PHOENIX – Thirty-one individuals seeking a hand up obtained entry-level positions as flaggers on construction projects, paying $13 to $19 per hour, thanks to free training provided by the Arizona Department of Transportation.
Those who took part in the flagger-certification program held this summer are the latest cohort in the Construction Academy Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program offered by ADOT’s On-The-Job-Training Supportive Services Program, part of the agency’s Business Engagement and Compliance Office.
Many of the recent trainees starting off as flaggers will move on to construction apprenticeships and later reach journeyman status as ADOT provides continuing support and guidance.
Flagger certification is just one of the training opportunities available to women, minorities and members of economically disadvantaged groups, including those who are out of work, through ADOT programs funded by the Federal Highway Administration. Individuals also can receive training that will help them become concrete finishers, block masons, highway surveyors, heavy equipment operators and commercial drivers.
ADOT’s goal in sponsoring this training: removing barriers to beginning construction careers.
ADOT-sponsored Construction Academies also are offered through Gila Community College, Gateway Community College and, starting this fall, Pima Community College and Pima County Joint Technology Education District (Pima County JTED).
ADOT covers training costs and fees for participants and provides support including transportation and child care assistance, job-readiness training and safety gear such as hard hats and protective eyewear.
This past spring, for example, all 18 Construction Academy participants at Gila Community College landed jobs. They completed a 16-week program that included highway flagger certification, training in carpentry and job-seeking strategies, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration instruction on job-related safety and health hazards.
Participants in Pima Community College’s first Construction Academy will receive 10 weeks of similar training, while 30 students in the Pima County JTED Construction Academy’s construction and heavy equipment program will receive training that includes flagger certification.
Meanwhile, a Commercial Driver License Construction Academy that ADOT offers in Phoenix and Tucson helps participants obtain Class A commercial driver licenses to land trucking jobs in the construction industry. The ADOT Business and Compliance Office Construction Project Management Academy, launching this fall, will provide training for participants in the On-The-Job-Training Supportive Services Program as well as to Disadvantaged Business Enterprises.
For more information or to apply for a Construction Academy, please visit azdot.gov/BECO, call 602.712.7761 or pick up materials at the ADOT Business Engagement and Compliance Office, 1801 W. Jefferson St., Suite 101, in Phoenix.