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GET-IN-GEAR The Official Publication of CVTA


From the President’s Desk ON THE ROAD AGAIN: My Recent Travels Over the past 3 months, I have had the pleasure of attending and presenting at several conferences, including the CCJ’s Symposium and TCA’s Safety & Security Division Meeting. In my conversations with trucking company executives, their number one concern is the driver shortage, and what we as an industry can do to encourage new entrants into this profession. The issue of allowing 18-20-year-old drivers to drive in interstate commerce also comes up in these same

discussions and many believe are a potential long-term solution. When looking at our industry’s workforce problems, there are several policies that CVTA and others need to advance to solve the current driver shortage. One executive told me that “we need the right people in this industry,” suggesting that the industry at large focus on quality rather than quantity. I believe this executive is correct. (See PRESIDENT’S pg. 4)

Schneider Receives National Safety Council’s Green Cross for Safety Excellence Award, which made them the first truckload carrier to win this award. In the picture are Schneider’s Safety and Training Manager, Aaron Funk; Vice President of Safety and Loss Prevention, Tom DiSalvi; Safety and Training Director, Dan Drella; and National Safety Council President & CEO, Deborah A.P. Hersman.

Don Lefeve participating in a panel discussion during the CCJ Symposium.


ANALYSIS Proposed Merger of Departments of Labor and Education: More Efficiency or Less Resources? On June 25, the Trump Administration published a 132-page proposal to reorganize the federal government through the consolidation of several cabinet-level agencies. Smaller, more efficient government has been a pillar of the Republican party since the Reagan administration, and the recommendations outlined in the proposal aims to embody that philosophy. The current proposal, among other things, includes a plan to merge the Departments of Labor (DOL) and Education (ED) into a single agency: the Department of Education and Workforce (DEW). The Administration’s rationale for this strategy is that there are agencies in both ED and DOL with overlapping jurisdiction over education and workforce programs. Therefore, merging these two departments into one Department (DEW), theoretically, improves efficiency.

Under the plan, the proposed DEW would have four sub-agencies:

actually be moved under the Department of Commerce.

The creation of AWHEA under the proposed DEW would be of greatest interest to truck driving schools and motor carriers. AWHEA would manage financial aid, apprenticeship, and workforce grant programs from which thousands of trucking school students benefit. The upside to this merger would mean schools and students would have one agency with which to work on securing funding for training and education, managing apprenticeships, and fulfilling other workforce and education program needs. It is difficult to argue that having a “one-stop shop” with which to work on these issues doesn’t improve efficiency and help students enrolled in vocational programs in a timelier manner. (See ANALYSIS pg. 3)

The K-12 agency would manage elementary and secondary education programs, which are currently under complete purview of ED; The American Workforce and Higher Education Administration (AWHEA) would merge financial aid, vocational and higher education programs under ED with DOL’s Employment Training Administration (DOLETA); The Enforcement agency would merge programs under DOL that handle labor and wage disputes, and worker protections with ED’s Office of Civil Rights; and; The Research, Evaluation, and Administration agency would focus on policy development and administration of the DEW. Under this merger, the Bureau of Labor Statistics would

CVTA STAFF Don Lefeve, President & CEO Cindy Atwood, Vice President Kristine Gager, Director of Communications Mark Valentini, Director of Government Affairs 2 | Newsletter


(continued from pg. 2) However, there are potential pitfalls to consolidation of which we must be aware. Congress will be appropriating funds for education and workforce programs to one agency instead of multiple agencies.

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Since Congress would only be funding one sub-agency and several consolidated programs, it’s possible appropriators may not see a reason to commit funding at previous levels because there are less programs and agencies to fund, even though the number of people depending on these programs remains constant. Consolidation could result in a decrease of overall funding for education and workforce programs. It could also make the process for obtaining grants or other types of assistance more competitive, meaning either less aid for students or less students receiving assistance. Congress would need to understand that the consolidation of education and workforce programs requires steady funding, so that job seekers don’t miss out on critical programs designed to help them. Congress still must approve the idea, and currently it does not have the appetite for such a monumental endeavor due in part to upcoming elections. It is possible legislators may pursue the plan in a piecemeal fashion, or simply leave the proposal in the inbox and focus on other priorities.

