First-ever commercial truck driving curriculum launched; benefits include student loan eligibility, credits toward a logistics degree and internships
INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 5, 2020) Conexus Indiana and Ivy Tech Community College launched today the nation’s first training program for commercial truck drivers that is covered by federal student loans and enhances a graduate’s employability in the increasingly growing trucking industry.
The CDL+ curriculum will be offered beginning January 2021 at five Ivy Tech campuses and is currently enrolling students. An additional eight Ivy Tech locations will offer the course later this year.
Developed by Conexus Indiana in partnership with the Indiana Motor Truck Association (IMTA), Venture Logistics and Ivy Tech, and with an initial grant from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD), the CDL+ program elevates the quality of training for new commercial truck drivers while eliminating the historic financial barriers to entry.
This is the first CDL program that is eligible for federal student loans, which required both state and federal legislation and approval from the U.S. Department of Education. The state of Indiana is also working to ensure CDL+ is eligible for Workforce Ready Grants.
“Shortages of truck drivers have been a pervasive problem for years, and only magnified by COVID-19, which has led to significant increases in online shopping,” said Bryce Carpenter, vice presdent of industry engagement for Conexus Indiana. “In response to this ongoing and growing critical need, Conexus Indiana worked with its network of logistics industry leaders to identify the barriers. It became clear quickly that students were held back by the cost of earning a certificate and that companies spent an inordinate amount of time and money training drivers before they could get to work. The CDL+ program addresses all of these obstacles.”
CDL+ is a 17-credit-hour certificate that can be completed in one semester. Students will have 160 hours of training, which prepares them to become a Class A Commercial Drivers License (CDL) holder. The program includes 121 hours of operating observation, 30 hours of behind-the-wheel skill development, an 8-week internship, an overview of logistics and transportation which includes all types of trucking operations including intermodal processes. There is also a focus on professionalism and customer service.
“Ivy Tech’s core mission is to provide students across the state access to an education that prepares them for a rewarding career,” said Sue Ellspermann, president of Ivy Tech. “With insight from our industry partners, we designed a program that removes financial barriers for students, gives them educational credits for future career development and delivers a work-ready workforce for trucking companies. This is both a huge step forward for Hoosiers who want a career in the logistics industry and our industry partners who are eager to hire qualified drivers.”
Venture Logistics is one of several logistics companies that lent insights and expertise to the development of the curriculum, and is committed to ensuring the success of students who earn a CDL+ certificate.
“Venture Logistics’ support of the CDL+ program is another great example of how trucking professionals in the State of Indiana work together to promote programs that create opportunities for Hoosiers,” said Greg Eddy, president of Venture Logistics. “By using best practices from the safest companies in the industry, we have helped create curriculum for men and woman to launch a new career. We are proud to contribute to the advancement of the logistics industry, and we are proud to support the individuals who are the back bone of America’s supply chain.”
The American Trucking Associations projects the freight volumes are expected to grow 36% over the next decade. Over that same period, the trucking industry will need to hire roughly 1.1 million new drivers to keep up with demand. Additionally, freight movement is a critical component of national supply chains with over 70% of the $650 billion in goods that move through Indiana every day being done so on the state’s highways.
About Conexus Indiana
For more than a decade, Conexus Indiana, one of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) non-profit initiatives, has been positioning the Hoosier State as the best place for advanced manufacturing and logistics industries to invest, employ and succeed. By collaborating with industry, academic and public-sector partners on a shared vision for an innovative, skilled workforce and stronger business climate, Conexus Indiana has helped to create opportunities for advanced manufacturing and logistics companies, prepare Hoosiers to succeed in the state’s largest industry sectors and maintain Indiana’s competitive advantage. For more information, go to www.ConexusIndiana.com.
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering associate degree and short-term certificate programs, and trainings that align to the needs of the community. The College also offers courses and associate degree programs that seamlessly transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a Bachelor’s degree.
About the Indiana Motor Truck Association
The Indiana Motor Truck Association is a highly respected association that strives to serve, represent and promote the interests of the trucking industry by enhancing its image, efficiency and productivity through its focus on safety and advocacy. Founded in 1934, the IMTA has continuously offered safety programs through its Safety & Maintenance Council, including distracted driving education, advocacy at both the state and federal levels, networking opportunities and free consultation for its members. For additional information, visit www.intrucking.org
September 11, 2020
September 13 – 19, 2020, to Be Proclaimed Truck Driver Appreciation Week in Indiana
Monday, September 14, 2020 | 10:30am – 11:30am EST Indiana Statehouse Westside Plaza
The Indiana Motor Truck Association (IMTA) invites you to celebrate Indiana’s professional men and women truck drivers, the bloodlines that move commerce throughout Indiana, the Crossroads of America and across our great nation.
