DRIVE Safe Act

The DRIVE Safe Act is sponsored by Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA50) and would offer high school graduates training for interstate commercial drivers licenses that they are currently ineligible to hold. The HVACR wholesale distribution sector facing an upcoming shortage of qualified drivers to move our products through the interstate supply chain. Commercially licensed truck drivers are the linchpin of the entire HVACR logistics network, moving equipment from suppliers to distributors, and from distributors to customers.

One of the primary obstacles to bringing younger drivers into the profession is the requirement that they be at least 21 years old to drive across state lines, despite the fact that almost every state allows for commercial driver’s licenses to be issued at the age of 18. The DRIVE Safe Act would alleviate the current shortage of qualified CDL holders by allowing younger drivers to train with experienced drivers. We believe that this legislation will benefit our economy and make America’s highways safer in the future.

Relevant Legislation:

DRIVE Safe Act (H.R. 1374 and S. 569)

Issue Brief

Growing the Workforce and Promoting Careers in the Trades

It is a well-known issue in the HVACR industry that there is a shortage of skilled trade labor, and the effects are felt daily. While manufacturing and distribution warehousing jobs fall into this category, a healthy amount of certified contractors is also essential to success throughout the supply chain in our industry.

HARDI members support legislation that will generate an influx of HVACR professionals with the tools and knowledge they need to compete for high-skilled, in-demand jobs in the industry.

In 2018, Congress passed and the President signed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.

Relevant Legislation:

Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Signed into law 7.31.18) PROSPER Act (H.R. 4508)

Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs

HARDI Comments to DOL

On June 4, 2019, HARDI CEO Talbot Gee was invited to testify in front of the Workforce Development and Innovation subcommittee of the House Small Business Committee. The hearing entitled Mind the “Skills” Gap: Apprenticeships and Training Programs focused on ways to bring new workers into skilled industries. Talbot’s testimony focused on the needs of the HVACR industry and ways to attract more students and young workers into the industry.

The written testimony can be found here.

On June 24, 2019, the Department of Labor released a proposed rule for the expansion of apprenticeship programs to include industry recognized apprenticeship programs. This rule would allow industry groups to create standards for apprenticeship programs separate from federally recognized programs. HARDI supports the expansion of apprenticeships to include industry recognized programs. However, the proposed rule currently prevents programs in the construction industry from being recognized.