SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — With the U.S. truck driver shortage at an all-time high, the Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) is excited to announce the release of a new scholarship program for applicants seeking to obtain or renew their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Illinois.
“A common issue pork producers continue to talk about is the difficulty they face in finding and retaining good labor both on farm and transportation support,” states Thomas Titus, IPPA President. “Now, more than ever, it is our association’s goal to help producers support and retain their employees. Additionally, we want to recruit the next generation of pork industry advocates.”
The CDL Class Scholarship is available for individuals looking to renew or acquire a CDL in Illinois. To qualify for the $1,000 scholarship, applicants must have a valid Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) certification or sign up for the class and they must also show proof that they haul pigs or feed for a producer located in Illinois.
In addition to labor shortages impacting all employment sectors, the new stricter federal CDL requirements that were implemented on February 7, now requires entry-level drivers must successfully complete a prescribed program on theory and behind-the-wheel instruction all prior to taking the CDL test. These additional requirements could also make an applicant’s overall costs increase. The goal of the scholarship program is to help incentivize more candidates to consider a career in trucking to help Illinois pork producers haul their livestock.
— Illinois Pork Producers Association