Governor Awards NCC New Grant to Modernize, Expand CDL Training

Des Moines, Iowa — Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon is going to get over $300,000 to help teach potential truck drivers how to drive a truck.

Governor Kim Reynolds has announced new grant awards for Iowa’s community colleges that will help expand the use of modernized infrastructure needed for programs that help individuals obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The new grants come as part of the state’s collective effort over the past two years to expand training opportunities and widen pathways to Iowa’s high-demand jobs.

The Iowa CDL Infrastructure Grant program is awarding over $4.8 million to 10 of Iowa’s community colleges, which will support new equipment and the creation/remodeling of driver training facilities. With these new investments, officials say the colleges’ CDL programs will be able to support an estimated total increase of 1,305 program participants in their annual class size.

Governor Reynolds says, “The pathway to finding a job as a truck driver, one of our most-needed occupations, runs through getting a CDL license. It’s important that we do everything we can to not only make it easier for individuals to obtain these licenses, but also to support the long-term viability of the programs that made it possible to gain that experience right here in Iowa.”

Grant funds will help support the building, purchasing, or remodeling of training infrastructure that prepares drivers for meeting CDL requirements. Funds will be administered as reimbursement, and programs must offer competency-based training courses and/or a training course that would allow someone to complete training and take the licensing exam within a 30-day window. Colleges receiving grant funds also have agreed to a 5-year tuition freeze for their CDL programs once the project from this award is complete.

Beth Townsend, Executive Director of Iowa Workforce Development says, “Increasing the CDL pipeline is crucial to sustaining and improving our economy. We are chronically short of drivers and Governor Reynolds’ continued investment in our community colleges should help accomplish this goal. This investment today will also give Iowa employers a leg up in recruiting more individuals in our state who have a CDL and are workforce ready.”

For more information on the grant program and for a list of awardees, visit this link.