State Reps. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) and Robert Sprague (R-Findlay) recently introduced legislation aimed at increasing on-the-job training opportunities for Ohioans pursuing a career in truck driving. 

House Bill 155 would provide tax credits to trucking companies that offer training programs for individuals interested in starting a career in the industry. Employers would be eligible for up to a 50 percent match of up to $50,000 in annual tax credits, and the total annual statewide tax credit would be limited to $3,000,000 per year. Facilitated through the Ohio Development Services Agency, the program provides an opportunity for companies to have the necessary resources to train new employees, fill in-demand jobs, and address the country’s severe and growing shortage of qualified drivers. 

“House Bill 155 provides business owners with an incentive to provide real job training opportunities that will connect Ohioans who are unemployed or underemployed to real jobs today,” said Howse. “This investment from the state of Ohio will be another step to help families break the cycle of poverty.”

 The legislation, which has received the support of the Ohio Trucking Association, is part of a package of bills aimed at increasing the number of truck drivers in the industry, which has decreased in recent years. Other bills work to relieve the cost burden of CDL training for students, examine ways to better insure young drivers, and streamline CDL licensing conversions for military veterans.

 “Ohio has a strategic advantage when it comes to logistics. It’s something that you cannot replicate,” said Sprague. “House Bill 155 will assist Ohioans in obtaining the proper training, helping them increase their income and provide for their families.” 

These proposed efforts could increase employment in the trucking industry by 8,000 individuals, filling transportation job openings that exist throughout the state. 

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