2020 was indeed good for something:  A program designed and ran by the Minnesota Department of Transportation exceeded their goals even in the midst of a global pandemic. MNDOT's On-The-Job Training Program (OJT) exceeded its original 2020 goals of placing 190 trainees in jobs within the agency in highway construction careers; the program places 196 trainees into the workforce.

Tomorrow's workforce depends on those just starting out today and no where is that more vitally a concern than in the skilled labor market.  That's why the Minnesota Department of Transportation decided to do something about it with the On-The-Job Training Program. According to MNDOT Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher:

"The On-The-Job Training Program's goal is to create a more diverse workforce by providing journey-level training in highway construction to people of color, women and disadvantaged populations.  This is the third consecutive year that we have accomplished this goal.”

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Along with offering the experience for young people, the program also addressed diversity. Details released by the Minnesota Department of Transportation show that of the 196 people placed in the workforce with the On-The-Job Training Program, a large percentage were comprised of gender and ethnic diverse people.  Here is a breakdown based off of broad-categories:

  • Female:  nearly 40%
  • Hispanic or Latino:  29%
  • Caucasian:  21%
  • African American:  21%
  • American Indian or Alaska Native:  15%
  • Asian or Pacific Islander:  7%
  • Self-addressing as two or more ethnicities:  2%

Just as diverse as the people placed into the workforce is the variety of careers represented.  The 196 individuals that took part in the 2020 On-The-Job Training Program were involved in the following career training categories:

  • Truck driver
  • Pile driver
  • Machine operator
  • Laborer
  • Iron worker
  • Project management
  • Pipefitter
  • Cement mason
  • Carpenter

While the On-The-Job Training Program was originated and run by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, its success was dependent on collaborations with other organizations.  MNDOT Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher offered that "MNDOT is]...especially grateful to our partners, community-based organizations, and construction contractors".  The program specifically lists the collaboration between MNDOT, the Federal Highway Administration, Tribal Governments, training providers, community-based organizations, and construction contractors.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has more information to share about the On-The-Job Training Program. Click here to learn more.

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