Unemployed Grants For CDL Training

unemployed grants for cdl training
Image by Freepik

Well, there are unemployed grants for CDL training. There are two common initiatives that assist unemployed individuals. The first is the WIOA Program Agency, which assists in the training of those who have been laid off, have been affected by natural disasters, or have otherwise lost their work. The second one is the Vocational Rehabilitation CDL Driver Programs, which assist those who have been unemployed, particularly if they have been wounded and are unable to work in their present or prior position. Here’s all you need to know about unemployed grants for CDL training.

What Is CDL Training?

The term CDL refers to a commercial driver’s license. This is the certification you receive after completing commercial driving license training and passing the required knowledge and road exams.

CDL training is a highly competitive business, and as such, most CDL or prospective CDL recognize that the process of obtaining a CDL certification is not free. However, if you can look past the cost, you can change your career path, advance through the ranks to establish your own trucking firm, or start your own third-party tracking services.

Unemployed Grants for CDL Training

#1. WIOA Grants

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) gives qualified candidates a government grant to help them take classes, enhance their skills, and find stable employment. You may be eligible for a WIOA grant if you need money to pay for CDL training.

The funding pays for adult education and training programs that help people get commercial driver’s licenses.

WIOA offers assistance and solutions to job seekers, enterprises, and municipal workforce development boards in emerging economies. Initiatives, assistance, and governance structures are coordinated to provide job seekers and company owners with easy access to high-quality services. 

WIOA CDL training grants include the following:

WIOA’s Adult & Youth Program Grants

WIOA also gives grants to states for employment and training programs. The Adult Program and the Youth Program, two of these grants, can help cover CDL training for unemployed adults.

The Adult Programme assists adults 18 and older who are unemployed or underemployed. It offers career services such as skill evaluations, résumé assistance, and job referrals. It also provides funding for training in high-demand industries such as commercial driving. You must meet income standards and may be unemployed to apply.

The Youth Program assists people aged 14 to 24 who are facing employment or educational difficulties. It provides tutoring, work experience, and occupational skills training for careers that have room for advancement. CDL training is an approved activity, and grants may be available to pay expenses such as tuition and fees, books, materials, and so on.

WIOA’s Dislocated Worker Grants

WIOA funds displaced worker programs, which assist persons who have lost their occupations. Dislocated worker grants might assist pay for CDL training and licensing fees.

To be eligible, you must be unemployed owing to circumstances beyond your control, such as a downsizing or shutdown. You may also be eligible if you are underemployed, about to be laid off, or have obsolete skills.

WIOA grants pay for truck driving schools and CDL programs’ training costs. Tuition, books, materials, tools, tests, and certification costs are all included. Some localities may grant cash for training-related living expenses, transportation, and childcare.

WIOA’s Disaster Relief and Emergency Relief (DRER) Grant

The Disaster Relief and Emergency Relief grant provided by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) offers funds for employment and training initiatives for those who have been made unemployed as a result of catastrophes.

If you have lost your employment due to natural disasters, floods, or public health situations (such as COVID-19), this award may help you pay for CDL training.

Indian and Native American Grant

As an Indian or Native American, you have access to community grants. The Indian WIOA program provides job and training assistance to Native Americans and Alaska Natives who are unemployed or have a low income. To assist with specialized skills and training, such as obtaining a commercial driver’s license, the program offers grants.

#2. Pell grants

CDL training can be covered by Pell grants. To do so, start by looking for CDL training programs that go longer than two weeks. Although a 9-week program may not qualify you for a Pell award, a 24-week program with a residence program may.

Instead of attending a trucking school, you could try enrolling in studies at a local community college. In addition, folks from low-income families may be eligible for financial aid to cover the cost of CDL training. It is worth noting that the greater your financial needs, the more likely you are to be eligible for a Pell grant.


You must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a Pell grant:

  • Meet the threshold for a low income. Your eligibility and grant amount are determined by the government based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is a measure of your family’s ability to pay for college expenses. It is important to note that the lower your EFC, the more pell grants you are eligible for. For the academic year 2023-2023, the most generous Pell grant is $6,895.
  • You must be a US citizen or an eligible immigrant to apply.
  • Take part in a reputable program.
  • You must not have a previous default on a Federal Direct Student Loan or PLUS loan.
  • Display your valid social security card.
  • Get your high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA.

How to Apply

Before applying, discover a truck driving school that accepts Pell Grants; nonetheless, many CDL educational institutions accept Pell Grants. You would need to fill out paperwork and supply supporting documentation, such as bank statements and pay stubs.

This is as simple as completing an FAFSA form and waiting for a response. You will soon discover how much you are eligible for in Pell grants. Knowing how much money you have can help you choose the best trucking school and training for your needs. Pell grants are given to students based on their financial circumstances.

