The Teamsters Safety and Health Department has been awarded a $4.6 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor to establish apprenticeship programs for trucking industry workers. The grant will be awarded over a five-year span.

"We have wanted to focus on training of apprentices for some time, and this award will allow us to do just that," said Lamont Byrd, director of the Teamsters Safety and Health Department. “Many young people just starting their careers need professional training and guidance – both of which will be available through the qualified Teamster instructors who will implement the program."

The Labor Department published the funding opportunity notice in the fall of 2014 as part of an effort to develop a trained workforce in industries deemed critical to the U.S. economy that have a demand for or shortage of qualified workers.

The notice stipulated that lead applicants must qualify as 501 (c)5 non-profit organizations and have partners including at least three employers from the following companies:

  • ABC Moving Services
  • ABF Freight
  • DiSilva Transportation
  • National Retail Systems

Grant funding must also be used to develop instructors and provide training to recent high school graduates, Teamster members transitioning from non-driving to commercial driving jobs and military personnel. Student recruitment will be conducted at high schools and vocational schools, community-based organizations, Teamsters Local Unions and military bases.