Funds to Provide Job Training for Transportation-related Careers in Eight States
WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced $3 million in job training grants in eight states. The "Ladders of Opportunity Initiative On-The-Job Training/Supportive Service (OJT/SS)" grants are part of an ongoing federal effort, which includes stakeholder outreach and the creation of the Federal Highway Administration’s Center for Transportation Workforce Development, to improve the apprenticeships and training opportunities for underrepresented or disadvantaged people seeking careers in transportation, engineering or construction.
"Providing individuals with the job training opportunities they need is critical to keeping our highway system up and running," said Secretary Foxx. "Training programs like these create opportunities for workers in the short-term, and ensure that the next generation is ready for the challenges that will face America’s transportation system in the years ahead."
According to USDOT estimates, more than half the current highway construction workforce is over the age of 45 and, with retirement, separation and growth, more than a half-million highway construction jobs are projected over the next decade.
The grants focus specifically on supporting innovative, nationally and regionally significant highway construction workforce development programs that target specific workforce needs across the country and build ladders of opportunity to the middle class for American workers.
The Ladders of Opportunity Initiative OJT/SS grants support the training programs of state departments of transportation (DOTs) for highway contractors, apprentices and trainees. The grants encourage
s strategic partnerships among state DOTs and other organizations or stakeholders involved with workforce development, such as educational institutions, public workforce investment systems, and labor organizations, to support training opportunities for minorities and women in skilled and semi-skilled crafts.
“On-the-job training along with other strategies reflected in these awards can connect people who need jobs with job opportunities," said Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “By giving people the specialized training our transportation system needs, we can ensure that our transportation system remains safe and efficient for decades to come.”
California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
Through a partnership between California State University-Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Trade –Tech Community College, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the Long Beach and Los Angeles Workforce Investment Systems, these funds will help Caltrans provide career/college counseling, and placement support for internships and jobs in highway construction or engineering.
Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT)
These funds will provide training to hundreds of workers to address a skills gap that directly affects Central 70, the state’s largest highway construction project which, at peak, will require an estimated 4,000 employees.
Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)
FDOT will use these funds to create a “Preparatory Institute” to provide skills training to unemployed or underemployed workers that will lead to journey-level careers in the highway construction industry and address a workforce need for approximately 5,000 jobs statewide in the next decade.
Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT)
These funds will enable MoDOT to address a statewide shortage of carpenters and laborers, by providing academic support, career services and training for CPR/First-Aid, OSHA-10 and other construction skills.
Montana Department of Transportation (MDOT)
These funds will be used to help MDOT and Blackfeet Community College Workforce Highway Construction Training Project train 45 members of the Blackfeet Reservation in heavy equipment operations and flagging to meet the demand for workers on highway construction projects on the Blackfeet Reservation.
Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)
This funding will provide OJT trainees with hands-on and classroom instruction regarding asphalt paving and technologies in Virginia community colleges to address a statewide worker shortage.
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT)
To address a growing workforce shortage, these funds will be used to develop an online platform to improve highway construction worker recruitment and retention among women, minorities and disadvantaged people.
Idaho Transportation Department
This funding will provide five weeks of training for heavy equipment operators and other skilled personnel to address identified statewide need.
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