During this event, A Proclamation, signed by Governor Holcomb, will be presented that designates this week as Truck Driver Appreciation Week in Indiana.
This week shines a spotlight on the men and women who keep the heart of this great state and our nation beating by safely and securely delivering the goods and materials Hoosiers need to live their lives and do their jobs day in and day out. Since the pandemic began, professional truck drivers have been classified essential workers. Truth is, the professional truck driver has always been, and will continue to be essential long after the pandemic is over.
Join us to hear from a lineup of Indiana Trucking Industry and transportation professionals who will shine a light on, and give these selfless, unsung, professional men and women truck drivers the gratitude and recognition they are so deserving of. Trucking Moves America Forward!
June 17, 2018 John Griswold Named Indiana Motor Truck Association (IMTA) Truck Driver “Grand Champion”
Indianapolis – John Griswold, Professional Driver with XPO Logistics, was awarded Grand Champion at the 2018 Indiana Truck Driving Championships held on Saturday, June 30, 2018 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. This year 152 drivers from across the state of Indiana competed for the title of Grand Champion. John will be competing in the American Trucking Associations’ National Truck Driving Championships August 15-18, 2018 in Columbus, OH along with 450 top professional drivers from across the United States.
John has achieved over five million lifetime safe driving miles during his 41 years of driving. He has competed in the IMTA’s Truck Driving Championships 20 times and this year makes his fourth 1st place wins in his competing classes. This is his first year as Grand Champion.
John resides in Zionsville, IN and is married to Theresia. They have three children, Bryan, Andrew and Aaron.
The Indiana Truck Driving Championships is a competition of professional truck drivers hosted each year by the Indiana Motor Truck Association’s Safety and Maintenance Council. There are nine classes of competition, all of which include course driving tests that require intricate and precise maneuvers. The drivers are judged based on driving skills within specific time constraints. The course problems are designed to simulate conditions encountered in actual truck operations on the streets and highways. In addition to driving skills, each driver performs a pre-trip inspection of equipment and is also graded on a written test which includes questions related to safety rules and regulations of the trucking industry.
June 17, 2018 Mike Clark Named Indiana Motor Truck Association (IMTA) Technician “Grand Champion”
Indianapolis – Mike Clark, Travel Centers of American (TA) Lake Station, Indiana, was awarded Grand Champion at the 2018 Indiana Technician Championships held on June 30, 2018 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. This is Mike’s third consecutive year of competing. This year, 28 technicians competed for the title of Grand Champion. Mike will be competing in American Trucking Association’s Technology & Maintenance Council’s National Technician Skills Competition September 16-20, 2018 in Orlando, FL.
Mike has been a diesel technician for 4 ½ years and is a Master and L2 certified technician. Mike’s father, Joe Clark, is also a diesel technician and has competed in both Indiana and Nationals in the past. Mike resides in Northwestern, Indiana with his wife Belle.
The Indiana Technician Championships is a competition of professional technicians hosted each year by the association’s Safety and Maintenance Council. The competition features a written test followed by eight hands-on skills challenges that include PMI, Engines, Tires & Wheels, Service Information, Fasteners, Electrical, Brakes, and Ohm/Volt.
November 10, 2017 New ATRI Research Provides Clear Guidance on Infrastructure Investment Indianapolis, IN - The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today released its assessment of the nation’s transportation investment options. The report entitled A Framework for Infrastructure Funding concludes that the only meaningful mechanism for attaining the administration’s vision for a large-scale infrastructure program is through a federal fuel tax increase. The inefficiency of other mechanisms, including mileage-based user fees and increased tolling, will fall far short of the needed revenue stream without placing undue hardship on system users.
In addition, ATRI’s research documents that a federal fuel tax increase will incentivize states like Indiana to generate multi-million dollar matches to the new federal funds, ultimately moving the United States closer to the infrastructure investment goals proposed by both Congress and the President.
“ATRI’s study makes a clear case for increasing the federal fuel tax as the most efficient means for delivering transportation infrastructure revenue,” said Philip Hammel, COO at Carter Logistics LLC. “But just as critical for Indiana is the associated job growth – projected to be 11,387 jobs – that would result from increased federal and state infrastructure spending.”
