Iowa Governor announces entry-level CDL training program

Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 9:12 PM CST
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FORT MADISON (WGEM) - A new grant program in Iowa aims to put more commercial drivers on the road.

That grant could impact the trucking industry in Southeast Iowa.

Kyle Wellman, a driver for Conrad Trucking Inc. in Fort Madison, remembers the hoops he had to jump through to secure his commercial driver’s license (CDL) two years ago.

“First you took the written test, well it was on a computer and you had to pass those, then you could do the driving test and the walk around,” said Wellman.

He said he doesn’t remember paying a high price for the training he needed to obtain his CDL, but now, officials said it can cost $3,000 to $4,000 for entry-level drivers to obtain the license.

That’s why Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has announced the Iowa Entry-Level Driver Training Program.

It’s a grant that will provide $6 million to employers across the state who wish to hire and train drivers, in hopes of removing cost barriers and creating more CDL drivers statewide.

Conrad Trucking Inc. Operations Manager Sean Conrad said the trucking industry is facing staffing issues nationwide and a grant like this could help keep employment numbers up.

“Hopefully something like a grant would be a little bit more enticing for them to apply, or at least feel like by doing that program that they’re gonna have some longevity in that occupation, I think it would be good, but initially it could be a shell shock for somebody looking to job into it,” Conrad said.

He said the program could benefit smaller companies looking to hire more staff and even local farmers.

“I think it would be a good tool to use and you know for any company, even small or individual farmers and agriculture community, trying to get some new young blood into it, could help supply to those younger generations of CDL drivers,” Conrad said.

Conrad said he’s always looking for new drivers, and applicants can apply on the company’s website, or in person at 2597 233rd Street in Fort Madison.

To access the Iowa Entry-Level Driver Training Program, click here.

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