CDL Program for Veterans Extended into 2015

Military convoyGov. Pat McCrory announced last week that North Carolina will be extending a truck driving program that helps military members find jobs. Paul Woolverton of the Fayetteville Observer wrote an article on this program with some additional information. This program, and others like it, are effective in helping our military more effectively find jobs as civilians. The extension of this CDL program is another mark towards North Carolina’s commitment to our military.

During the 2013 session I sponsored and worked to help pass a similarly-styled bill, HB 322/SB 280. This bill, which was passed into law, allowed veterans to use their military experience to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). More information on this program can be found here.

This is what I wrote about it in my newsletter for June of 2013:

“Recently retired and discharged military members may soon be able to use their military experience to obtain a commercial driver’s license.

I recently presented House Bill 322, CDL Requirements/Military Experience, and it was subsequently passed by the Senate into the house for concurrence.  I was the primary sponsor on the companion version of this bill, Senate Bill 280.  The bill, if it becomes law, would waive the skills test requirement for individuals with experience driving commercial vehicles in the military.

The bill also helps correct a problem faced by many veterans upon leaving the military:  difficulty finding employment in the civilian world. Employers often have little understanding of their military experience or how it relates to their business goals.  Obtaining a CDL by using skills gained in the military is a great way to give veterans the opportunity to easily move into a new career and adjust to civilian life.  Members of the military worked very hard to obtain the knowledge and skills they have.  It’s important that we utilize these assets wisely, rather than requiring unnecessary training and testing.

North Carolina, as America’s most military-friendly state, needs to lead on these issues.  Personally, I am proud to represent Cumberland County on this issue.  Anything we can do to ease the transition for these brave men and women is a good thing for Cumberland County, North Carolina, and beyond.”