‘Driver shortage’ sparks CDL partnership program in Virginia

February 11, 2022

Ryan Witkowski

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A Virginia initiative to get 100 new Class A CDL drivers on the road in the first 100 days of 2022 is well on its way to achieving that goal.

Through a partnership between the Virginia Ready Initiative and the Virginia Trucking Association, residents who earn their CDLs are being placed into driving jobs with partner companies throughout the state.

According to the Virginia Ready Initiative, as of Feb. 10, 43 individuals had earned their Class A CDL since the partnership began on Jan 1.

Taylor Beck, manager of partnerships at Virginia Ready Initiative, said they’re working to do their part to mend a fractured supply chain and help out the nation’s economy.

“Truck drivers are the backbone of the supply chain, which is why we are dedicated to empowering motivated Virginians to earn their CDL license and secure a family-sustaining job in the trucking industry,” Beck said. “Every driver that Virginia Ready helps get behind the wheel of a truck keeps the economy going not only in Virginia, but also across the country.”

The partnership was developed to address the perceived driver shortage – looking to fill some of the estimated 80,000 vacant trucking jobs, according to the Virginia Trucking Association.

“Many Virginia Trucking Association carriers that we are working with have trucks sitting in their lots because they’ve been unable to hire drivers. Our goal is to fill those open positions and move more goods across the state, helping to minimize delays in the supply chain,” Beck said.

OOIDA has refuted the notion of a driver shortage – claiming other issues within the industry have created a driver retention issue. A March 2019 study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics echoes that belief.

The Virginia Ready Initiative is a business-led partnership whose goal is to, “rapidly reskill Virginians for in-demand jobs by supporting credentials in high-growth industries where Scholars have a better chance of finding career pathways that are family-sustaining and fulfilling,” according to the organization’s website. LL

More Virginia news is available here.

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