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New Program To Train New Highway Workers Begins In Late June

By Justin Hicks, IPB News | Published on in Economy, Government
A sign at the head of a highway construction site near South Bend, Indiana. (Justin Hicks/IPB News)
A sign at the head of a highway construction site near South Bend, Indiana. (Justin Hicks/IPB News)

A new program starting later this month will give workers a pathway into highway construction careers. It’s a joint project between the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Indiana Construction Roundtable.

The 11-week program will be held in Indianapolis and will train up to 20 workers in safety and construction methods used to build highways. Midway through the course, they’ll also participate in a job fair. It’s called BY Roads, modeled after a more general construction training program from the Construction Roundtable.

David Dalton, workforce development director for INDOT, said there are also federal funds to help some underrepresented workers offset the cost of transportation and child care while in the program.

“Construction trades, skilled trades in general, comprises of older white men,” he said. “That’s a workforce that’s aging out, for one, and then we’re trying to build those skills for people that may or may not have the same opportunities.”

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The program is free, but does not pay participants like a traditional apprenticeship. However the organizers hope participants can get hired and start working in the construction industry while in the program.

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.