(Future Ready Iowa photo)

The application process for a new state program that awards grants to help workers get training for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) opens Tuesday. Iowa Workforce Development’s, Mike Cockrum, says they are looking to fill a void for employers.

“It provides grants to employers, nonprofits in their and consortiums who need to hire drivers, it gives them some some financial assistance in order to to recruit someone and be able to put them through entry level driver training,” he says. That entry level driver training is now required before you can take the CDL exam.

Cockrum says the grant can be used in several ways. “They could potentially work with a third party training provider, or they could become certified themselves. And the grant would then assist them with the costs of that which could be associated with curriculum materials, wages for the for the instructor, the maintenance of the pad that they have to use in order to do the driving training, or potentially a dedicated vehicle that they would use for it as well,” he says.

Some businesses have already become trainers so they can work with their employees. “The hope would be to open up more avenues with more employers that are offering that — and also to help the ones who currently are,” Cockrum says.” And then of course, if someone wanted to go through or wanted to send someone to a third party training provider who is already doing that training, they can help pay down the tuition for that person as well. So they can they can come at it from two different ways. But we’re certainly hoping to grow the list of potential trainers across the state.”

The grant process will open on December 13th. “They can learn more right now when they go to futurereadyiowa.gov. There’s a banner at the top providing a link to information about the grant itself,” he says. “Also, we’re going to have a webinar next Tuesday, December 13th, at 3 p.m. where we’re going to walk through the programs.” The deadline to file for the grants is February 3rd.

Radio Iowa