Making Your Driving Experience Count: A New Benefit for Returning Veterans
We know that returning veterans have experience and skills that are in high demand in growing sectors, such as transportation, healthcare, information technology and logistics. Yet, their military training often doesn’t count toward the licenses and certifications necessary to land equivalent jobs in the civilian workforce. For example, if you drove a truck or other heavy equipment during your service, it can cost thousands of dollars and many hours of training and testing to get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to drive a similar vehicle here at home.
That’s why Governor Cuomo launched “Experience Counts” – a new statewide initiative that is giving credit to the specialized training and skills gained while in service. Just a few weeks ago, President Obama issued a similar call to action with “We Can’t Wait,” launching the Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force to identify transferable military skills and bridge the gap between military training and licensing and certification requirements.
Here at Workforce1, we were very excited to hear that, as part of “Experience Counts,” the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is now waiving the road skills test and fee for recently separated vets that drove commercial vehicles in the military to obtain a CDL.
So much so that Workforce1 is taking this a step further. We are making it easier, not to mention less costly and time-consuming, to make the transition and get back to work in the transportation industry.
By visiting our Workforce1 Industrial and Transportation Career Center in Queens, eligible veterans can now:
- Obtain a CDL A, B, or C completely free. In addition to the skills test and fee waiver, you will now have your written test fee and all other associated DMV fees covered by Workforce1.
- Schedule your monthly testing date with the DMV. Workforce1 will schedule your written and endorsement tests for you. We also provide access to practice tests and CDL training programs to make sure you are prepared.
- Receive priority for CDL and other training programs. Veterans are served first and are given priority access to all of Workforce1’s training programs, such as Automotive, Truck, or Diesel Mechanic and CNC Machine Operations and Programming.
- Land a job in the field. Workforce1 will work with you to connect you to a job or other training opportunities that utilizes your license.
In order to take advantage, make sure you:
- Currently hold a valid New York State driver license or have a valid out-of-state driver license,
- Meet all other requirements to qualify for a NYS CDL (Form MV-445)
- Were regularly employed in a military position (active duty, reserves, New York National Guard) that requires operation of a commercial motor vehicle in the last three months,
- Were operating a commercial motor vehicle of the type that you expect to operate for at least two years immediately prior to your discharge date.
And bring proof of military service and a completed Certification of Military Waiver of Skills Test (Form CDL-102).
Not sure if you qualify? You can reach out directly to the Workforce1 Industrial and Transportation Career Center to learn more.
Remember, all veterans receive priority for career services and training opportunities with Workforce1. Stay tuned for more opportunities like this that help transfer your skills so you can get the job you want. Also, come back next week to learn more about the opening of a new, dedicated Workforce1 Veterans Career Center, opening July 9th, 2012!
Kelly Dougherty is a Senior Advisor at the NYC Department of Small Business Services, the agency that manages Workforce1. Kelly will be contributing regular columns to the Workforce1 Career Blog with news, insight, and advice to help military veterans in their job search.