Shutdown of R.I. training programs could have lingering effect

PROGRAM PARKED: Brian Palmer is the director of training for the Teamsters Local 251 Driving School, which offers commercial driver’s license certification training through a partnership with Real Jobs RI. The program has been temporarily shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. / PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
BUCKING THE TREND: Union membership declined in Rhode Island last year but Teamsters Local 251 says it bucked the trend, adding 500 members since the start of the pandemic. Pictured in 2020 is Brian Palmer, director of training for the Teamsters Local 251 Driving School. PBN FILE PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
You can’t learn to drive a tractor-trailer over Zoom. Which is why the Teamsters ­Local 251 Driving School, which offers commercial driver’s license certification training through a partnership with Real Jobs Rhode Island, shut down the program in mid-March, according to Brian Palmer, the director of training for the Teamsters. Palmer backed the decision to…

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