One of the biggest obstacles in the way of helping veterans find jobs once they enter civilian life is that many in-demand jobs require licenses. Even if troops learn skills in the field that translate perfectly into a civilian job, they need to go through certification. However, a bill signed into law last month will make it a bit easier for some troops to land a job.
The law, the Military Commercial Drivers License (CDL) Act of 2012, can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes for troops to be certified for their CDL. The legislation includes a number of changes, including one that allows soldiers to substitute two years of safe driving of "military equivalents of commercial vehicles" for the skill portion of the CDL test. It also eliminates the need for troops to return to their home state to get certified. The policy shift could have a positive impact on two fronts.
"Our nation is facing a critical truck driver shortage that could explode within the next decade, sending consumer product prices skyrocketing and devastating the economy," said Christopher Grant, CEO of Truck Jobs Today. "If a small percentage of the 1.6 million Armed Forces personnel returning home from active duty chose a trucking career, they could turn this shortage around."
The law may also help reduce the unemployment rate among post-9/11 veterans, which stands at about 10 percent. Veterans looking for assistance with the job hunt can visit AFBA's Career Center, which helps pair employers and recruiters with qualified servicemembers.