Ivy Tech awarded $85,000 federal grant to offer free CDL training, increase road safety

Local News

WEST CENTRAL INDIANA (WTWO/WAWV) — The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has awarded Ivy Tech Community College a Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training (CMVOST) Grant, in the amount of $85,071, to offer free Commercial Driver’s License-A (CDL) training to West Central Indiana residents.

The grant is intended to increase road safety and reduce crashes involving commercial motor vehicles on U.S. roads. Ivy Tech Community College is one of 20 educational institutions nationwide to be awarded a CMVOST grant for the 2020 fiscal year.

Grant funding will cover 100% of CDL-A training costs, permit and license costs for 20 individuals.

Residents of Clay, Greene, Knox, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo counties are eligible to apply for training. Current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including National Guard and Reservists, their spouses and children, will be prioritized for consideration.

Rodney Dowell, Workforce Alignment Consultant for Ivy Tech, said prioritizing those in the military is important. “It’s kind of twofold,” he said. “It gives them the opportunity for a new career, maybe to start over, to do something that’s real exciting, to get on the road, making good money. The other opportunity, too, is to make our roads safer.”

“Ivy Tech is fortunate to receive a grant that will allow us to provide free job training, while also increasing road safety in West Central Indiana,” said Lea Anne Crooks, Chancellor, Ivy Tech Terre Haute. “The Terre Haute campus is well-positioned to offer this opportunity to military members, with six military installations within a 10-mile radius of campus. We plan to work closely with these organizations and our partners in workforce development to identify those in our community who will benefit from free training in one of Indiana’s most in-demand careers.”

Training will be provided by Ivy Tech Community College Terre Haute and the Driving Dynamics Center for Transportation Safety program. Students will complete four weeks of full-time training, and 30-40 hours of one-on-one driving instruction at the Terre Haute campus. In addition, Ivy Tech will assist graduates with securing employment through its premier network of hiring companies, including national carriers, regional, and local trucking companies.

Dowell emphasized the benefits of one-on-one training. “A lot of it is one-on-one guided training where you’re actually behind the wheel learning how to park the vehicle, how to back up, all the inter-workings to keep it running safely.”

According to the 2016 Indiana Employment Outlook Projections study conducted by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and STATS Indiana, the number of occupations requiring a CDL is anticipated to increase by 6.6% by 2026. In West Central Indiana, Commercial vehicle drivers are calculated as a five flame career, the highest-rank provided by the INDemand Jobs Indiana Flame Ranking system.

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