Northam announces new partnership for commercial driver testing
Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday the FastForward CDL Passway Program, a partnership of the Virginia DMV and the Virginia Community College System to increase opportunities for Virginians to access commercial driver credentialing services.
“One of my highest priorities as governor is ensuring that every region, every community, and every Virginian has an opportunity to participate in the Commonwealth’s economic progress,” said Northam. “This new partnership will build on our continued efforts to expand affordable, accessible higher education options and will help meet the needs of a growing number of Virginia businesses looking for skilled commercial drivers.”
Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training offerings are being expanded significantly across the Commonwealth through the VCCS FastForward program. Community college students seeking a CDL will be able to complete the entire credentialing process at a designated Virginia community college without having to visit a DMV office. Participating colleges are being certified by DMV to administer third-party testing. Students will take classroom and in-vehicle skills training and obtain both the CDL learner’s permit and license on site at participating community college campus locations statewide. DMV is utilizing its web-based SecuriTest remote knowledge testing system and mobile operations programs to enable CDL testing and credentialing at schools.
“Expanding the availability of CDL skills testing services across the Commonwealth creates greater access to jobs and economic opportunity,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “The FastForward program addresses a current shortage of commercial vehicle drivers while also reducing wait times for all Virginians at DMV Customer Service Centers.”
“Expanding CDL training through our successful FastForward workforce training programs makes sense,” said Secretary of Education Atif Qarni. “FastForward has enabled Virginians to earn more than 16,000 industry-recognized credentials to advance their careers. We anticipate that this collaboration will get more trained and qualified truckers on the job sooner.”
“This creative partnership is a wonderful example of effective collaboration between state agencies,” said Chief Workforce Development Advisor Megan Healy. “By leveraging existing VCCS and DMV programs and services, the FastForward program is expanding the availability of CDL skill testing services across the state.”
The first VCCS participants in the program include the Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, Piedmont Community College in Charlottesville, and Wytheville Community College.
“Thanks to FastForward, thousands of our fellow Virginians have been able to secure new jobs and career promotions in a matter of weeks and months, not semesters and years,” saidGlenn DuBois, Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System. “In the process, many of these newly-empowered workers are enjoying healthy wage hikes and benefits, and Virginia businesses are finding more of the skilled workers they need.”
“Leveraging DMV’s technology and programs and incorporating them into the VCCS network is a model for the nation,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb.
For more information about the FastForward program, visit www.fastforwardva.org.