Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in demand for truck drivers as the number of job vacancies remains high. However, 2022 has seen some improvement from 2021 when it comes to these vacancies.

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In 2022, the trucking industry has been short 78,000 drivers, which is an improvement from last year’s 80,000-person gap.

Here in Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds has announced a new program to help get more drivers on the road.

On Monday, Reynolds announced the state’s new entry-level driver program. The Entry-Level Driver Training Program will help provide interested drivers more opportunities to earn their commercial driver's license (CDL) in Iowa.

Truck drivers play such a critical role in meeting our supply chain demands-- ‘If you got it, a truck driver brought it’

Back in February, new rules went into effect that changed the process people needed to go through to get their CDL. These changes require entry-level drivers to complete a prescribed program on theory and behind-the-wheel instruction provided by a school or entity on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry before taking the test.

The new Iowa Entry-Level Driver Training Program would provide $6 million to support employers, nonprofits, or related organizations sponsoring or partnering with training programs. The hope is that these grants can remove the costly barriers to help create new drivers in Iowa.

The grants will reimburse eligible organizations that offer training courses, both in-house or through partnerships.

More information on requirements can be found here.

Application for this grant program can be found at IowaGrants.gov beginning Tuesday, December 13th. Applications are Due February 3, 2023. (Note; the website is currently undergoing and is unavailable through December 12)

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