U.S. DOT Encourages Young Adults To Get Their CDLs
You can get a Commercial Driver’s License at 18 in Michigan, but you can only drive within the state until you turn 21.
That’s why the U.S. Department of Transportation is testing a new program that would allow those age 18 to 20 with a CDL to drive across state lines.
Jordan Lovell is 22 and one of the young people taking advantage of this skilled trade as a student at Pinnacle Truck Driving School.
“It was an easy decision, I looked into possibly going back to college,” she says. “I felt compared to more college debt, trade school was the answer.”
Tim Martin, President at Pinnacle, says courses for getting a CDL are quick and affordable. In less than a few weeks, you could be on the road making close to $50,000 a year.
“Right now these people are largely ignored because when you get out of high school you have to find something,” he says. “There are relatively few jobs available that would keep a person in state, intra-state; construction work, beverage distributors, there’s a few of those jobs.”
Lovell says trade school should more encouraged.
“We’ve been taught this entire time that 4 years of college is the first step into the adult world, and that’s simply not true. If you want to get out and you want to get ahead, I think you should try trade school,” she says. “You don’t have to go to college, you don’t have to put 4, 6, 8 years into a degree to come out and make money. Trade school is an amazing option.”
Young adults interested in the CDL program will still have to go through training school and the hiring process of a company before they can operate a commercial truck over state lines.
The US DOT is also piloting another program that will allow veterans and reservists to use their U.S. military equivalent of a commercial driver’s license to operate large trucks across state borders.