Government & Politics
4:49 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Troops to Trucks

Virginia’s DMV is facilitating a unique relationship between the military and the transportation industry. While there is a shortage of commercially licensed drivers and fewer jobs for veterans, the DMV is making it easier for servicemen and women who have specialized driving experience to obtain their Commercial Drivers License when returning home. 

The program is part of a statewide effort to translate the skills learned in the military into the certifications needed for civilian jobs. 

This "Troops to Trucks" initiative is said to be the first of its kind nationwide. Jeff Ryan with the DMV says many military members spent much of their deployment driving trucks. But once they got home, they were required to pay for classes for a skill set they've already acquired or had to jump many hurdles to prove they have those skills.

 They still must take the DMV's written test.  In its first year, approximately 200 veterans took advantage of the program, and Ryan says he expects that number to increase during this and subsequent years. A related state program, “Virginia Values Veterans” —or “V3”— has certified 103 employers in its pilot year who’ve committed to providing more than 4,000 jobs for veterans.

Tommie McNeil reports from Richmond.