ADOT offers construction certification program for students

Partnership with college prepares individuals for transportation careers

PHOENIX - Beginning March 23, the Arizona Department of Transportation, through its Business Engagement and Compliance Office, will offer a Highway Construction Pre-Apprenticeship certification program in partnership with Gateway Community College. The program, funded through the Federal Highway Administration, will run for seven weeks ending on May 7.

The need for construction industry employees is due to the anticipated number of retiring workers over the next decade as well as the limited number of skilled workers available in the construction field.

“This outreach program has a specific purpose to create a pool of qualified workers from specific target groups – women, minorities, economically disadvantaged and veterans – to work in the highway construction industry,” said Olga Diaz, OJT/workforce development manager at ADOT’s Business Engagement and Compliance Office.

The ADOT Pre-Apprenticeship classes in the seven-week program allow students to learn about and experience the trades available in the construction field.

“Participants completing the program have a huge advantage in stepping into an opportunity for future employment and empowers them to move forward knowing that opportunities are there for them,” said Diaz.

The classes consist of lectures and hands-on activities in the construction trades including computer technology, construction math, OSHA 10 and traffic control certification, followed by a career/job fair with more than 30 employment vendors. The participants have an opportunity to network with ADOT’s partners in the construction industry, various associations and other apprenticeship programs.

Each applicant has to be registered as a student at Gateway Community College and must attend all seven weeks of the apprenticeship program. Each student will be equipped with work gloves and safety goggles, and have access to the tutoring center, library and computer lab. At the end, steel-toe boots will be supplied.

Upon successful completion and graduation from the program, each student will receive 12 credits that can be applied toward their degree, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration certification voucher and a Traffic Control Flagger certification voucher.

The Business Engagement and Compliance Office previously hosted three-week Pre-Apprenticeship programs at ADOT facilities with one to begin at Gila Community College in Globe.

Transportation puts people to work building projects, spurs economic development and through the delivery of goods and service which adds jobs to the state, creating a positive cycle of economic benefit. The Highway Construction Pre-Apprenticeship certification program is an example’s of ADOT’s commitment to support the economic growth of Arizona through partnerships with community colleges to prepare students for careers in transportation.

In the near future, ADOT plans to partner with community colleges and other entities to bring the same program to participants in the northern and southern region of Arizona.

For more information about the program, please visit azdot.gov/bec and view the On-the-Job Training Program page.