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6 Best Unemployment Grants for CDL Training

Yes. There are grants available for prospective truck drivers who are looking for unemployment benefits for CDL training. There has been much demand for competent truck drivers in America, and the pandemic outbreak has accelerated this demand.

There are insufficient truck drivers to occupy available positions. Owing to the growing market for CDL drivers, drivers’ pay has increased, and the number of grants available for CDL training programs has also increased. The trucking industry is so important now that the federal government has stepped in to fix truck driver agitation in the sector.

Owing to the high truck driver turnover, CDL school financing was and still is plentiful. With the government getting involved in improving the supply chain, the requirements for becoming a truck driver will be minimized, as financial support, training programs, and reimbursement for truck drivers will be augmented.

What is CDL Training?

It is important to start with what exactly is CDL training? CDL stands for commercial driving license. This is the licensing that you get when you have successfully gone through the commercial driving license training and have been certified as having passed the required knowledge and road tests required to be certified.

CDL training is a very competitive venture, and as such, most CDL or intending CDL understand that the process of getting a CDL certification comes at a cost. However, if you can look past this cost, you can make a difference in your employment options, rise through the ranks to have an owner-operated trucking company, or start your own third-party tracking services.

Therefore, investing in CDL training is one that is definitely worth the investment of time and commitment that goes into getting that highly valuable CDL training certification. Since, being unemployed may hamper the chances of getting your CDL training dream a reality, taking your time to apply for grants can be the next best thing to accomplishing your CDL training plans.

The good thing about starting the CDL training is the fact that you have options for grant funding. What is required is that you know exactly how to go about the grants that you seek, so you can get the funds for your CDL training. Grant funding generally comes with a set of expectations, or more appropriately, a set of eligibility criteria that an applicant has to meet to be able to apply for these CDL training grants.

As an individual who may be going through financial challenges, but are interested in getting a CDL license, there are available unemployment grants for CDL training that they can access online. Having diverse funding opportunities to help you start the CDL training can make all the difference when it comes to starting the journey to getting their CDL license.

6 Available Unemployment Grants for CDL Training

  1. WIOA Funding

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provides qualified candidates with a government grant to take classes, develop their skills, and find steady employment. If you need money to pay for CDL training, you could be qualified for a WIOA grant.

The grant funds adult education and training programs that assist individuals in obtaining their commercial driver’s licenses.

WIOA gives support and also provides solutions for job seekers, businesses, and local workforce development boards that are affiliated with emerging markets. Initiatives, assistance, and governance structures are orchestrated to offer job applicants and business owners streamlined access to outstanding services. The following are WIOA CDL training grants that are available:

  • Unemployment grants for CDL training
  • Dislocated Worker Program grant
  • Disaster Relief and Emergency Relief (DRER) grant
  • Adult program grant
  • Youth program grants
  • Indian and Native American grant
  • National Farmworker Jobs program
  • Reentry Employment program

The requirements will vary depending on the type of WIOA grant you wish to apply for. You should contact your local workforce development office to determine whether you meet the criteria for any of the grants listed above.

How to Apply

Go to your local workforce development office to apply for any of the above grants. Once your grant application is approved, you will have to locate a trucking school that engages in the program. It is important to make findings first. If you aren’t sure of the schools that are involved, contact your local workforce development office.

  1. Pell Grants

Pell grants can be used to cater for CDL training. To achieve this, first look for CDL training programs that are more than two weeks. Although a 9-week school might not qualify you for a Pell grant, a 24-week school with a residency program might qualify you.

So rather than participating in a trucking school, you could consider taking classes at a local community college. Aside from that, people from poor families could be eligible for financial assistance to pay for CDL training. Note that the bigger your financial needs, the more certain you are to qualify for a Pell grant.


To qualify for a Pell grant, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Satisfy the low-income requirement. The government determines your eligibility and grant amount based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is an indicator of your family’s capacity to afford educational expenses. Note that the lesser your EFC, the more pell grants you qualify for. The highest Pell grant for the academic year 2023-2023 is $6,895.
  • You must be a United States citizen or a qualified immigrant.
  • Participate in a qualified program
  • Not be in default on a previous Federal Direct Student Loan or PLUS loan.
  • Present your legitimate social security card
  • Obtain a High School Diploma or its equivalent.
  • Fill out a FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
How to Apply

Firstly find out a truck driving school that takes Pell Grants before applying for it; however, a good number of CDL educational establishments recognize Pell Grants. You would need to fill out the paperwork and also provide documents – for example, bank statements and pay stubs.

This is as easy as filling out a FAFSA form and awaiting a reply. You will learn quickly the amount you are qualified for in Pell grants. Realizing the amount you have access to will assist you in selecting the best trucking school and training for your needs. Pell grants are awarded to students based on their budgetary needs.

  1. Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Grants

This is a government-sponsored grant program that offers jobs and support, along with CDL training grants to people who are unemployed as a consequence of international trade activity, rising imports, or offshore outsourcing. Note that you may be eligible to use the TAA grant to pay for all or part of your Commercial Driver’s License if you are able to qualify.

