The Teamsters Safety and Health Department has been awarded a $4.6 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to establish apprenticeship programs for workers in the trucking industry. The grant will be awarded over a five-year funding cycle.
The DOL published a Notice of Funding Opportunity in the fall of 2014 in an effort to develop a trained workforce in industries that are deemed critical to the U.S. economy and have significant demand for or shortages of qualified workers. It stipulated that lead applicants must qualify as 501(c)5 non-profit organizations and have partners including at least three employers, from the following companies:
- ABC Moving Services is a regional corporate moving company;
- ABF Freight is a national freight trucking company;
- DiSilva Transportation, Inc. is a regional logistics company;
- National Retail Systems, Inc. is a national retail delivery trucking company.
ABC Moving Services, DiSilva Transportation and National Retail Systems are signatory to collective bargaining agreements with Teamsters Local Union 25, located in Boston, Mass.
“The Teamsters are at the forefront of worker training and this new grant from the Labor Department will enable workers to get the skills that employers seek,” said James P. Hoffa, Teamsters General President.
In addition to creating certified apprenticeship programs, the grant funding must be used to develop qualified instructors and provide training to recent high school graduates, incumbent Teamster members who are transitioning from non-driving transportation jobs to jobs that require Class A or Class B Commercial Driver’s Licenses, and military personnel who are transitioning to civilian life. Student recruitment will be conducted at high schools and vocational schools, community-based organizations that support underserved communities, Teamster Local Unions, and select military bases.
“We are honored to accept this grant from the Department of Labor,” said Lamont Byrd, Director of the Teamsters Safety and Health Department. “We have wanted to focus on training of apprentices for some time and this award will allow us to do just that. Many young people just starting their careers need professional training and guidance – both of which will be available through the qualified Teamster instructors who will implement the program.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.