“The trucking industry in Indiana already employs more than 195,990 people. We are happy to contribute to the highway trust fund to ensure that good roads...and good jobs continue to support the Indiana economy,” said Eli McCormick, President & Chief Executive Officer at Bestway Express, Inc.
The report further documents the consequences of continuing with the “do-nothing” option. The federal fuel tax has not been raised in more than two decades, resulting in significant costs to system users, particularly the trucking industry. While the trucking industry contributes more than $18 billion in federal user fees each year, growing traffic congestion and freight bottlenecks now cost the industry more than $63 billion annually. The report also indicates that growth of e-commerce will likely slow as freight deliveries fail to meet the real-time demands of U.S. consumers.
Other key ATRI findings and recommendations include: • A newly created federal vehicle registration fee would be the most efficient mechanism to fill funding gaps associated with electric vehicle use. These fees could be seamlessly implemented using the same systems as those successfully used to collect state registration fees.
• A bureaucracy as large as the IRS would be required to collect, manage and enforce a national vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax on the more than 250 million vehicles registered in the U.S. Additionally, mileage tax evasion would likely skyrocket under a program that can’t “see” non-paying users.
• The practice of road tolling continues to be an expensive proposition for collecting highway funds. While several toll systems slightly improved their administrative efficiency, the majority of toll systems spend more than ten cents of every dollar collected on administrative activities. Many systems are losing money, and almost all privatized toll roads in the U.S. have filed bankruptcy. Finally, ATRI’s analysis found that many toll authorities have modified their public financial statements to increase complexity and decrease transparency of revenue management – which ultimately masks the inefficiency of toll roads.
• In terms of secondary benefits from a fuel tax focus, ATRI’s findings suggest that every U.S. state would experience significant employment gains as a result of a 10 or 20 cent federal fuel tax increase. In total, states would receive between $15 billion and $30 billion or more annually through a federal fuel tax increase; nearly half a million jobs could be created nationwide with a 20 cent federal fuel tax increase.
• According to the literature and public polling data, American tax payers prefer a federal fuel tax over other funding mechanisms when the revenue is dedicated to transportation infrastructure.
You can download the full report from ATRI”s website at www.truckingresearch.org. ATRI is the trucking industry's 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation's essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.
August 23, 2017
The Indiana state legislature approved diesel fuel tax increases during the 2017 session. Those increases became effective July 1. The IFTA tables had not yet been updated on July 1st which presented an inaccurate picture of Indiana Refundable Taxes compared to surrounding states, negatively affecting fuel purchases in Indiana.
The tables have been updated and an accurate picture is now available. The summary below will help to clarify the current situation.
Please share as appropriate.
Indiana Fuel Tax Changes: Executive Summary
On July 1, 2017, the state of Indiana implemented a new diesel fuel tax program.
The essence of the program was to combine three existing taxes, plus provide for a $0.10 per gallon increase on both special fuel (diesel) and the diesel surcharge for a total of a $.20/gallon increase.
The net effect of this change was to increase the taxes at the pump by $0.31 - to a total of $0.47. This is a combination of:
Existing tax/Special fuel - $0.16 (previously only tax collected at the pump)
IFTA Surcharge - $0.11 (previously existed but not on the pump prior to July 1)
Special Fuel(diesel) tax increase of $0.10 effective July 1
Diesel Surcharge tax increase of 0.10 effective July 1 $0.47 total tax at the pump
At the same time, Indiana changed its Refundable Tax from $0.16 to $0.47 - thereby making this a cost neutral tax relative to surrounding states.
The change occurred so late in June that Indiana was unable to get the changes to IFTA in time to be displayed properly in the IFTA tables. This sent confusion through the trucking community as the pump price had gone up in response to the new taxes by $0.31, but the tax in IFTA remained the same, including the Refundable Tax at $0.16.
Many carriers elected to buy fuel in neighboring states due to the confusion of the tax implementation. Officials from the state of Indiana recognized the problem and responded by getting the corrected taxes to IFTA in early August.
Now the Indiana tax and the IFTA tax tables are aligned.
Indiana remains an attractive state to purchase diesel fuel. Motor carriers need to ensure that they are now correctly accounting for the new tax as well as the new Refundable tax in their fuel buying decision making process.