Aside from that, you can also create a training plan by leveraging your TAA Career Planner. It is their responsibility to assist anybody in selecting the appropriate training depending on their skills, preferences, and experiences. To speed up the procedures of getting into a training program, ensure you are willing to explain your work objectives to your TAA Career Planner.


To be considered for training, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Can start training immediately
  • Satisfy your training authorization deadline of 26 weeks (about six months) from the letter of your layoff date or your company’s TAA certification from the US Department of Labor.
  • Register in training or obtain a waiver from your TAA Career Planner to waive this requirement.
How to Apply

Contact the school to confirm if those programs are offered at your local truck driving school. You can apply for TAA benefits by contacting your local job center.

  1. VA Education and Training Benefits program

This program provides grants and job placement assistance to men and women and their partners in areas essential to the nation’s economic growth. Truck drivers are a critical workforce who help maintain the nation’s supply chain, veterans and service members will be able to qualify for grants to pay for CDL training.

Truck driving is an instinctual career path for military veterans, especially military drivers. Veterans who ended up driving military vehicles can also qualify for a CDL skills test waiver, which permits them to avoid taking the skills test necessary to receive a commercial driver’s license.


As a veteran with a disability rating, you can receive counseling, training, education, and assistance in getting jobs from the Veteran’s Administration.

To be qualified and apply for it, you must serve actively for nothing less than 90 days. Alternatively, you would have to be a retired veteran or a service member who was discharged from active service with a service-connected disability after 30 days.

How to Apply

Additional details on most of the previously stated programs may be found on the Department of Veterans Affairs website or the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration website. Optionally, reach out to the tuition assistance office at your driving school for more information on the programs available.

  1. SNAP Employment and Training Grant

Employment and training programs, such as SNAP Employment and Training, are intended to help SNAP beneficiaries enhance their employment prospects and become self-sufficient. Annually, the USDA allocates approximately $300 million to assist state governments in running their SNAP E&T programs.


To be eligible for SNAP E&T services, you should be obtaining SNAP and not TANF cash assistance. You will have to be capable of working. Your SNAP E&T requirement will also be determined by your state’s E&T program. To obtain SNAP, you might be expected to take part in SNAP E&T in some states.

How to Apply

Check with your local workforce development office to see whether you meet the criteria for a free truck driving school.

  1. State Grants

Some states offer various grants that you could use to pay for your CDL tuition. Such programs are offered to aid participants in acquiring expertise that will provide them with more secure jobs.

Kentucky inhabitants who have started working in the farming industry in the last two years, for instance, may qualify for the Kentucky Farmworkers grant. This grant is made available to help Kentucky residents in finding more secure, high-paying jobs. Furthermore, CDL grants are available in Missouri through the SkillUp program, which will help with the cost of CDL training.


This will vary depending on your state and your local laws. Owing to that, ensure to check with the necessary agency in your state.

How to Apply

Check with your state or local workforce development office to see whether you meet the criteria for a free truck driving school.

CDL Training Cost

CDL training comes at a cost and a relatively hefty one for many. However, the thought of being CDL licensed is enough to motivate those who are indeed ready to take a chance at being a CDL-certified professional. The cost of attaining a CDL license has to do with many factors starting from your location, your experience, and access to materials that you need for the CDL training.

Speaking of location, each state charges differently for its licensing. If you are considering going for extra classes, third-party trucking training can have extra support through your training journey. All of these things come together to become even more expensive.

This explains why several people may be too apprehensive about taking that first step of getting their CDL license. It is important to mention that some trucking companies actually offer their staff or those they have hired as truck drivers. Not everyone, however, has that opportunity to be sponsored by their hiring company.

If you happen to be one of those who get that rare opportunity of getting sponsored by your trucking company, consider taking the chance. CDL training also requires a commitment of time and patience.

You first have to go through the rudimentary areas of the theory of trucking, truck driving, and the economic and financial rewards of CDL trucking generally. However, beyond all of what you stand to gain or benefit from CDL trucking, one other thing to remember is that it also helps you serve others, and be part of an essential system of transportation of highly-needed goods and services.

CDL Training Near Me

As an aspiring CDL training applicant, your search may be focused on finding “CDL training near me”, and that’s a valid thing to do when you are looking for where to start your CDL training journey. Almost every state in the United States has at least one CDL training center near you.

What matters is that you find one that is conveniently located where you are, and you can take advantage of the training offered for your benefit. When you have found the CDL training near you, the next thing you want to do is reach out to the CDL training center to see how you can make a difference in the areas of the CDL training center of choice.

In many cases, you may have to step into their locations to make inquiries about what type of CDL training you are interested in. However, while you are waiting to get started, you can begin your online research to help you get acclimatized to CDL training.

When you have finally found the information you need for CDL training, then try to keep track of all the places that you have been to, and ensure you follow up. This can help you be in the right frame of mind to start the CDL training process.

