State to launch pilot program aimed at helping immigrants get driver's licenses

Jun 6, 2017

Credit KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE

A southwest Kansas hospital is working with a local meatpacking plant to help immigrants in western Kansas get their driver’s licenses.

As The Topeka Capital-Journal reports, Kansas is launching a project that will help immigrants get driver’s licenses by offering them free translators while they are taking their exams.

Meatpacking plants, which are the largest employers in the state, have drawn a diverse population to the area, but driver’s license exams are either English or Spanish, so the pilot project, which starts June 21, will be offering translators in at least seven other languages, including Somali, Arabic, Sudanese, Burmese, Swahili, Filipino and Ethiopian. Because the translators will be local volunteers, the program won’t cost the state any money.

The translators will help people take written and behind-the-wheel driver examinations in Garden City.

Kearney County Hospital is working with Tyson Foods, which employs translators at its meatpacking plant outside Garden City, to help find the volunteers for the program.