US DOT logo

Secretary Buttigieg highlights younger drivers workforce program

From Transport Topics.

Efforts to boost the number of younger drivers in the trucking workforce are underway, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told a congressional committee on July 19.

An apprenticeship program to allow truckers under 21 to operate commercial vehicles across state lines will start considering applicants as early as this summer, Buttigieg told lawmakers on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The safe driver apprenticeship program for truckers under 21 aims to respond to workforce concerns while promoting highway safety.

“The question that this pilot program speaks to of course is: Is there a way to engage younger drivers without any kind of detriment to safety? And I think that a pilot program has provided us with a responsible way to determine that,” Buttigieg told policymakers.

“I do believe we will be able to begin to accept applications into this program by the end of summer of this year,” he added. “And then we’ll be watching closely of course to see how it unfolds and then ultimately gather the data that’ll tell us what, if any, safety impact there is.”

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is tasked with operating the young safe driver apprenticeship. The program was established with enactment of the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. American Trucking Associations recently determined the industry faces a shortage of 80,000 commercial drivers.

See the complete article online at Transport Topics.