Comments By Justin D.

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  • Justin D.
  • Joined:
  • 3 years, 6 months ago
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Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Getting a WIOA Grant to Pay for CDL Schooling (Arizona- Maricopa County)

I couldn't find much information about the process of getting a WIOA grant when I started pursing one, so I thought I'd share my experience for the next person looking into it.

First of all If you don't know what WOIA is, there's an article here: http://www2.ed.gov that'll explain what it is and why you may want it. Basically if you meet certain qualifications the government will give you a grant to pay for CDL training. The following info is accurate for how the process works for the 4,000,000+ in Maricopa County Arizona as of early 2016. As I understand it the process for distributing WIOA funds is largely up to the States and further delegated to the counties or local municipalities (your mileage may vary in other locals).

The journey begins at Arizona@Work. It's the unemployment and job training facility. They can help you find work or testing for certification in certain areas (Typing, GED testing, etc), and they are the gate keepers for the WOIA in Maricopa county. They have two locations one in the west valley at 1840 N 95th Ave. and one in the east valley at 735 N Gilbert Road.

Step one is to call or vist them in person and sign up for 'Orientation'. They'll offer several Orientation times during the week, and It's the first step to getting help from them with any of the services they offer including the WIOA grant. Orientation will take an hour: They'll give you a folder with some paperwork in it (including the initial application for the WIOA grant, and a list of accompanying documentation they want with it), and will wrap up with a short career personality test.

Step two will be to fill out that application and gather the supporting documentation they want (which will include the results from that career personality test you took during Orientation). The application is pretty basic and will include much of the same info asked for on an employment application, including work history. The supporting documentation is pretty easily obtain stuff: Copy of Drivers License, Social Security Card, High School Diploma or GED Copy, Proof that your registered for selective service (if you're male), etc.

Step three will be to sign up for 'Group Enrollment'. They seem to offer these twice a week. All you're doing is handing in the application and paperwork mentioned above (why you need an appointment for this is beyond me). You'll sit across from someone at their desk while they make sure all the paperwork is there.

Step four. You will be required to attend a two hour resume writing class. Again, it is beyond me why you need to do this if you're planing on going into a field that (to my knowledge) doesn't require employment applicants to have a resume. However, it is required that you attend one of their resume writing classes.

Step five. You can now arrange a time with your appointed 'Career Guidance Specialist', for your 'intake appointment'. You'll be given a packet of paperwork (why you need an appointment for this? Search me).

Step six, fill out the paperwork. This might take a while, they'll be asking for a lot more this time. You'll need to write a 'Letter of Justification' explaining why you believe you deserve the grant. You'll need a 39 month MVR (You can print this out online for $3 from ADOT, and it'll save you time of going to the MVD). There will be a page of short answer questions. You'll need to fill out a financial worksheet of expected income and expenses proving you can provide for yourself while in school. They'll want a print out of five local ads for employment showing that if you had the qualification (CDL) you would meet the qualifications for employment. They will want you to visit the three local private schools (American Institute of Trucking, Phoenix Truck Driving Institute, Southwest Truck Driver Training), interview someone from admissions (their signature required), and fill out a questionnaire (the person you meet with from each of the schools will be all too familiar with this questionnaire) about each of the programs. You'll need a training proposal letter for you written be an official at the school you select as well.

Step seven: arrange an appointment with your Career Guidance Specialist to turn all of the paperwork back in.

Step eight. Approval process can take from the end of the day up to five business days. After which the will email you and the school of your choosing an approval letter and a voucher for the cost of the program (not to exceed $4,000)(coincidentally all tuition and fees just happen to come to just under $4,000 at each of the schools).

That's it. The entire process took me four weeks. Although I'm told it often takes up to six, so be prepared to be waiting to start school for a little while if you go this route.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Any experiences with Pride Transport?

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Also waiting to hear more about Pride from you Barry. I'm two weeks from start of school, about six weeks from looking to hire on, and am liking a lot of what I am hearing about Pride. When you get the time, please let us know how things are going Barry.

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Justin -

I just moved to UT last week from San Diego. I stopped over at Pride and met with the recruiter I've been in contact with for the last couple months. This is my 1st choice company, their equip. is in great shape and the staff seem to be "down to earth." They have also pre-approved my staffie-mix.

I also met with a driver, from another forum, who has been with the company for 7 months. He gave me the low-down on his experiences with Pride and though he has had some minor things to deal with (as with any employer) he is satisfied (other than the mileage pay). But for someone like me who will just be coming in the pay will work for me.

What skewl do you intend on attending and where?

~scott

I'll be starting at Southwest Truck Driver Training ( http://www.swtdt.com ) on April 11th, at the Phoenix, AZ campus.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Any experiences with Pride Transport?

Also waiting to hear more about Pride from you Barry. I'm two weeks from start of school, about six weeks from looking to hire on, and am liking a lot of what I am hearing about Pride. When you get the time, please let us know how things are going Barry.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Walmart/Amazon Style Store For OTR Drivers?

Is there such a place (a be-all and end-all store for truckers)?

