By Mimi Jansen, Communications Coordinator, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber
The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber has been an advocate for recognizing applicable military training for professional licenses and certifications. One of the items the Chamber advocated for—making it easier for military personnel with specialized truck driver training to get their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), began on November 1st, thanks to the new Military Training Certification Process.
The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) and Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) have joined forces to help veterans. This new program allows WDVA to verify an individual CDL applicant has the required minimum commercial motor vehicle driver training requirements provided and documented by a military service. Veterans have one year following their release from the military to take advantage of this new program. Vets should go to the Washington Dept. of Veterans Affairs website to start the certification process.
“We often hear of the challenges our men and women in uniform face when they leave the military and try to find jobs that they qualify for,” said WDVA program manager Ric Price. “This is a tremendous step forward in removing a financial barrier to a smoother transition from military to civilian employment.”
In the past, veterans were required to attend additional and often expensive commercial drivers training programs to learn the skills they had used for years in the military. WDVA’s Helmets to Hardhats liaison Todd Mitchell questioned why this training had to be repeated and worked with a number of organizations to develop this new process. Thanks to the hard work of WDVA, DOL, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, Army Reserve Employer Relations, Washington Trucking Association, Teamsters Union and the Washington Defense Partnership, the transition from a military job to a civilian one will require one less step.
“This is another instance of agencies working together to make things more seamless for Washingtonians,” said DOL director Liz Luce. “This program is important so that our service members can utilize the training they’ve received and get right to work in the civilian sector.”
Team members who worked to accomplish this first licensing based on military training are Price, Todd Mitchell, DVA, John Patterson, Army Reserve Employer Relations, Olivia Robinson, Washington Military Partnership and Gary Brackett, Tacoma-Pierce Co. Chamber.
For additional information about this new program, contact the WDVA’s Ric Price at 1-800-562-2308.