Feb 22, 2022 - News

Iowa offers refugees free commercial driver's license classes

Illustration of a tractor trailer wearing a mortarboard.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Refugees in Iowa are being offered free commercial driver's license (CDL) classes under a new program launched this month, a spokesperson for Iowa's Department of Human Services (DHS) told Axios.

Why it matters: It could be a win/win. Demand for drivers is at an all-time high across the U.S. and Iowa.

  • Meanwhile, hundreds of Afghan refugees have settled in the state, and many are seeking employment.

Plus: Some of them supported American military logistics operations in Afghanistan, experience that lends well to the trucking industry, DHS spokesperson Alex Carfrae said.

Details: DHS' Bureau of Refugee Services has partnered with the Des Moines Area Community College Transportation Institute on the new program.

  • The institute helps many of its students line up employment before they graduate.
  • The initial class will begin in April and be capped at around 30 people, according to Mak Suceska, bureau chief of the Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services.

What's next: A referral and application process is ongoing.

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