U.S. DOT awards job-training grants

Money helps fund apprenticeships and training centers for the under-represented, disadvantaged

March 22, 2010

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced $11.8 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) job-training grants for 19 states, Guam and Puerto Rico.

The grants, from the Federal Highway Administration’s “On the Job Training/Supportive Services” (OJT/SS) program, fund apprenticeships and training centers for under-represented or disadvantaged people pursuing careers in transportation, engineering or construction.

“Creating good jobs is what the Recovery Act is about, and these grants help people to get them and do them well,” said LaHood. “We can never have enough well-trained people to help take care of our highway system, and these grants support those who help us keep America moving.”

Created in 1998, the OJT/SS program promotes training opportunities for women and minorities who continue to be under-represented in the highway construction industry’s skilled and semi-skilled crafts, such as masonry and carpentry.

“By giving people the skills they need to succeed in highway construction,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez, “these grants will help people find jobs and are a valuable part of our efforts to sustain economic recovery.”

A notable example of the OJT/SS programs is the Wounded Warrior program, which has been adopted by many states to help wounded active-duty military personnel keep job skills sharp or develop new ones while they recuperate. Colorado and Idaho each received grants for their Wounded Warrior programs.