Oregon Truck Driver Tuition Loan Program
The nationally recognized driver shortage has the potential to be one of the greatest threats to the trucking industry and has the potential to impact all other industries served by trucking. Oregon’s solution has been to motivate interest and opportunity in our industry by providing loans of up to $3000 to help new drivers cover some of the cost of training through the Oregon Truck Driver Loan Program. This revolving loan program was established through the Oregon Legislature and originally funded with a $386,000 grant. Interest in the program has been strong, and there was a need to add additional funding due to the slow loan repayment schedule. The 2016 Legislature granted an additional $250,000 to the program in recognition of the driver need and certified schools now have an opportunity to help these potential students receive loans through the program. As these loans are repaid, on-going loans will become available beyond the original principal. Worksystems, Inc. is the fiscal agent, and OTA manages the program.
Statewide collaboration - truck driving schools
All the active truck driving schools in Oregon participate in this program. This includes all the private trade schools; IITR, Western Pacific, and Elite truck schools as well as the truck schools offered through our community college systems. Several other community colleges have partnered with IITR to provide truck driver training in their local areas.
As part of this process, all the schools are now recognized as Professional Truck Driver Certified schools with Certified Trainers and Master Trainers, as well as updated curriculum and assessments. All the schools retain their unique qualities while assuring consistent learning objectives and assessment of skills and knowledge.
In addition, Clackamas Community College offers week-long sessions of “Train the Trainer” with Jennifer Webster which certifies trainers in training delivery skills and use of the Professional Truck Driver Certificate Curriculum. Carrier trainers may also participate in the Train the Trainer classes.
Designing the truck driver training loan program
This statewide loan program has a seemingly simple mission: help pay the tuition for truck driving school so that trucking companies hire more trained truck drivers. However, this involves many diverse stakeholders: several very autonomous truck driving schools, local WorkSource centers across the state, community colleges, Worksystems, Inc., and a loan servicing center. OTA’s mission is to help get word out about this program to help our members find the qualified drivers they need!
Students can apply for the Oregon Truck Driver Loan Program through their local truck driving school. Feel free to contact us with any questions about the program.