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18-to-20-Year Old Drivers: Interstate Driving vs. Intrastate Driving Gary Pressley, President, Heavy Metal Truck Training Last year I attended a Minnesota Trucking Association task force meeting regarding the driver shortage. As we were brainstorming on ways to address the shortage, I asked if it would be feasible, and make sense, for 18-to-20-year old commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders to act as a type of relay to move freight from state-tostate. (See INTERSTATE VS. INTRASTATE pg. 12)

From the President’s Desk (continued from pg. 1) However, I believe we can find both quality drivers and the quantity needed to meet the shortage. Here are my thoughts on solving part of this problem. Attracting the best drivers means training drivers through quality training programs. The cornerstone of driver shortage workforce policy solutions begins with implementing the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulation. All states must comply with this regulation by February 7, 2020. The regulation will improve highway safety as our drivers will be better trained prior to getting their commercial driver’s license (CDL). The regulation requires all CDL applicants to receive a minimum of hours towards classroom (theory) and behind-the-wheel (BTW) training from an approved provider and certified based on the students’ performance. Mandating CDL training is long overdue and will improve highway safety. It will also restore professionalism within the trucking industry.

CVTA’s data seems to confirm this point. The average age of a student entering our schools is between 34-36 years of age. While this number varies from school to school, and region to region, it confirms that most students have been in another job, or jobs, for 13-15 years before entering a truck driving program. Eighteen-year-old drivers are statistically more risky than other age groups, however not all 18-year-olds are inherently risky. Moreover, a properly trained 18-year-old is perfectly capable of becoming a safe driver with proper training. CVTA and others are not advocating for turning an 18-year-old loose on the open road. Far from it. We believe, and current legislation would require, direct supervision to further develop an individual’s skills for an additional period following the issuance of their CDL. Safety remains at the forefront of all policies and to lower the interstate driving age to 18, we must have mandatory training in place.

The trucking industry also needs to be competitive with other industries. To remain competitive, we must lower the interstate driving age to 18. Current age regulations, which were established in 1937, require a driver to be 21 to haul interstate freight within state lines or cross state lines. Removing age restrictions, finding the right 18-20-year-old drivers, and properly training them, will allow trucking to be competitive with other industries such as the building trades, HVAC, and welding. A high school graduate has many options and career fields he or she can enter. While one can legally obtain an intrastate CDL at 18 (at least in the lower 48 states), current Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations curtail the type and movement of freight by 18-20-year-old drivers. Thus, these restrictions do not make it a viable career option for those who otherwise would enter the trucking industry upon graduation. Again, this means trucking is at a competitive disadvantage to other industries that are able to hire high school graduates without age restrictions.

Therefore, as an industry, we need to work on ensuring ELDT’s implementation as a critical first step while working on lowering the interstate driving age. These steps will improve safety, allow trucking to be competitive with other industries, restore professionalism to the industry, and improve trucking’s image.

I believe the current age restrictions also produces an incorrect and unfortunate byproduct: a poor image. Trucking’s image suffers, in part, because it’s not a viable option right out of high school due to current age restrictions. Unless your family is directly involved in the industry, most Americans do not know much about the trucking industry, which contributes to its poor image. A commercial driver is viewed as a job of last resort, not a career of first choice, which I believe is a direct result of the inability for 18-year-olds to enter the industry cause by DOT regulations.

