Many employers have strict policies about hiring people with felony convictions on their permanent record. There is no law that requires employers to even consider felons when they are hiring for new positions. That can make finding quality work extremely difficult for somebody who either pled guilty, pleaded no contest, or was found guilty of a felony charge.
Getting a CDL license is one way to improve the chances a felon can find reliable work once they are done serving their sentence.
There are numerous trucking companies that hire felons, but they all require the individual to go through CDL training to get their CDL driver’s license. A CDL is a Commercial Driver’s License. This is different than a regular driver’s license because of the size and power of these trucks when they are on the road. There are many things a person needs to understand when driving a tractor-trailer or other vehicle that requires a commercial driver’s license.
They need to understand safety precautions, how air brakes work, how to properly inspect the vehicle, checking all of the lights, operating the vehicle with a double clutch system, and much more. They also need to understand proper procedures for logging their trip, including how many miles they can drive during a set period of time, getting appropriate breaks to improve safety while out on the roads, the importance of staying within the speed limit, and much more.
CDL training for felons is no different than it is for any other individual who pursues this career. There are numerous driver training schools all across country that specialize in teaching individuals about everything necessary to get a commercial driver’s license. They also often provide the ability for the students to take practice CDL drivers tests.
A CDL driver’s test will often involve going through the entire vehicle, checking all components, including fluids, lighting, brakes, safety systems, visually inspecting all connections, driving the vehicle, backing it up with a large trailer, and more.
It’s a far more intensive training program, but when it comes to CDL jobs for felons, many of the companies that hire and supervise truck drivers, whether it is for a short distance trip or long-haul across the country, it is one of the best and most lucrative jobs a person can obtain.
Is there job training for felons?
There are numerous organizations, both through the government and nonprofits, that work with recently released felons to help provide them proper training to find a number of different job opportunities.
A convicted felon may be able to find employment with a company in a maintenance department, for example, where they would be trained by an immediate supervisor. They may also be able to take college classes toward a degree, adult continuing education classes to help improve their skill set and qualifications for certain other jobs, and even begin the process of learning to drive the truck.
There are numerous truck driving schools for felons who specialize in helping people rebuild their lives after completing their court ordered sentence. However, just because truck driving companies have a tendency and history to be much more open to hiring ex-cons, that doesn’t mean everyone who has a felony conviction on their record will have an opportunity to do so.
There are two types of felons who will have an extremely difficult time finding any type of CDL training for felons because companies have a tendency to avoid even considering them for any type of employment. The first is an individual who has been convicted of distributing or possessing controlled substances. While being caught with a personal, limited amount of any illegal, controlled substance such as heroin or cocaine may land somebody in prison with a felony, that might not necessarily mean they are never going to be able to earn a commercial driver’s license or be hired by a trucking company.
Each situation is different, but if somebody has been convicted of distributing or possessing a significant amount of controlled substances, most trucking companies won’t even consider them for hire.
The other type of person is somebody who used a gun or knife in the commission of a crime. These violent felons, as they are considered, will have a much more difficult time convincing any type of truck driving school or company to hire them.
Even though CDL training for felons is one of the best ways for somebody convicted of a felony to find a high-paying job when they are released, it will take time and money to take one of these classes. Taking a CDL training course independently, not through a trucking company, can be cost prohibitive to many recently released felons.
The best option would be to contact one or more trucking companies to find out what their policies and procedures are with regard to hiring felons once they are released. Even if one particular trucking company isn’t interested in hiring you, that doesn’t mean another won’t be open to the prospect.
An honest, hard-working truck driver is a valuable asset and convincing the trucking company management that you are a worthy investment by being honest, dressing appropriately, and speaking respectfully to them and others at the company is one of the best ways to increase your chances of moving toward CDL training for felons.