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New employment program seeks to hire commercial truck drivers in honor of Casey Goodson Jr.

Exactly one month from Thursday marks the day Goodson, 23, was shot and killed by now-former Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Meade.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus City Council members detailed a new employment program named after Casey Goodson Jr. in an effort to honor the man who was fatally shot by a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy last year. 

Exactly one month from Thursday marks the day Goodson, 23, was shot and killed by now-former Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Meade. 

Prior to his death, Goodson, who worked as a commercial truck driver, told family members he dreamed of one day owning his own fleet. 

The Pathways to Purpose: Casey Goodson Jr. CDL Program was created to provide opportunities to individuals "regardless of their background," according to Columbus City Councilmember Shayla Favor. 

Currently, Ohio is facing a shortage of commercial truck drivers. The number of drivers trained to receive their commercial driver's license fell by 40% in 2020, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.  

Columbus has experienced that shortage firsthand with its COTA busses, school busses, utility trucks and more.  

According to Favor, the goal of this newly announced program is to seek out hard working people and give them an avenue to overcome barriers and succeed. 

The city will dedicate $200,000 in honor of that goal, according to a release. Part of that funding will go directly toward training and tuition costs.  

The program will accommodate those seeking to become CDL drivers with either the City of Columbus or private employers within central Ohio. 

"Our residents deserve the opportunity to have access to quality employment training programs to create stability for them and their families," said Favor, adding, "Mr. Goodson's life mattered and he had an incredibly bright future ahead of him as a truck driver." 

An autopsy shows Goodson was shot six times in the back as he entered a home on Dec. 4. At the time, Goodson was carrying a bag of Subway sandwiches and a gun, which his family has since confirmed he was licensed to carry. 

In the nearly one year since Goodson’s death, no charges have been filed and the investigation by state and federal prosecutors remains ongoing. 

Mead’s attorney said Goodson pointed a gun at Meade in the moments leading up to the shooting. There is no body camera footage to back up that statement and no witnesses were present at the time shots were fired. 

Meade retired from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office July 2 on disability. 

Legislation authorizing the use of program funds is set to be presented to City Council in the coming weeks. 

You can watch the full announcement in the player below: 

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