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All levels are self paced All material online (you can also download the material if you prefer) Control your costs by choosing the time frame for each level per Instructor. They can complete one level or all it is up to you. Need more details? Contact CVTA’s Cindy Atwood at 703.642.9444 ext. 102 or

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#NationalCyberSecurityMonth Are You Prepared? October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), and it’s always a good idea to be sure you’re on top securing your systems, data, and more importantly, your privacy. The National Cyber Security Alliance is a great resource to stay safe online and keep your business protected. Learn more at: Follow NCSAM on Twitter: @StaySafeOnline Follow NCSAM on Facebook:

QUICK TIPS: BASIC CYBER HYGIENE During our Spring Conference earlier this year, Jeff Stern, CEO of Chain Security, LLCs - a supply chain intelligence company focused on security technology - shared with attendees some tips on how to stay secure online. •

Store as little data as possible.

Don’t own or run servers. Rather trust Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure to run servers in the cloud.

If you own servers, stay up-to-date on operating system (OS) updates & patches.

Regularly update OS security patches on all personal devices at work & at home.

Encrypt all disk drives and SSD on laptops, desktops & servers.

Purchase security services (e.g. Fortinet) for your AWS or Azure server.

Host your business email on Microsoft Office 365 or Google’s G Suite.

Install VPN for all devices.

Lock down personal social network accounts.

Don’t share PII with Facebook & LinkedIn.

Don’t use Google or Bing search, even with the “Do Not Track” option.

2-factor authentication must be part of signing-in to personal & business accounts.

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Are Association Health Plans the Answer to Health Insurance Woes? On June 21, the Department of Labor published a final rule that expands eligibility for participation in association health plans (AHPs). The rule was written in lieu of Executive Order 13813 issued in October 2017 as part of the Trump administration’s strategy to expand health care options for Americans as it develops policy alternatives to the Affordable Care Act. What is an AHP? It’s where small businesses, under a professional association, band together as if they were a large employer to offer group health insurance to their employees. For example, CVTA could offer coverage to its member schools under its own AHP, which would allow those schools to cover their employees under a CVTA-sponsored group health plan. Thus, businesses have access to an affordable group plan, and those businesses’ employees can obtain health insurance coverage through their employer rather than obtaining it on the open market where it is more expensive. AHPs, like any type of group insurance plans, are subject to state regulation. Every state has its own insurance regulator and its own laws governing how insurance is underwritten, marketed and sold. In addition, AHPs that are ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) “bona fide” plans as determined by the Department of Labor are also subject to federal regulations. Other than ERISA bona fide plans, the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) insurance requirement and other federal regulations that require certain entities to have insurance overall is regulated by the states in which policies are administered: the federal government does not regulate the insurance industry.

The Trump administration’s proposal to expand access to AHPs is somewhat controversial because states would no longer regulate them, the Department of Labor would. This is significant for at least two critical reasons: 1. The federal government is, for the first time, assuming a regulatory role over the business of insurance, be it health, life, or property/casualty. This poses a potential conflict with the McCarran-Ferguson Act which relegates regulatory oversight of insurance to the states; and; 2. Because AHPs under this proposal can act outside of state oversight, they are not beholden to any consumer protections that are enshrined in state insurance laws. Therefore, AHPs could theoretically deny coverage to anyone who would otherwise be eligible. On the other hand, many employees of small businesses do not have access to health insurance through their employer. If they are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, employees’ options are to purchase health insurance either through their state’s ACA exchange or through the private market, both of which can be expensive even for high-deductible plans and lack competing options that could keep premiums lower. AHPs have the potential to offer a more affordable third option for employees whose employers are eligible to participate in an AHP. CVTA is paying close attention to the implementation of the DOL’s final rule on AHPs and weighing the pros and cons of implementing its own AHP.

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IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT Gregg Softy Driver, Stevens Transport Winner, 2017 Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award How to Recruit Veterans The demand for professional truck drivers has never been greater. Because of the aging driver population, changes in regulations and the rigors of the job, more drivers are choosing to leave the industry than ever before. And when you combine this reality with tougher entry requirements for new drivers, it’s the reason our nation is facing the greatest driver shortage in over 50 years. So where do many schools turn to find hard working, highly disciplined, qualified candidates who want to enter the industry? Military veterans. Each month, thousands of men and women are transitioning out of the military and are looking to use the skills acquired during their time of service in a new job profession. As a retired U.S. Army Colonel and a professional truck driver for Stevens Transport, I have been asked many times why I chose the transportation industry, and what are the best ways to recruit military veterans are. Based on my experience, here’s a list of what is most important to Veterans.