I admit I like my gadgets and toys. But I'm not the type of person that buys on impulse, or goes to the nearest store and buys something just because the sells person recommends it. I like to compare specs, read reviews and deiced best fits my needs for my budget. So what if you think my combination tire gauge/flashlight/toothbrush, is a waste of money. I might think your duffel bag that doubles as a flotation device isn't very practical on a tuck, even if you keep having a dream about a collapsing bridge.

Where do you go if your looking to compare CB's, Coolers, etc to make a purchasing decision?

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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First conversation with a recruiter(Roehl), not what I anticipated

December 2052! Holy cow. In Indiana ours are valid for 6 years and expire on our birthday regardless of the issue dates.

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Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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First conversation with a recruiter(Roehl), not what I anticipated

Graduated license means young inexperienced driver. I am not surprised at all that they would want you to get a full regular license before driving a truck, that is the way a lot of companies are going to see it.

No. It means I haven't had the need to return to the DMV. I've had this license for 12 years. All they had to do is pull my records.

"The holder of a graduated license is not required to obtain an operator license at age 18, but may choose to obtain one." -ADOT (AZ Department of Transportation)

My current license is subject to no additional restrictions than a non graduated one at this point. And is perfectly legal until it expires in December of 2052.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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First conversation with a recruiter(Roehl), not what I anticipated

When I spoke with my Roehl recruiter a couple of weeks ago she was very kind. I had already been pre-hired and she asked all the standard questions, driving record, criminal record, etc. and answered all my questions. She also offered to send me info on their various policies (rider and pet in my case). She did email me these, but when I opened the links they were the exact same info as on the website! I wanted more detailed info not what I had already read over. Didn't make much sense to me.

Long story short, I decided against Roehl even though they were my number one pick up until then. And it was just one policy that turned me away. They require a new driver to solo for 6 MONTHS before they are allowed to have a rider. As a woman I am comfortable with my thick skin, having worked in the automotive industry for years and dealt with the prejudice. But being alone in strange parts of the country? Not so comfortable with that. I decided to go with another company that would allow me to take my husband along as soon as I solo out.

Saying that, I LOVE the fact that I received a WIA grant to pay for my schooling, which is allowing me to pick the company that is going to work best for ME.

ChickieMonster, it looks like we have very similar circumstances. I too was interested in Roehl for their Rider and Pet Policy. If the recruiter had been a little more liberal with information and told me 6 months solo was a requirement in order to have a rider, I too would've been able to cross them off my list. 6 months without my wife as a rider is not an option I am prepared to consider at this juncture. If I may ask, what other companies have you considered? And which did you go with?

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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First conversation with a recruiter(Roehl), not what I anticipated

Yes, I had read Brett's article. I underestimated how Obtuse a recruiter could be. Upon looking through the article again, Brett called it. It is however hard not to hold it against the company, as I can't get more information about the company.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Backing Practice 01

Justin has a different sense of reality:

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You sweet talk dispatch into not doing this to you again.

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Then just grab a hand cart and work on a dock instead. This particular "backing problem" is not uncommon. There's worse.

True. Thankfully I never tire of having my reality disillusioned and having to adapt to real reality. Really, lol.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Backing Practice 01

You sweet talk dispatch into not doing this to you again.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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First conversation with a recruiter(Roehl), not what I anticipated

I submitted an application to Roehl for their company sponsored training program a little over a week ago. I received a call Wednesday, but hadn't had the opportunity to return it until today. I called and spoke to the recruiter. Apparently they have been unable to process my application further... Why? My driver's license is a "Graduated Driver's License". My response: So... And that's about were things stalled, as I tried to explain to the recruiter that it was the exact same thing (although it was about like trying to convince a distraught Former that four quarters is also a dollar). It ended with me agreeing to go to the DMV and get a new license without that word on it (?). So it looks like I'll be doing that on the 23rd (the next non holiday, weekday I'll be in state). I asked if I could be sent anymore information in the meantime and was told no, everything is on their website.

Hmm, the apathetic and secretive approach, not what I was expecting. I'd thought a recruiter would be energetic and happy to tell me about all the wonderful reasons I should be picking their company. I didn't anticipate this until company schooling. I don't know whether to be pleased about the upfrontness of adhering to policy to the letter (in the case of the license), and the general apathy the company has for potential driver's. Or dejected because I must clearly be such a poor candidate and of such little value in the eyes of the company (or at least the recruiter).

Should I expect the same from most companies?

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Backing Practice 01

What's in the planter? Am I alloweded to jump the curb on the planter? I don't even have my permit, so this might be a big no, no. But It's what occurred to me. I've seen a truck that delivers to a local Walgreen's that goes over the curb into vacant lot in order to get his truck in...

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Insurance for spouse

Another thing to consider: how much money does your spouse make and how are you going to fill your taxes. If your spouse makes considerably less than you do, you may want to file as 'Married Filing Separately', instead of jointly. Reason being is if your spouse doesn't make much they could look into the Marketplace Exchange and have a health care subsidy available that may reduce the cost of plans or make some plans free. If you plan to file 'Jointly' though your income would be counted together and dived equally between you for the sake of determining eligibility for a subsidy in the Marketplace.