The table below illustrates how much more the Indiana Refundable Taxes provides compared to Refundable Taxes in surrounding state. After removing the Refundable Tax from the price, Indiana compares quite favorably with the surrounding states:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 9, 2017
Eric Fuqua Named Indiana Motor Truck Association (IMTA) Truck Driver “Grand Champion”
Indianapolis – Eric Fuqua, Professional Driver with FedEx Ground, was awarded Grand Champion at the 2017 Indiana Truck Driving Championships held on June 3, 2017 at Lincoln College of Technology. This year 163 drivers competed for the title of Grand Champion. Eric will be competing in the American Trucking Associations’ National Truck Driving Championships August 9-12, 2017 in Orlando, Florida along with 450 top professional drivers from across the United States.
Eric has achieved over one million lifetime safe driving miles during his 39 years in the trucking industry. He has competed in the IMTA’s Truck Driving Championships 10 times previously; this is his first Grand Champion award. Eric resides in Zionsville, IN and has three children, Eric Jr, Sean, and Nathan. The Indiana Truck Driving Championships is a competition of professional truck drivers hosted each year by the Indiana Motor Truck Association’s Safety and Maintenance Council. There are nine classes of competition, all of which include course driving tests that require intricate and precise maneuvers. The drivers are judged based on driving skills within specific time constraints. The course problems are designed to simulate conditions encountered in actual truck operations on the streets and highways. In addition to driving skills, each driver is graded on a written test which includes questions related to safety rules and regulations of the trucking industry.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 9, 2017
Henry Totten Named Indiana Motor Truck Association (IMTA) Technician “Grand Champion”
Indianapolis – Henry Totten, Wiers International was awarded Grand Champion at the 2017 Indiana Technician Championships held on June 3, 2017 at Lincoln College of Technology. This is back to back Grand Champion titles for Henry. This year 39 technicians competed for the title of Grand Champion. Henry will be competing in American Trucking Association’s Technology & Maintenance Council’s National Technician Skills Competition September 16-19, 2017 in Orlando, FL.
Henry has been a technician for over fifteen years. He has spent the last 11 years with the Wiers organization, and is currently a Senior Technician. He resides in Monticello, Indiana with his wife Lindsey, and four sons.
The Indiana Technician Championships is a competition of professional technicians hosted each year by the association’s Safety and Maintenance Council. The competition features a written test followed by nine hands-on skills challenges that include PMI, Engines, Tires & Wheels, Service Information, Fasteners, Electrical, Brakes, Ohm/Volt, and Fifth Wheel.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 10, 2017
IndyFoodDrop.org launches with help from four of the city’s largest food hunger-relief agencies in an effort to save food and help feed hungry Hoosiers
Indianapolis – Midwest Food Bank along with three other of Indianapolis’ largest hunger-relief agencies collaborated on the launch of a new website, IndyFoodDrop.org, designed to help the trucking industry redirect any rejected food by local grocers and distributors from going into dumpsters and landfills, into the hands of people in need. By harnessing the power, people and resources of Midwest Food Bank, Gleaners Food Bank, Second Helpings and St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, truck drivers and brokers now have an easy way to get any rejected food items unloaded so they can get their trucks back on the road quickly – all while helping hundreds of families in need. The agencies partnered with the Indiana Motor Truck Association on this new initiative.
John Whitaker, executive director of Midwest Food Bank in Indianapolis, acknowledged the food is still fit for human consumption, just not for sale.
“We know there are times when food is rejected by the food distribution channel due to improper food temperature of the truck, shifted or damaged boxes during transport, or bruising and browning of produce, yet it is still edible and nutritious,” said Whitaker. “When that happens it’s easier to head to the dumpster, throw away the food and get back on the road. Our goal is to mobilize the resources within the four partnering organizations to quickly and efficiently transfer food that may have otherwise been thrown away into the food recovery system.”
IndyFoodDrop.org clearly and succinctly provides drivers with access and information to change their food disposal process. Rather than dumping rejected food, drivers can now head to one of the four food hunger-relief agencies where they will receive help unloading their truck, a tax-deductible receipt and the benefit of knowing they are helping the hungry through a coordinated food recovery effort.
“This is a natural partnership for us to help get the word out about this website to our industry, and a great opportunity for the Indiana Motor Truck Association (IMTA) to make a difference in the fight against hunger,” said Barb Hunt, vice president, IMTA. “To know nutritious food that might otherwise get thrown away is in turn helping feed the hungry is truly rewarding.”
The Indiana Motor Truck Association is a highly respected association that strives to serve, represent and promote the interests of the trucking industry by enhancing its image, efficiency and productivity through its focus on safety and advocacy. Founded in 1934, the IMTA has continuously offered safety programs through its Safety & Maintenance Council, including distracted driving education, advocacy at both the state and federal levels, networking opportunities and free consultation for its member. For additional information, visit www.intrucking.org