Combating poverty through CDL career training

Content originally published in the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency Winter 2016 Victories Everyday Newsletter

In 2015 Mayor John Cranley introduced his Hand Up Initiative, a city program designed to lift families out of poverty through job training. As part of this initiative, CAA received a $100,000 grant to establish a new Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) program where participants receive training, certification and assistance finding gainful employment in an industry that is continually growing.

Since July 2015, 13 students have completed the CDL course and another 14 students have begun their training. Ten program graduates have received all of their certifications, are working full-time and are on the path to family-sustaining wages in stable and rewarding careers.

The first class of students boasted many success stories, including those of Tonquata Glover and Malcolm Tennyson. Tonquata is a military veteran, mother of four and caregiver to two nieces. She previously drove a school bus but wanted to advance her career with the new CDL training opportunity with CAA. After completing the program, Tonquata is now a tanker driver for CTL-ComCar Industries earning a minimum of $1,125 per week.

Malcolm Tennyson was previously unemployed and looking for a new career opportunity that would allow him to provide for his four children. After graduating from the program, Malcolm secured a full-time job with MCT Transportation and started at a weekly salary of $875.

Because of the initial success of the CDL Training Program, CAA has received an additional $25,000 from the city to include more students in 2016.