As New York, and the country at large looks to rebound from the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic we are seeing a massive shift in worker and consumer behavior. Workers, especially younger workers are comfortable with the work from anywhere model and do not want to return to an office five days a week. However, as the country learned during the pandemic, not all work can be done remotely. First responders and essential workers, like truck drivers, showed up every day to ensure stores were stocked, hospitals were supplied, and first responders were equipped. Rather than lament the shift to hybrid and work from anywhere models cities like New York should embrace it and reinvest and promote industrial and manufacturing jobs. This new legislation for the trucking industry will allow New York to continue as a leader in finance, media, and tech via hybrid models, while creating new avenues for blue collar entrepreneurs who would live in the region and commute daily.
New York took a massive step in the right direction at the close of the legislative session by passing a bill which establishes a commercial driver’s license (CDL) class A young adult training program for qualified 18-20 year olds.
Currently New York allows 18- to 20-year-olds to obtain a CDL Class B license to drive within state lines but does not allow those same drivers to obtain a CDL Class A. Class A CDL licenses allow drivers to operate tractor-trailers and other vehicles that are too large for a Class B CDL. A young adult commercial driver’s license pilot program, with strict training and safety guidelines, will allow 18 to 20-year-olds to drive in New York could help attract more young people into the field. It is important to note that this will help recruit mechanics and technicians as well as drivers. Given the rise in e-commerce the bill comes at an opportune time for New York.
The legislation for the trucking industry was introduced in the Senate by Timothy Kennedy and co-sponsored by Michelle Hinchey and Jessica Ramos, and awaits Governor Cuomo’s signature.