#3. Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Grants

This is a government-sponsored grant program that provides work opportunities and support, as well as CDL training grants, to persons who have become unemployed as a result of international trade activities, growing imports, or offshore outsourcing. If you qualify, you may be able to utilize the TAA grant to pay for all or part of your commercial driver’s license.

You can also use your TAA Career Planner to establish a training plan. It is their obligation to help anyone choose the right training for their talents, preferences, and experiences. To expedite the process of being accepted into a training program, make sure you are willing to share your career goals to your TAA Career Planner.


You must meet the following prerequisites to be eligible for training:

  • Can start training immediately.
  • Meet your training authorization deadline of 26 weeks (about six months) from the date of your layoff or the date of your company’s TAA certification from the US Department of Labor.
  • To waive this requirement, you must enroll in training or receive a waiver from your TAA Career Planner.

How to Apply

Please check with the school to see if such classes are available at your local truck driving school. TAA benefits can be obtained by contacting your local job center.

#4. VA Education and Training Benefits program

This initiative offers grants and job placement aid to men and women, as well as their partners, in areas critical to the country’s economic progress. Truck drivers are an important workforce that contributes to the nation’s supply chain; veterans and service members will be eligible for grants to assist pay for CDL training.

For military veterans, especially military drivers, truck driving is an instinctive professional choice. Veterans who have driven military vehicles may be eligible for a CDL skills test waiver, which allows them to avoid completing the skills test required for a commercial driver’s license.


As a disabled veteran, you can receive counseling, training, education, and job placement support from the Veteran’s Administration.

To be eligible and apply, you must have served actively for at least 90 days. Alternatively, you must be a retired veteran or a service member who was dismissed from active duty after 30 days due to a service-connected disability.

How to Apply

Most of the previously mentioned programs have further information available on the Department of Veterans Affairs website or the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration website. For additional information on the programs available, contact the tuition assistance office at your driving school.

#5. SNAP Employment and Training Grant

Employment and training programs, such as SNAP Employment and Training, aim to help SNAP recipients improve their job prospects and become self-sufficient. The USDA provides around $300 million per year to state governments to help them administer their SNAP E&T programs.


You must be receiving SNAP rather than TANF cash assistance to be eligible for SNAP E&T services. You must be capable of working. Your state’s E&T program will also determine your SNAP E&T requirements. In some states, you may be required to participate in SNAP E&T to obtain SNAP.

How to Apply

Check with your local workforce development office to determine if you are eligible for a free truck driver training program.

#6. State Grants

Some states provide grants that can be used to pay for CDL training. Such programs are available to help individuals gain skills that will lead to more secure jobs.

Kentucky residents who have begun working in agriculture in the last two years, for example, may be eligible for the Kentucky Farmworkers grant. This program is intended to assist Kentucky people in obtaining more stable, well-paying jobs. CDL grants are also available in Missouri through the SkillUp program, which will assist with the cost of CDL training.


This depends on your state and local legislation. As a result, make sure to check with the relevant state agency.

How to apply

Check with your state or local workforce development office to determine if you are eligible for a free truck driver training program.

Where Can You Get Free CDL Training for Unemployed?

Depending on government financing, local employment market conditions, and specific training providers, the availability of free CDL training programs can vary. Check with your state workforce agency or a career center in your area for suitable programs.

  • Workforce Development Boards at the State and Local Levels
  • Technical and community colleges
  • Associations of Industry and Trade Organizations
  • Private Trucking Enterprises
  • Programs for Unemployment Compensation

Does Unemployment pay for CDL Training in NJ?

Most unemployment offices will pay for your CDL training in full. Even if you have a job, you may be eligible for financial support. If you are currently employed but have a low income, there are government grants available to help you meet your educational expenses.

Which State Pays the Best for CDL Drivers?

Truck Drivers Make the Most Money Here. Washington, D.C. and Alaska pay the most for truck drivers, followed by Washington state and New Jersey. However, the District of Columbia and Alaska had 620 and 3,020 drivers, respectively, compared to 34,510 and 44,800 in Washington state and New Jersey.


If you’ve done your research and found no CDL employers that pay for CDL training, then applying for CDL training grants is your next and best alternative. The grant application process is simple and asks you to demonstrate that you are serious about pursuing CDL training.

You could spend time exploring, researching, locating, and applying for these grants, but they are few and few between. As a result, you might have to spend a lot of time looking. A better way to obtain these grants is to arrange a consultation with a grant professional who can assist you in locating, applying for, and following up on CDL grant applications.

  1. WHAT IS A GRANT: Best 2023 Guide and US Practices
  2. Pell Grant Income Limits: 2023 Best Practices & All You Need
  3. Grant Management Software: Top 10 Options For Nonprofits
  4. Minnesota Unemployment: A complete Guide on How to Apply, Insurance, and Benefits


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like