Watkins & Shepard receives $315,000 grant

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Watkins & Shepard Trucking recently was awarded a Workforce Training Grant from the Montana Department of Commerce. These grants are part of a government effort to boost the economy in Montana by helping new and expanding businesses offset the cost of training workers.

Watkins & Shepard will receive funds totaling $315,000 that will help pay for the training of 63 new drivers in Montana over the next year. Because of this WTG, the cost of four-week training at Watkins & Shepard’s driving school has been reduced from $4,000 to $1,000. Drivers only are required to put $250 down, and the remaining $750 is spread out over one year with weekly payments of $15.

“The high cost of driver training keeps a lot people from pursuing driving as a career,” says Ray Kuntz, chief executive officer of Missoula-based Watkins & Shepard and current chairman of the American Trucking Associations. “This grant helps us make driver training a realistic opportunity for everyone.”

Montana’s primary sector WTG program is a state-funded program targeted to businesses to help create jobs and boost the state’s economy. Almost $4 million is available for the program annually.