Provide current program details on your website. Be sure to have an updated and easy to navigate website that provides details on your training program, and if it’s on base. Details should include where it is, when classes are held and how long the training program lasts, as well as graduation dates. Together, the information provided helps with pre-planning a new career. Veterans want careers, not just jobs. Recruiters should outline a variety of career opportunities within the transportation and trucking industry. Providing all the careers within the industry helps with long-term planning. For instance, if a truck driver wants to retire, they know that they can still be involved in the industry but in a different role. 8 | Newsletter

Whether it’s becoming a school owner or an instructor, a previous truck driver’s experience it lends to future students and the industry at large is valuable.

Understand military, on-the-job training and apprenticeship benefits. Recruiters need to understand military benefits. For transitioning military veterans, the benefit program can be very complicated. Everything from the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVER) and many others, make taking advantage of these benefits a very daunting process. Having a recruiter that understands or specializes and well versed in knowing how each can apply to a student applicant and how to best help he or she navigate the submission process is helpful. Active duty, transitional service members and Reserve units may all qualify for additional on-the-job training benefits and stipends. These benefits can cover training, housing and other necessities, which is can add up to an additional $20,000 in income for a transitioning Veteran in their first year working.

Follow through on what you say you are going to do. Veterans are leaving an organization where orders are followed, and plans are executed correctly. Therefore, a recruiter that provides specific details such as a start date and training location are extremely important to veterans. Let Veterans know you want and appreciate them. Veterans are in demand within the trucking industry. If you have Veterans on staff, make introductions to allow them to share their experiences. Allowing for personal interactions that highlight your company’s commitment to hiring Veterans, special programs and opportunities can make a difference. In closing, there are many Do’s and Don’ts when recruiting transitioning military or veterans, but ultimately each person’s needs will be different. My closing advice is a good rule of thumb that all veterans know and that is to be forthright, transparent, and answer all questions as straightforward as possible.


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ADVOCACY IN ACTION CVTA school members showcase driver training programs to members of Congress

BILLS WE’RE WATCHING H.R. 4719 - Addresses CDL skills test delays H.R. 5358 - DRIVE-Safe Act

CVTA reaches out regularly to Congressional offices to arrange visits for members of Congress and/or their staff to provide them a behind the scenes look at how the truck drivers of tomorrow are trained. Over the past few months, CVTA members have welcomed elected officials to visit and meet with students, instructors and staff. Visits included: •

Representative Paul Gosar (RAZ-04) visited Yuma Truck Driving School

Congressman Paul Gosar BTW

(Photo : Yuma Truck Driving School’s Abbe Gore)


Anytime, we have invited a member of Congress to our school in the past, it’s been a great thing. The impact it makes is much greater than a person would think.

Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC-12) visited TransTech’s Charlotte campus

Larry Marsh CVTA Legislative & Regulatory Committee Chairman

Meeting with your elected officials - local, state and federal - is a great way to connect with legislators as a constituent. Developing relationships within your state lays the foundation to be seen as a critical resource on transportation, economic and workforce issues.

H.R. 3889 - WHEEL Act H.R. 6470 - Appropriations for Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, Labor, Health & Human Services S. 1885 - AV START Act S. 3352 - DRIVE-Safe Act H.R. 6167 - Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019

If you are CVTA member school interested in learning how to host an elected official, contact Director of Government Affairs Mark Valentini. What’s Your 20? Congresswoman Alma Adams at TransTech

CVTA Staff and Members of the associations’ Board of Directors meet with FMCSA’s Administrator Ray Martinez


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HILL DAY 2019 Washington, DC February 26-27th

Interstate vs. Intrastate (continued from pg. 3)

Motor carriers in the meeting informed me that “interstate” freight cannot be moved by 18-to-20-year old CDL holders. I naively suggested that hauling freight, within a given state, makes the freight intrastate while it’s being hauled within the state, right? Wrong. I soon realized that I needed to educate myself on what the actual difference between interstate and intrastate commerce means for truck drivers. Here’s what I’ve learned.

