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Lebanon, Mo. business experiences impact of federal coronavirus aid

Published: Dec. 10, 2020 at 5:25 AM CST
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Lebanon, Mo. (KY3) - Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES Act), nearly $3 million in federal coronavirus aid has helped Missourians find employment opportunities.

Austin Clement is the Operations Manager at Clement Truck Driving Academy in Lebanon. He explained that CARES Act funding has allowed people impacted by the pandemic, low income, or unemployed new opportunities. It enables the chance to gain necessary skills, qualifications, and certifications in various high demand and well-paying fields/trades.

“They’re coming here from a $10 an hour job and moving to a $60,000 a year job,” explained Clement.

He continued saying salary is what played a role in enrollment increasing over the past three years. However, it dipped 31% this year because of the pandemic.

Despite the decrease in students, Clement said it could’ve been lower if it weren’t for additional funding, like the CARES Act. In addition to various partnerships across the Ozarks including the Missouri Job Center, and Ozarks Technical Community College. All of which Clement said are essential contributing factors to keeping the doors open, students learning, driving, and working.

“The CARES Act played an integral part in this process because it helped support more than 20 people coming into the driving Academy,” said Clement. “That’s 20 families, getting a new start without having to pay a dime.”

Justin Fall recently received his Commercial Driver’s License at Clement Truck Driving Academy through the CARES Act. He said being a driver has been his dream since he could remember, and the funding helped that become a reality, despite the challenges that occurred this year.

“Especially going into it during the pandemic, you know money was kind of hard, and they helped me out, and I got started, and here I am on my feet,” explained Fall.

“I want to make people succeed and become a driver and get employed,” owner of Clement Truck Driving Academy Doyle Clement, said. “That my the most important thing I have here, and the additional funding helped that.”

Doyle Clement added they take the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe during training.

Clement said if you’re interested in getting your CDL and beginning a new career, or have any questions about funding you can call 417-532-3331 or visit www.bigrigschool.com.

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