More than 60 House members are urging Labor Secretary Marty Walsh to prioritize applicants for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act assistance who are seeking to become truck drivers.

The law, passed in 2014, helps provide access to job training for dislocated workers, low-income individuals and out-of-work youth. According to Labor Department statistics cited in a letter to Walsh from the lawmakers the program in 2020 helped more than 12,900 workers receive training to drive trucks and other heavy tractor-trailers. 

The letter led by House Ag Committee Chairman David Scott, D-Ga., and Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said speeding up the approval process can help offset some of the challenges presented by a nationwide truck driver shortage.

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“With turnover rates for large, long-haul truckers reaching the 90 percent mark and the lag time for training and onboarding new drivers lasting several months, it is critically important DOL enact these measures as soon as possible,” the lawmakers wrote.

The American Trucking Associations, National Association of Small Trucking Companies, Women in Trucking, International Foodservice Distributors Association, the National Association of Truck Stop Operators, the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America and the International Dairy Foods Association voiced support of the lawmakers' request. 

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