It might be cheaper all and all to be on separate plans, file taxes separately, and have your partner get their insurance subsidized if they aren't expecting to earn as much as you. Just something to look into...

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Taxes: OTR. What's deductable, whats not, and what receipts should I keep?

Getting a start on my bill for Uncle Sam this morning, and it occurs to me this time next year after going OTR, the last thing I'll want to do is just take the standard deduction. I'm thinking there'll be a lot to itemize to reduce my taxable income. What all do you typically deduct as business expenses?

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Celebrate "National Pizza Day" With A Free Slice From Pilot Flying J

It worked, and the pizza is pretty darned good. Saved me 4 bucks.

Wow they were wanting 4 bucks for a laxative?!

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Roehl CDL school timeframe

Hey Jean it took about a week and a half before I received a response from Roehl

Thanks, I've been a bit worried too. I still haven't heard from them, and it's been about a week. I was worried that they'd looked into me and found something in my history they didn't like. I haven't had a ticket in over seven years, and the only accident was just a bump that resulted in wrinkle in a bumper over ten years ago. Solid work history- Two places in the last ten years only separated by a month of not working. And I've no criminal convictions. I've been wondering what in the world they may have found. confused.gif Thanks for the reassurance: It's not me, it's them.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Working for an owner/operator instead of a company.

Will it hurt me on paper when the inevitable comes, whether it be a year later or five: When I do leave his employ, how will companies be likely to view it? I imagine my history would be a lot more readily traceable and verifiable if I worked for Pam or Knight for three years rather than John J. Smith. Couldn't anyone claim they worked for Mr. Smith for three years and drove 450,000 miles accident free? How much or at all would this end up hurting me when looking for job number two?

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Working for an owner/operator instead of a company.

I suppose that title of this thread could also be: Working for a very, very small company sub contracted by a large company (If that's any more clear).

Here's the gist: I know an owner/operator that is considering buying a second truck and may be willing to employ me to drive it. I am at ground zero of my OTR career. In theory I would get my permit, go to school and get my Class A, report to said owner/operator for one on one training until he is satisfied that I'm ready to solo, then later drive a 2nd truck of his ownership under his employ.

To those of far greater knowledge than I: what would be the advantages and disadvantages of this situation for a driver just beginning my career? What are your thoughts? I know I'd lack the group health care discount and 401K options that a big company could offer me. What would be some other pluses and minuses of this situation?

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Considering making a career/life change to OTR driving

Thank you for the thoughts and wisdom.

@ J Johns, time apart aside, Roehl's amount of time one on one with an OTR trainer doesn't look too short to me. Overall their schedule looks like a very good fit for me. Personally, I know if I am trained too long at something with someone hovering over my shoulder my results decrease. If it's something I know that I've already got down, it makes me nervous and more likely to make a mistake with someone watching me perform said task with a critical eye. Roehl doesn't just abandon you after your one on one supervised drive time is up. You have a manager their literally at your beckon call anytime you need help with something, or you need them as therapist's/bartender's ear on bad day (Joke). I really do think their program would be a good fit for the way a progress and learn.

I have an application pending with Prime as well. They also seem to be a company that would be good to work for and would suite my needs fairly well.

@ C.S., I looked into both Watkins-Shepard and Covenant after you suggested them. Watkins-Shepard doesn't seem to offer company sponsored schooling, that I can find; unfortunately that is something I do need. Covenant's atmosphere wouldn't be ideal for us. You are right they do both offer to train husband and wife teams together though and would be a good fit for someone with different particulars.

@ sgtwilldog, you're right that's possibility to consider.

Update: After much deliberation given our circumstances and the opportunities available it looks like my wife and I are going to go CDL one at time instead of simultaneously. I'll go first and be a solo driver for some time, with her as a ride along and she may at a latter time get her CDL. In the mean time she is pursing jobs that may be done as an OTR rider while I drive. She doesn't want feel as though she's not contributing to the 'household' income while we're on the road.

Anyone by chance know of a spouse along for the ride, also working just not as a driver? What do they do for work while on the road?

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Considering making a career/life change to OTR driving

Roehl looks incredible. Almost too good to be true (the cynic in me is looking for the catch). Of course from the website they also give me the impression that they are somewhat exclusive and it's hard (competitive) to get into their program. I wish the website listed a recruiters office to call to get more information. I'm a little confused on whether or not they offer lodging. If they don't it may not be a deal breaker with them, as I see they have a school in Phoenix, AZ. My inlaws live near there and we could probable stay with them for a few weeks if need be. I like the fact that post CDL supervised drive time is only 3 weeks. I guess I'll wait and see if they respond to the form I submitted on their website to try to get some more info if they do.

I've requested more info from KLLM and Henderson as well. Thank you.

The situation with the wife and cat are seeming to complicate things on the surface so far at least. Preferably we'd prefer to stick together through all aspects not be reunited one day. Does anyone know of a company that would be willing to train us both together after we have are CDL's? Another question (a long shot, but experience is experience): If I knew an owner/operator that would be willing to take us on for training after we have our CDL's would a company allow that as long as we completed the necessary amount of supervised time/miles? Or does it need to be a company trainer?

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