What is interstate freight? Interstate freight is defined as freight that is moved between two or more states. However, it also takes into consideration the origination and destination of the freight. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) defines interstate traffic as: • Between a place in a state and a place outside of such state (including a place outside of the United States); • Between two places in a state through another state or a place outside of the United States; and • Between two places in a state as part of trade, traffic, or transportation originating or terminating outside the state or the United States.1 What is intrastate freight? In short, intrastate commerce is anything that is not interstate commerce. This means that to determine the type of freight, you need to consider where the freight originated from and its final destination. “Intrastate commerce is based on where the freight came from and where it’s going, not necessarily on where the driver hauling the freight is located. If you are transporting goods between two companies within the same state, this would be designated as intrastate commerce.2 Where do 18-to-20-year old drivers come in? You may be asking yourself, how do 18-to-20- year old drivers fit into this picture? As mentioned earlier, I naively thought that these drivers could move freight, if they remained in their state of domicile. After learning that these CDL holders could not move any interstate freight, I realized how limiting and restrictive this issue is for carriers and CDL holders within this age group. This limitation is why many support changing the interstate driving age to 18 from the current age requirement of 21. Call to Action: Support 18-to-20-Year Old CDL Legislation When meeting with legislative staffers during CVTA’s annual Hill Day event, regarding the definition of interstate freight, and how 18-to-20year old drivers were precluded from hauling such freight within their state, many staff we spoke to were surprised. In addition, this requirement is a regulation, not a law. The Department of Transportation can amend the regulation through the rule making process and does not require Congress to act. Until such time, and because of the limiting and restrictive regulations that currently exist inhibiting the growth of our industry, and the economy at large, it is vitally important that we support bills such as the Waiving Hindrance to Economic Enterprise and Labor (WHEEL) Act and the DRIVE Safe Act, both of which were introduced in Congress earlier this year. Both bills are seeking to lower the interstate driving age to 18 years old. 1 49 C.F.R.§ 390.5 2 Interstate or Intrastate Freight: Which are You Hauling? Apex Capital Published January 22, 2015, available at

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Amy Bricken, Manager of Client Development, DriverIQ “This is the most welcoming and engaging membership group I have ever worked with. Genuinely interested in new ideas, and members and leaders go the extra mile to make you feel part of the group, so they can learn how you can help them.”

Rich Lineback, VP, Strategic Planning, Higher Learning Technologies, Inc. “It is a great network of people and an organization to be a part of.”

Sonny Meeks, Director, Mississippi Truck Driving School, LLC



When he gets a little older, Tate might be impressed to learn that professional truck drivers deliver the food, supplies, and materials that are the lifeblood of the American economy. But that’s not why he wants to be a driver when he grows up. He wants to drive because he’s proud of his dad. And the feeling is mutual.

#ThankATruckDriver #TruckingPride




We’re really excited about our new website! Our main goal was to continue providing members, and the public, with relevant and timely content, while adding additional features such as a blog and a CVTA Member-Only Job Board.

Announced during GATS, the Mike O’Connell Trucking’s Top Rookie winner and finalists for the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award

TMC Transportation’s Platt Brabner Trucking’s Top Rookie winner & Transition Trucking award finalist

We’ve also updated the Member Portal that includes past conference/ webinar presentations, association governance documents as well as legislative and regulatory information. A part of that goal was to create a site that is concise, streamlined and easy to navigate. Check out the new site at

Transition Trucking finalist Stevens Transport’s Christopher Young


CVTA proudly welcomes the following schools, carriers and associate companies into the association. We’re proud to have them as our newest members. Career Tech Higher Learning Technologies Pilot Flying J


Transition Trucking finalist U.S.Xpress’ Summar Hanks

Transition Trucking finalist Werner Enterprise’s Quinton Ward

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