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ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- Free training is available for people who want to become long-distance moving van drivers and earn $40,000 a year or more.
That's according to the Lincoln Trail Workforce Investment Board (WIB). A news release from WIB says there will soon be an increased demand moving van operators will soon be in demand in Kentucky and across the nation.
Information sessions about the federally funded training program are scheduled at four different locations in the Lincoln Trail region on Dec. 4 and Dec. 5. Those interested in the training and follow on career opportunities are strongly encouraged to attend the information sessions.
Over the next few weeks, as many as 100 men and women in the Lincoln Trail Area Development District (Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, Larue, Marion, Meade, Nelson and Washington counties) could be selected to gain moving van operator skills through training.
Graduates of the training will earn a Registered American Moving Professionals (RAMP) certification, a nationally-recognized credential by moving van companies in the American Moving and Storage Association.
The RAMP Program is a three-week course designed in partnership with the American Moving and Storage Association in cooperation with Jefferson Community & Technical College (JCTC). Elizabethtown Community & Technical College (ECTC) is partnering with JCTC to refer eligible CDL program graduates to the RAMP program. Participants will get classroom work and hands-on skill building and earn four hours college credit at JCTC.
Moving van operators earn competitive salaries, starting at $40,000 per year plus benefits. Drivers often earn between $50,000 and $80,000 per year.
"These are solid, good-paying jobs that are badly needed by the moving van industry and certainly much needed by our citizens," said Mo Miller, chair of the Lincoln Trail WIB. "It's exciting to see this strong partnership pull together to provide rapid training opportunities to make these jobs and careers possible."
One of the information sessions is being held at Fort Knox in an effort to provide opportunities directly to transitioning service members. "This is an excellent example of how federal investment in job training can boost our local economy, help businesses and lead to good-paying jobs," stated retired Maj. Gen. John Tindall, Lincoln Trail WIB member. "We hope to see area veterans and transitioning service members take advantage of this opportunity as well."
Information sessions are available in the morning and afternoon at the locations listed below:
Dec. 4 at 10 a.m. Saber & Quill (Formerly the Leaders Club) Bullion Room 1118 Chaffee Ave., Ft. Knox, KY 40121
Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. Elizabethtown Community & Technical College Room 108 (Regional Post secondary Center) 600 College St. Rd., Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. Elizabethtown Community & Technical College Springfield Campus, Room 218 160 Corporate Dr., Springfield, KY 40069
Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. (CST) Grayson County Chamber of Commerce 425 S. Main St., Leitchfield, KY 42754
Moving van companies participating in the RAMP program with commitments to hiring graduates include: A. Arnold Moving, Armstrong Relocation & Companies – United Van Lines, Coleman American Moving Services, Margaret's Moving & Storage, Tri City Van & Storage, Ace Relocation Systems, Executive Moving Systems and Excel Moving Systems.
"The evolution of the moving business is at a critical point with respect to the pool of qualified van operators. Without a significant influx of new van operators there will need to be a fundamental change in how we do business . . . it would not be in the consumer's favor," said Rod Russell, vice president of operations, A. Arnold Moving.
Applicants must complete a career assessment to see if they are suited to the work. They also will undergo drug screening and a criminal background check. Those approved for the course who already possess a commercial driver's license (CDL) can go immediately into RAMP training. Those approved for the course who do not hold a commercial driver's license will also be eligible to receive a scholarship to earn the CDL at ECTC.
Residents of the 26 counties served by KentuckianaWorks, Lincoln Trail Area Development District and Lake Cumberland Area Development District in Kentucky and Region 10 in southern Indiana can apply for the free training.
Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED. Military veterans, husband-and-wife teams and anyone in the region committed to teamwork, providing good customer service, and attention to details should explore becoming a moving van operator.
To learn more about the training and how to apply for a training scholarship, sign up for an informational session at www.kentuckianaworks.org/ramp.
RAMP program partners include: The American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA), Greater Louisville Inc., Jefferson Community and Technical College, KentuckianaWorks, Lincoln Trail Area Development District, Region 10 (Southern Indiana), Lake Cumberland Area Development District, and the Kentucky-Indiana Exchange. Funding for the program comes from the U.S. Department of Labor Workforce Investment Act, KY WINS and a grant from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.