COLUMBUS—State Representatives Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) and Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) this week introduced legislation that will provide a more cost-efficient pathway for Ohio students wanting to receive commercial driver’s license (CDL) training in order to pursue an occupation in truck driving.
House Bill 154 would work to provide scholarship opportunities for the education of up to 1,000 drivers through the Commercial Truck Driver Student Aid Program. As part of the program, scholarships would pay for approximately half of the cost of CDL training and the other half would be paid through a loan. This would allow new drivers to receive an education in the trucking industry by providing them the necessary tools to succeed in this in-demand profession without having to rack up a massive amount of debt.
“The Commercial Truck Driver Student Aid Program provides an affordable pathway to a career with high-wage pay,” Rep. Smith said. “Programs like these can revitalize the trucking industry here in Ohio and help our workforce to keep more money in their wallet.”
The legislation, which has received the support of the Ohio Trucking Association, is part of a package of bills aimed at increasing the amount of truck drivers in the industry, which has decreased in recent years. Other bills work to provide tax credits to trucking companies with on-the-job training programs, examine ways to insure young drivers and streamline CDL licensing conversions for military veterans.
These proposed efforts could increase employment in the trucking industry by 8,000 individuals, filling transportation job openings that exist throughout the state.