DES MOINES, Iowa — On Thursday, Governor Kim Reynolds announced a grant of more than $4 million to help individuals obtain commercial driver’s licenses.

According to a release from the office of the governor, the Iowa CDL INfrastructure Grant program will award $4,844,092 to 10 community colleges in Iowa. The funds go towards building new facilities or adding onto existing ones, as well as purchasing new equipment.

The release states that the investment in CDL programs will help colleges support an increase of 1,305 participants in their annual class size.

“The pathway to finding a job as a truck driver, one of our most-needed occupations, runs through getting a CDL license,” said Reynolds, “It’s important that we do everything we can to not only make it easier for individuals to obtain these licenses but also to support the long-term viability of the programs that made it possible to gain that experience right here in Iowa.”

The release specified that the grants will be administered as reimbursement and programs must offer competency-based training or a training course that will allow a student to complete training and take the licensing exam within a 30-day window. Additionally, colleges that are part of the program will have agreed to a five-year tuition freeze for their CDL programs once the project from the award is complete.

“Increasing the CDL pipeline is crucial to sustaining and improving our economy,” Executive Director of Iowa Workforce Development Beth Townsend said, “We are chronically short of drivers and Governor Reynolds’ continued investment in our community colleges should help accomplish this goal. This investment today will also give Iowa employers a leg up in recruiting more individuals in our state who have a CDL and are workforce ready.”