The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is accepting applications for a pilot program designed to help young military drivers find jobs in the commercial trucking industry, the agency said today.
The program will permit 18- to 20-year old drivers who possess the U.S. military equivalent of a commercial driver's license (CDL) to operate large trucks in interstate commerce. The program is open to a limited number of those drivers, who must be sponsored by a participating trucking company, FMCSA officials said.
During the pilot program, which is slated to run for up to three years, the drivers' safety records will be compared to the records of a control group of drivers, officials also said.
Currently, 48 states allow individuals to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) and drive trucks at age 18, but federal regulations prevent those drivers from crossing state lines until they turn 21. The FMCSA program aims to increase the pool of available drivers for the trucking industry, while helping U.S. military veterans and reservists transition to good-paying jobs, according to the FMCSA.
"We are excited to launch this program to help the brave men and women who serve our country explore employment opportunities in the commercial motor vehicle industry. With the nation's economy reaching new heights, the trucking industry continues to need drivers and have job openings. We encourage Veterans and Reservists to apply and to learn more about this exciting new program," said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.