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Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg in Lehigh Valley to announce veterans training program at LCCC, check LVIA progress

Morning Call - 8/2/2022

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg made two stops in the Lehigh Valley on Tuesday, checking the progress of Lehigh Valley International Airport’s expansion project before meeting with students and faculty at Lehigh Carbon Community College’s commercial driver’s license training program.

Buttigieg, who was joined by U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, announced that community colleges across the country, including LCCC, would be part of a $3 million program to train military veterans. LCCC’s grant would pay tuition for 30 military veterans and five individuals from underserved communities to get training on how to drive a truck, get their CDL licenses and then help them land a trucking job.

“We owe it to them to make sure that when they come home, they can get the training they need to secure a good paying civilian job, especially at a time when we need more qualified commercial vehicle drivers,” Buttigieg said to the sizable group of faculty, students and local officials, noting that soldiers and sailors from the Lehigh Valley have served their country since the Revolutionary War.

Funding for the program is coming from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that was passed in November.

Earlier, Buttigieg and Wild were given a tour of LVIA’s expansion project that will help expedite passengers through the airport’s security checkpoint.

In July, Buttigieg announced a $5 million grant for the airport to pay for construction of a new four-lane Transportation Security Administration checkpoint that will more than double the current passenger screening volume from 300 per hour to 740 per hour. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2023.

“The money that we’re getting now can go directly to this TSA project, which was long overdue and very much needed and mandated by TSA. It is absolutely required that it wasn’t just a luxury, it was required in order to continue with the traffic that we have,” Buttigieg said. “It’s pretty exciting stuff that is gonna make a difference.”

Morning Call reporter Evan Jones can be reached at

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