Sacramento, CA – Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 2659 by Assembly Member Bob Blumenfield with the support of the California Trucking Association, other business groups, and several veterans groups. The passage of AB 2659 will make it easier for highly qualified veterans with commercial driving experience to get back to work as professional truck drivers.
"Veterans of the most recent wars too often return home to face the challenge of prolonged unemployment that in some cases remains double the State overall unemployment rate," stated 2012 CTA President Scott Blevins, President of Manteca-based Mountain Valley Express. "They bring valuable skills earned over years of honorable service and it makes sense economically for a trucking industry that struggles with a looming driver shortage to help get veterans back to work."
"It is time for California to take this step to help our veterans move forward as commercial drivers in a way that utilizes the skills acquired during their years in service and provide a greater pool of highly qualified commercial drivers for California's trucking industry," said Blevins. "Assembly Member Blumenfield's leadership will help veterans get to work and trucking companies find great drivers."
"We must help veterans build a prosperous future here at home," said Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley). "A lack of jobs and difficulty transferring military training into marketable skills are some of the biggest challenges veterans must overcome. We have a commercial truck driver shortage. Since many veterans learn this skill in the military, we need to link them with employers ready to hire right now."
Recent regulatory changes by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration authorizes states to waive the skills test if the CDL applicant has at least two years of military commercial driving experience in the period immediately leading up to their discharge from service, is applying for the waiver within 90 days of discharge, and is seeking a license commensurate with their prior experience. To date 15 states have waived the skills test for qualified veteran commercial drivers.
Military standards for authorizing an individual to operate a commercial motor vehicle requires more than 200 hours of classroom and vehicle training. Military commercial drivers already operate vehicles on California roads and highways every day as they move cargo in support of mission.
The California trucking industry employs one out of every eight California workers and moves more than 80 percent of commerce in the state. If you bought it, a truck brought it.
[The California Trucking Association promotes leadership in the California motor carrier industry, advocates sound transportation policies to all levels of government, and works to maintain a safe, environmentally responsible and efficient California transportation goods movement system.]