCSA will issue funding opportunities for states to streamline CDL processing and reduce testing delays. DOL, DOT, and intermediary partners will work closely with committed trucking employers to launch the first group of Apprenticeship Challenge programs. FMCSA and DOL will begin an in-depth study of driver compensation, as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to examine truck driver pay, including the time drivers spend waiting to pick up or drop off freight without getting paid. DOL’s VETS and the Department of Veteran Affairs will organize a meeting with Veterans Service Organizations and Military Service Organizations to discuss opportunities to employ veterans in the trucking industry, including leveraging Veteran Affairs’ education and training benefits.

In the next 60 Days FMCSA will launch a pilot for drivers ages 18-21 as mandated by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, incorporating Registered Apprenticeships to ensure rigorous training standards and pairing each young driver with an experienced mentor. DOL and DOT will host a series of national Apprenticeship Accelerator meetings to help more firms develop new programs and release a quick-start toolkit for apprenticeships in the trucking sector.

DOL VETS, DOL Employment and Training Administration, and DOT’s Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration will conduct a roundtable to discuss efforts to facilitate a CDL for transitioning service members and veterans. The meeting will include representatives from the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program as well as Veterans Affairs.

In the next 90 Days the Department of Labor will announce the results of the 90-day Apprenticeship Challenge and announce new partnerships to continue to expand apprenticeships in the trucking industry.

DOT and DOL will launch the task force dedicated to promoting the recruitment, inclusion, and advancement of women in trucking established in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. DOT and DOL will launch the task force to investigate predatory truck leasing arrangements that dissuade drivers from entering or staying in the industry established in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. DOT and DOL will deliver a comprehensive action plan, informed by its series of listening sessions, outlining any further administrative and regulatory actions the Administration can take to support quality trucking jobs.



Friday, 17 December 2021