Veterans, returning citizens offered commercial driver licenses training

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UNION COUNTY, NJ — The Union County Board of County Commissioners has announced a partnership with the New Jersey Reentry Corporation aimed at providing commercial driver licenses training through the CDL Driving Academy in Linden. This collaboration represents a significant step forward in the county’s commitment to supporting veterans and returning citizens in their journey toward sustainable employment and self-sufficiency.

“The county of Union is happy to expand its collaboration with the NJRC, which is a testament to our dedication to positive change and creating success pathways for those who have served our nation and those returning to our community after incarceration,” said Commissioner Chairperson Sergio Granados. “We recognize the power of education and vocational training in breaking the cycle of unemployment and providing a second chance to those who have faced adversity. In fact, this new initiative falls partly in line with my ‘Second Chance’ initiative, within my 2023 chairman’s theme of ‘Building a Stronger Union County.’ This new initiative will not only open doors to stable and well-paying employment opportunities, but it will equip individuals with a valuable skill set and provide access to a thriving industry that is integral to our nation’s infrastructure.”

The New Jersey Reentry Corporation, in collaboration with the Union County American Job Center, has previously worked together to assist reentry residents. This partnership has played a role in facilitating vocational training for “second-chance citizens” through the federal grant funding provided by the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act. Beyond training, the collaboration offers a range of additional services aimed at fostering self-sufficiency and empowering individuals to become productive members of society.

This pilot project is slated for one year and the CDL Driving Academy will deliver comprehensive CDL Class A and B Driving courses to eligible NJRC reentry customers, equipping them with the skills necessary for success in the transportation industry.

Key features of the partnership include:

• vocational training opportunities: Veterans and returning citizens enrolled in the program will receive top-notch CDL training from experienced instructors at the CDL Driving Academy;

• financial support for road tests: The collaboration includes assistance with road test fees, ensuring that participants face minimal financial barriers as they embark on their journey to attain a CDL; and

• sustainable employment: By providing access to CDL training, the partnership aims to empower reentry customers to secure sustainable employment opportunities, contributing to their long-term success and self-sufficiency.

“As we embark on this transformative journey, our new CDL Training Program becomes a beacon of opportunity; illuminating the path for veterans and those returning home to accelerate towards a fresh start,” said Karlicia Thomas, Union County Facility director of the New Jersey Reentry Corporation. “The road ahead is paved with possibilities and the promise of a new beginning.”

For more information about Union County’s American Job Center, visit

Photos Courtesy of Kelly Martins