New law lowers the age requirement for a class A license

The trucking industry is one of those suffering from labor shortages. A new bill enacted by Governor Hochul aims to make it easier to attract and train new drivers.

State Senator Pam Helming announced that the bill will now allow young people between the ages of 18 and 20 to obtain a Class A commercial driver’s license to operate semi-trailers.

According to the American Trucking Associations, the US trucking industry faces a shortage of about 80,000 drivers. Previous state law allowed young people between the ages of 18 and 20 to obtain a Class B commercial driver’s license. A Class A commercial driver’s license allows drivers to drive larger trucks such as semi-trailers. .

Senator Helming said, “Our trucking industry literally keeps our economy moving. It is used by virtually every other industry, be it manufacturing, agriculture, foodservice, or retail. I was proud to help defend this bill to support our local trucking companies and help them recruit more truck drivers for high paying and reliable careers. Connecting young people with career opportunities like this is a key part of our workforce development efforts. Thank you to Wadhams Enterprises and Leonard’s Express for their leadership and advocacy for this state law change, and for their continued investment in our region and state.

The new state law also includes safety provisions such as 300 additional hours of driving training.

Ken Johnson, CEO of Leonard’s Express Inc. said: “Leonard’s Express and the Canandaigua Driving School are delighted and delighted that drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 can now obtain their Class A commercial driver’s license thanks to newly signed legislation. This law offers these young men and women the opportunity to join our industry at a younger age and build careers that offer wages and benefits. The legislation is drafted in such a way that these young drivers receive the appropriate training to operate their vehicles safely and gain valuable experience from older drivers. We sincerely appreciate Senator Helming’s support for this bill.

Tom Mulvaney, Director of Corporate Recruitment, Wadhams Enterprises said, “As a corporate recruiter, I have seen first-hand the challenges of encouraging students to consider a career as a professional truck driver when they can only begin their training at the age of 21. Most would seek different careers. The adoption of this law now provides for a career path after graduation from high school. Important to trucking, it balances workforce development and safety needs, requiring the completion of a vigorous training and certification program before students are eligible to obtain their commercial driver’s license. . As a trucking company with multiple locations in New York State, we applaud the passage of this important legislation. “

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Milton S. Rodgers