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Villapudua Named California Trucking Association’s Legislator of the Year

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua (D-Stockton) was honored as the California Trucking Association’s (CTA) Legislator of the Year earlier this afternoon for his continuous support of the trucking industry, including championing AB 376 to provide financial aid for students pursuing a career in trucking.

“I am deeply humbled to receive this award today,” said Assemblymember Villapudua. “As a representative from the logistics hub that is San Joaquin County, our trucking and supply chain infrastructure has been, and will continue to be, a top priority of mine in office. It’s been a true pleasure working with the leaders at CTA to ensure a bright future for an industry that keeps our economy trucking on.”

The trucking industry serves as a bellwether of the state’s economy at large. It helps put food on the table for our families every night, and ensures industries and everyday consumers are receiving the products they need for their wellbeing and a fulfilling life. However, a shortage of truckers has consistently ranked as the top issue for the industry, despite rising wages. The American Trucking Association has stated that there was a nationwide shortage of roughly 78,000 drivers in 2022, and 1.2 million drivers will need to be hired over the next decade to meet increased demand.

To meet this challenge, Villapudua introduced AB 376 earlier this year to lower the financial barriers for students seeking a career in trucking. While this lucrative career has provided financial mobility for many families, it can be difficult for many individuals to receive the training needed for this career because the training is not currently eligible for financial aid grants. AB 376 would extend the Cal Grant C financial aid to students enrolled in entry-level driver training programs.

By lowering these barriers, we can help meet the growing demand of the digital age with a healthy and strong workforce for generations to come.