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Ohio to upskill CDL drivers across the state

Ohio Department of Development, Press Release

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik recently announced more than $800,000 to support essential training for Ohio companies and commercial drivers.  

The tax credit funding was awarded through the new Commercial Driver’s License Training Program, which was created to help alleviate the cost of training for Ohio employers and CDL drivers and to upskill current and future employees in today’s high-demand economy.

“We want Ohioans and prospective residents alike to know that in Ohio, they can get the skills they need to get a good-paying job in a way that’s affordable and accessible to them,” said Governor DeWine. “We’re helping employers fill worker shortages in addition to fostering a culture of innovation and giving employees the knowledge needed to operate modern commercial vehicles.”

A total of 60 companies across 36 counties were selected to receive funding for the credentialing of current and prospective employees. A total of $815,085.84 in tax credits will be provided to support training for approximately 1,300 CDL drivers.

"Earning a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) opens the door to thousands of job opportunities and we aim to make it as easy as possible to earn one in Ohio,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “Ohio is a manufacturing and logistics state, and our economy needs a workforce with CDLs to move Ohio-made products to customers locally and from coast to coast.”

A list of CDL awards can be found at….

Employers of all sizes and industries who are registered to do business in Ohio and employ Ohio resident W-2 employees are eligible for the program. Employers can earn tax credits for half of approved training costs, up to $25,000 in tax credits.

“We see the importance of this program through our list of grantees,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Department of Development. “Almost every part of our lives has a need for transportation, from trucking to small businesses to schools. It’s imperative that our employees have the skills to get where they’re going safely.”

The tax credit applies to the credentialing of both current and prospective employees. Eligible training can be conducted by external training providers on the Ohio-approved CDL course provider list or internal qualified training instructors. Credentials must be for Class A or Class B state-issued CDLs and endorsements. Applications were reviewed and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

The CDL Training Program was established in Ohio House Bill 66 in the 134th Ohio General Assembly. Applications will be released once annually, for calendar years 2023 through 2026. Interested applicants can sign up to be notified of future rounds.

This program is in addition to a series of CDL improvements for Ohio truck drivers, initiated by Lt. Governor Husted’s InnovateOhio.

The Ohio Department of Development empowers communities to succeed by investing in Ohio’s people, places and businesses. Learn more at

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