Grant helps service members leaving military start careers as truck drivers
Article by: Michael Bratten
Del Mar College (DMC) is offering military service members preparing to enter the civilian workforce a no-cost route to careers in the trucking industry, courtesy of a grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).
The trucking industry is a good fit for veterans. With the pay, experience and discipline they come in with, it’s a great transition to the civilian workforce.
Through the Skills for Transition Program (STP), the TWC pays tuition costs for recently or soon-to-be discharged service members who want to earn a Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) – the type required to drive a tractor trailer rig. Training takes just four weeks of daytime classes or 10 weeks of evening classes.
Along with Del Mar and the TWC, another partner in the initiative is U.S. Xpress, Inc., one of the largest trucking companies in the country. The company is offering an apprenticeship program that enables veterans to earn money while they’re in training, Rojas said.
Once they earn their CDL, veterans will find themselves highly marketable.
“The industry is reaching out to veterans because there’s such a huge demand for truck drivers,” Rojas said. “The jobs are plentiful.”
Generally, the STP is open to military service members preparing to separate from service in the next six months (180 days) or who have been discharged within the past six months and plan to remain in Texas.
- Service members must have obtained career counseling in order to determine suitability towards specific training.
- Service members on active duty will be required to receive permission from the commanding officer to participate in training. Separated service members must have a DD-214.
- Veterans must not have received a dishonorable discharge.
Active duty service members must contact the Command Transition Officer at Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi at (361) 961-2372; veterans may contact the Del Mar College Veterans Center at (361) 698-1683 for enrollment information.
The Skills for Transition Program is part of the Texas Operation Welcome Home Program coordinated by the Office of the Governor, Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Veterans Commission and Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. The goal of Texas Operation Welcome Home is to provide a clear pathway for military service members to transition to employment in Texas as they enter civilian life.
According to the TWC, close to 20,000 service members transition from Texas military facilities to civilian life each year. Currently, close to 40,000 veterans are searching for employment in Texas, the TWC states.
About Del Mar College
Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.