St. Paul, Minn. (April 4, 2011) – Saint Paul Mayor Coleman congratulated participants of the first “Road to Success” class, calling it a prime example of Saint Paul’s investment in initiatives that stimulate job creation.
Standing with Assistant U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary John D. Trasviña and City Councilmember Melvin Carter III, the Mayor highlighted how this program provides low-income residents with free Commercial Drivers License (CDL) training and testing as well as access to employment opportunities.
“With the support of our partners, Saint Paul is creating opportunities for job seekers in our community. These men and women are receiving the training necessary to land a job and earn a good living wage. We will continue to invest in programs like “Road to Success” to ensure equal opportunities for every Saint Paul resident,” Mayor Chris Coleman said.
The “Road to Success” program is an exciting partnership between the City of Saint Paul, HUD, the YWCA of Saint Paul, Neighborhood Development Center, Midwest Construction Group, MBE, Inc. and the Greater Twin Cities United Way. The initiative is designed to help low-income individuals train for and obtain a CDL.
Currently, 50 low-income Saint Paul residents are enrolled. Upon completion of the program, participants will be connected with resources and employers to help them land jobs, many of which will be along the Central Corridor Light Rail Line.
“The ‘Road to Success’ program aligns perfectly with the work of our Promise Neighborhood initiative, in that it creates an educational opportunity which ultimately provides a direct connection to economic opportunity,” Councilmember Melvin Carter said. “This program also serves as an example of the economic development we hoped would happen through Central Corridor light rail construction.”
The program is divided in into two phases, with the first part preparing participants to take the Class B CDL permit test. The participants also learn about the commercial driving industry and positions available to individuals with a CDL.
Phase two provides participants with construction training and behind the wheel training before they take their Class A CDL test. Participants will also have access to a $400,000 revolving loan fund, helping to defray expenses associated with becoming an Independent Truck Operator such as equipment, tires, license tabs and insurance.
“I haven’t had a job in three years and it has been really tough. Right now I’ve passed three out of four tests and am really excited to have this opportunity. I am glad someone came forward to put together this program, and I can’t wait to find a job in this field,” “Road to Success” participant Terry Sellers said.
People with CDL licenses are qualified for a variety of jobs, including: Delivery jobs, bus driving, construction equipment operation and food truck operation.