ADOT offers first Construction Academy training session just for women

Spaces are available for this free training in March

PHOENIX – An Arizona Department of Transportation training program that helps members of economically disadvantaged groups launch careers in transportation construction is getting ready to hold its first session just for women.

By focusing the next two-week Construction Academy, to be held March 2-13 in Phoenix, ADOT’s On-The-Job-Training Supportive Services Program is helping address underrepresentation by women in the field. Women comprise about 9 percent of construction workers nationally, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

With spaces still available, those interested in participating in this free training can get information and apply by visiting azdot.gov/Academy.

Through the years, ADOT’s Construction Academy has helped more women enter the construction trades. Of the more than 600 graduates since this pre-apprentice training began in 2014, about 35 percent have been women.

Steve Navis, a manager with ADOT’s On-The-Job-Training Supportive Services Program, said the certifications earned by Construction Academy participants are particularly beneficial for women. A candidate with those qualifications has a more powerful resume, especially because of regulations on the number of women and members of other economically disadvantaged groups contractors must employ for federally funded projects.

“However, the larger goal of the Construction Academy is helping participants view construction as a viable career and not just another job,” Navis said. “Modern technology and construction methods mean that all people with ability have places in the construction world.”

Construction Academy training also is available to minorities, veterans and members of other economically disadvantaged groups, including those who are unemployed.

Three-quarters of Construction Academy participants have gone on to work in the construction field as flaggers, commercial truck drivers, heavy equipment operators, highway surveyors, electricians, carpenters, painters, pipe fitters, concrete finishers and block masons. Depending on the position, they start out earning $14 to $24 an hour, and sometimes more.

Participants receive training in construction math, flagger certification, OSHA 10 safety certification, reading construction plans, obtaining a Commercial Driver License permit and resume building. If participants have perfect attendance, they also receive a set of tools valued at $200. ADOT offers the free two-week training through a Federal Highway Administration workforce grant.

For more information or to apply for this or future Construction Academy sessions, please visit azdot.gov/Academy, call 602.712.8125 or pick up materials at the ADOT Business Engagement and Compliance Office, 1801 W. Jefferson St., Suite 101, in Phoenix.