ADOT Construction Academy creates fast track to careers

New two-week format gets participants ready for highway construction jobs

PHOENIX – A new full-time format for the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Construction Academy pre-apprenticeship training program readies participants for highway construction jobs in just two weeks.

Participants in first two-week ADOT Construction Academy gradudateThe first cohort in the Highway Construction-Jump Start program graduated in October after hands-on instruction in Camp Verde. At no cost to them, seven participants received training and certifications needed to compete for entry-level jobs on construction projects.

Another cohort is currently receiving training in Phoenix, with graduation scheduled for Friday, Nov. 8.

ADOT created its Construction Academy programs to remove barriers to careers in highway construction for women, minorities, veterans and members of economically disadvantaged groups, including those who are out of work.

The agency also offers the Construction Academy in a 16-week format, with participants receiving three hours of instruction three nights a week toward starting careers as masons on construction projects. The next 16-week programs are planned this coming spring in Phoenix and Prescott next summer.

With funding from the Federal Highway Administration, ADOT offers both programs through its On-The-Job-Training Supportive Services Program, part of the agency’s Business Engagement and Compliance Office.

“The new Jump Start program gives those who can participate full-time a fast track to careers in one of the best industries in Arizona,” said Steve Navis, manager of ADOT’s On-The-Job-Training Supportive Services Program. “Whether you can commit a full two weeks or a few nights a week over a longer period, we’re tailoring these high-quality adult education programs to you.”

Participants in the two-week program receive certification to work as flaggers on highway projects, commercial driver license permits needed to drive commercial trucks and Occupational Safety and Health Administration 10-hour safety training certification covering general safety and health hazards for entry-level construction workers.

They also receive training in construction math, reading construction plans, work-readiness and resume-building.

Many of these trainees will move on to construction apprenticeships and later reach journeyman status, with ADOT providing continuing support and guidance.

Future two-week programs are scheduled in Tucson (Feb. 3-14), Phoenix (March 2-13), Nogales (March 30-April 10), Globe (May 4-15) and Show Low (June 1-12).

In both programs, ADOT covers training costs and fees for participants and provides support finding employment as well as job-readiness training. Those with 100 percent attendance receive free gear including hand tools, tool belts and hard hats.

For more information or to apply for either Construction Academy format, please visit azdot.gov/Academy, call 602.712.7761 or pick up materials at the ADOT Business Engagement and Compliance Office, 1801 W. Jefferson St., Suite 101, in Phoenix.