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Iowa Creates Driver Training Program & Dedicates $6M in Grants

On Monday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the newly-created Entry-Level Driver Training Program, designed to provide more opportunities for those interested in becoming truck drivers to obtain their 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’. Like the rest of the nation, Iowa, too, has a high demand for truck drivers; and in order to meet that demand, we need innovative solutions that reduce barriers for anyone interested in obtaining a CDL license,” said Gov. Reynolds. “This new program will break down barriers that currently exist for obtaining a CDL and provide support to organizations who sponsor these critical training opportunities right here in Iowa.”

The new program has earmarked $6 million to support employers, nonprofits, or related organizations who sponsor or partner on key training programs designed to prepare potential drivers for CDL skills or knowledge tests. The grant program’s mission is to remove costly barriers and help more drivers obtain CDL licenses across the state.

“The Entry-Level Driver Training Program provides more opportunities to obtain a CDL, but it also makes it easier for employers to recruit and train their own drivers,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “This effort will also make our state more competitive in these high-demand fields by helping employers offer the right training when and where their workers need it.”

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

Applications will be accepted at IowaGrants.gov beginning on Tuesday, Dec. 13, and are due on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, at 11:59 AM.