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Government/Politics

Bills Backed By Industry Seek To Put The Brakes On Truck Driver Shortage In Ohio

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Karen Kasler
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Sen. Cliff Hite (R-Findlay), Rep. Robert Sprague (R-Findlay), Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) and Rep. Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) are among the backers of these bills.

The trucking industry says there’s been a driver shortage for two decades – and that there could be 175,000 unfilled trucker jobs in the next seven years.  A bipartisan group of lawmakers have proposed a package of bills that seeks to put the brakes on that.

One bill would create a $5 million scholarship fund for students to attend trucking schools. Another would streamline the conversion from military to commercial drivers licenses. A third would change insurance rules to allow more 18-24 year olds to become drivers. And the fourth would start a $3 million tax credit program for job training at trucking companies. Republican Sen. Cliff Hite of Findlay is among the sponsors.

“This is a huge opportunity for the state of Ohio. We have the job openings, 8-9 thousand job openings.”

The Republican and Democratic sponsors say in spite of the advances in logistics technology, there is still a need for drivers to move things to their final destinations.

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