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TCC receives Department of Transportation grant that will benefit military veterans

Tidewater Community College is the recipient of a six-figure federal grant to help train military veterans and their spouses for employment as commercial bus and truck drivers.

The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced the $107,271 grant on Oct. 21.

The grant will support training and placement of veterans and their spouses in one of the highest demand industries in Hampton Roads, where the average truck driver is more than 50 years old and approaching retirement.

“Employment of truck drivers is projected to grow as the economy grows,” said Bruce Brunson, executive director of TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education, which will administer the grant. “The demand for goods will increase, and more truck drivers will be needed to keep supply chains moving.”

He said, “This grant will give veterans and spouses funding for TCC’s Truck Driver Training Program, through which they can prepare for a successful, well-paid career in the trucking industry.”

Brunson noted that the training program brings together two major TCC priorities: meeting both the needs of military-related students and the demands of local maritime and transportation industries.

TCC is one of nine technical and community colleges to receive funding provided through FMCSA’s Commercial Motor Vehicle – Operator Safety Training grant program. The grants will provide training for nearly 400 new students, including 48 at TCC.

“Those that we entrust to protect and serve our nation deserve opportunities that utilize the skills and training they received on the job on military bases overseas and at home,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We can think of none more appropriate to safeguard our highways as commercial vehicle drivers than the thousands of veterans who have already proven they can safely handle large vehicles under extremely stressful circumstances.”

For more information on the grant for TCC’s Truck Driver Training Program, contact Batanya Gipson at 757-822-7724 or