January 16, 2023

Iowa Addresses Trucker Shortage by Introducing a New CDL Training Program: What This Means for Aspiring Iowan Truckers

Earlier this year, it became a federal requirement for all new drivers to undertake additional training requirements on top of existing CDL standards. This new requirement was implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. So now there is a new CDL training program available.

Current CDL training program can be costly and/or limited, making the process of obtaining or upgrading a CDL more challenging despite a high demand for truck drivers.

Grant funding for the Iowa Entry-Level Driver Training Program (ELDT) will reimburse eligible organizations in the state of Iowa that offer these training programs either in-house or through partnerships with certified training providers.

What is the new CDL training program called and what does it do?

The new Entry-Level Driver Training Program will provide $6 million to support employers, nonprofits, or related organizations in Iowa who sponsor, or partner, on key training programs designed to prepare potential drivers for CDL skills or knowledge tests. The grant program hopes to remove costly barriers and, ultimately, create more drivers with CDL licenses across the state.

Not only does the program provide more opportunities for aspiring truckers to maintain a CDL, it also makes it easier for employers to both train and recruit their own drivers, making the state more competitive in such a high-demand field.

What does this mean if you’re an aspiring trucker in Iowa?

This means more prospective opportunities for aspiring, new truckers in Iowa looking to get a CDL. Implementing this program will, ideally, make it easier for new truckers in Iowa to obtain a CDL by helping shoulder the cost by providing support to the organizations who sponsor said training opportunities.

What does this mean if you’re a potentially qualifying business in Iowa?

This means an opportunity for you to train and hire truckers either directly through your organization, or using an approved third-party training program, without having to shoulder the large expense that often comes with doing so.

In order to apply for this grant and to read more about it business owners can follow this link.

How does the ELDT program fund the qualified organizations providing the training?

If the ELDT program is provided in-house, reimbursement can be used on instructor wages, curriculum materials, and maintenance needs. If the program is offered via outside training providers, reimbursement must go towards Entry-Level Driver Training program tuition. All training providers and drivers are required to meet all Federal driving standards under the ELDT program.

The funds are administered in the form of reimbursement only. The reimbursement must be made following documented training certification and a CDL exam within 30 days of a participant’s first day of training.