Iowa is taking steps to ensure people can receive the training they need to obtain commercial drivers’ licenses (CDL).
Governor Kim Reynolds announced new grant awards for Iowa’s community colleges to expand the modernized infrastructure needed for programs to help people get a commercial driver’s license (CDL). These grants are part of the state’s work during the past two years to expand training opportunities for Iowa’s high-demand jobs.
The Iowa CDL Infrastructure Grant program is awarding $4,844,092 to 10 community colleges in Iowa. The grants will go towards new equipment and the creation/remodeling of driver training facilities. The goal is to be able to support an estimated total increase of 1,305 program participants in their annual class size.
Locally, Eastern Iowa Community College Eastern Iowa Community College’s (EICC) Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training program received funding for site preparation and pouring three DOT-approved training ranges in Davenport and creating a new training site in Muscatine. This will triple the student capacity. The project will buy four tractor-trailer combinations, equipped with modern Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), and reduce training time from seven weeks to four weeks.
“The pathway to finding a job as a truck driver, one of our most-needed occupations, runs through getting a CDL license,” said Governor Reynolds. “It’s important that we do everything we can to not only make it easier for individuals to obtain these licenses, but also to support the long-term viability of the programs that made it possible to gain that experience right here in Iowa.”
Funds will be administered as reimbursement, and programs must offer competency-based training courses and/or a training course that would allow participants to complete training and take the licensing exam within a 30-day window. Colleges receiving these grant funds have agreed to a five-year tuition freeze for their CDL programs once the project from this award is complete.
“Increasing the CDL pipeline is crucial to sustaining and improving our economy. We are chronically short of drivers and Governor Reynolds’ continued investment in our community colleges should help accomplish this goal,” said Beth Townsend, Executive Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “This investment today will also give Iowa employers a leg up in recruiting more individuals in our state who have a CDL and are workforce ready.”
For more information on the grant program and a list of awardees, click here.