Keeping a track of your CDL training applications can help you stay on top of the CDL training updates that you may need before you begin the training officially. Moving forward, do not be too quick to get too anxious if you do not get your desired CDL training near you, but keep an open mind and try somewhere else.

This is largely due to the competitive nature of CDL training schools. you may have to wait longer than you anticipated, and as such, may be tempted to move on and not have to make that decision of following up your CDL training dreams.

Where Can You Get Free CDL Training for Unemployed?

The availability of free CDL training programs can vary depending on government funding, local job market conditions, and specific training providers. It is recommended to check with your state workforce agency or job center for available programs in your area.

  1. State and Local Workforce Development Boards
  2. Vocational Schools and Community Colleges
  3. Industry Associations and Trade Organizations
  4. Private Trucking Companies
  5. Unemployment Insurance Programs

Truck Wash Near Me

When you finally get CDL trucking licensed, a truck wash near me would be a thing for you. This is because washing, clearing, and maintaining your truck would be part of what you may need to be doing as a CDL trucking personnel. There are a number of CDL trucking around me search options, especially if you know where to look.

The first step would be to understand where you are located, and how you can use your location as a start to find where to wash your truck. Regardless of what type of truck you may be handling, from takuache truck to kayak rack for a truck to fall guy truck or even black widow truck. Whatever your choice of the truck may be, the essence of finding washing centers can definitely help you take that needed break to do the needful.

The need to wash your truck is not hampered by what trucking company you are employed at either. It could be one that you are yet to be employed by too. One thing to note is that trucking companies that pay for CDL know about this. Therefore, you would not have to do too much explaining or searching to find that CDL training company that would work with you to get your plans and intentions affected. 

When you have become quite comfortable with your truck, your search for a truck wash near me becomes easier. What you have to do is ensure that you keep a regular routine of washing and cleaning your truck, so that you get used to the structure, and make it a habit to keep your truck in the best shape possible.

Doing this comes with a ton of benefits that pays huge rewards. By and large, if you are truly in search of trucking companies that pay for CDL training, you definitely will find them, and you can get your CDL training fully paid for.

However, do not expect that every CDL training company that you come across would be invested in training you and covering the total cost of your CDL training. Be that as it may, do not hesitate to give your very best every chance you get.

Paid CDL Training

It is always a great opportunity to find CDL companies that are invested in training their staff and paying for their training. However, if you do not have access to this wonderful opportunity, then you should look and hopefully find other CDL training funding options.

The journey of getting that much desired CDL training license has to do with a lot of commitment and patience. However, you should also try to look outside your comfort zone and see what you can find. We have also listed some of the funding opportunities that you can access for your CDL training programs.

Once you meet the grant eligibility criteria for the listed grants, applying for them can help you get settled for grant awards to help you with the expenses of your CDL training. With that being said, if you have made up your mind as to what you want to do with your CDL training, the next thing is to get all the required documentation to get your grant application started.

Having access to grant funding can be a game-changer. However, you may have to do the work of researching and finding the ideal grants that you need for your CDL training program. One way to know what ideal grant you should apply for is by reaching out to a grant consultant who can help determine and help you through what grants you should apply for.

Unemployment Grants for CDL Training

If you have done your homework, researched CDL companies that pay for CDL training, and still have no luck, then applying for CDL training grants should be your next and best option. The grant application process is quite easy and requires you to show that you are indeed interested in going through the CDL training process.

You could take time to explore, research, find and apply for these grants, except that they are far and few between. and as such, you may have to invest so much time looking. A better way to get these grants is to schedule a consultation with a grant expert who can help you find, apply and follow up with your CDL grant applications.

Once you have successfully submitted a grant application, ensure you do proper tracking of your application, particularly if you applied to more than one CDL grant application. Once that is taken care of, you would get a periodic update about the progress of your grant application.

Another great reason for tracking your applications is to be able to keep tabs on whatever requirements that the grant issuing agency may require, in case more information is needed to process your application. However, if you do not have a anyway of tracking your application, you may not have the wherewithal of providing the needed requirement or submitting it within the speculated time period.

Bottom Line

CDL training is definitely a commitment by anyone who is interested in becoming CDL certified. However, be ready to provide the needed commitment and dedication and work to make that dream become a reality. CDL training can be quite rewarding and fulfilling in many ways, but knowing how to navigate the complexities of the training is something that everyone should be prepared to undertake.

The first step at becoming a CDL training specialist is to ensure that each step of the entire CDL process is adhered to. While you are at it, ensure that you take your time and learn beyond what you can on the road. Getting all the information you need to give you the balance between theoretical learning and practical work can make you comfortable on the road.

Therefore, take your time and give your CDL training all of what it takes to make your CDL training experience one that you can look back at and cherish every moment.

Everyone who has undergone the CDL training has their own unique experience, and one way to learn about what others hope to accomplish is by taking your time to make your dream of becoming a CDL training certified professional worth every bit of the work you put into the entire experience.