Veterans and transportation

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Last week the nation took a few moments to recognize our veterans who gave their time and energy so that everyone in the United States could continue to enjoy the democratic lifestyle we so frequently take for granted. The U.S. Department of Transportation is showing its gratitude to skilled veterans with several initiatives to help make the transition to civilian careers in transportation easier. In DOT’s Fast Lane blog, the agency recently discussed how it’s putting veterans to work throughout the nation’s highway, air, transit and rail systems.

In June, DOT teamed up with the Department of Veterans Affairs to launch the Veterans Transportation Career Center (www.dot.gov/veteranstransportationcareers), an online portal to help military personnel and veterans apply the training and job specialty skills acquired in the service to careers in the transportation industry. The Website helps those with military experience map how that experience translates into jobs like air traffic controller, rail mechanic or pilot.

This portal supplements DOT’s Careers in Motion: Veteran Opportunities site (www.dot.gov/careers/veteran-opportunities), which features resources such as a link to veteran-oriented career fairs – this month there are events in Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Oakland on the 29th.

In addition to online resources, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also is adopting rules that help veterans connect with jobs in the truck and bus industry. FMCSA has adopted a rule that allows states to waive the skills test required for a commercial driver’s license for those with two years of safe military driving experience. The agency also now is implementing a new law enabling military members stationed outside of their home state to obtain a CDL, and is making funds available for better job training and job placement through commercial motor vehicle operator training grants.

All of this is good, mutually beneficial news for our deserving veterans and our nation’s infrastructure. Sounds like a win-win to me.