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News Release
ODOT News
ODOT Workforce Alliance seeks to expand job opportunities in construction trades
 
First Mid-Willamette Valley Regional Workforce Alliance meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 12
 
SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Transportation’s mid-Willamette Valley region is forming an active Regional Workforce Alliance to increase apprenticeship and training opportunities and boost the numbers of minorities and women in the highway construction trades. The first meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 12, from 10 a.m. to noon at Chemeketa Community College, 4000 Lancaster Drive N.E., Building 3, Rooms 118 and 119 in Salem.
 
The Mid-Willamette Valley Regional Workforce Alliance is part of ODOT’s Workforce Development Plan. ODOT’s plan has three important elements:
  • Increase diversity in employment
  • Increase apprenticeship participation
  • Provide more training resources and opportunities for highway construction careers
The Salem launch marks the fourth alliance to implement ODOT’s Workforce Development Plan at the local level. Alliances are up and running in the Portland metropolitan area and in eastern and southwestern Oregon.
 
At its first meeting, the group will establish a formal Workforce Alliance made up of representatives from state, county and city agencies; local service providers; women and minority groups; contractors; construction firms; and unions. The group will begin working on ways to make the best use of existing programs to build a qualified labor pool for the growing number of highway construction jobs.
 
ODOT’s highway and bridge construction projects are reaching record levels. At the same time, Oregon is facing a shortage of qualified highway workers at the apprentice and skilled journey positions.
 
“The Workforce Development Plan concentrates on helping people find long-term, sustainable careers instead of short-term jobs,” said ODOT Office of Civil Rights Manager Michael Cobb. “The regional workforce alliances we’re implementing across the state allow us to rebuild the construction labor pool, thereby creating sustainable careers and stimulating Oregon’s economy.”
 
The Workforce Development Plan implementation is a two-year pilot project. During this phase, all Oregon Transportation Investment Act III projects will use the new increased apprenticeship and training goals, and women and minority aspirational targets. The new goals and targets also apply to all ODOT construction projects in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties. Following the two-year trial, and pending Federal Highway Administration approval, ODOT will determine whether to include the new increased training goals and aspirational targets on all ODOT projects statewide.
 
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