Here's an achievement:  The Minnesota Department of Transportation has exceeded their On The Job Training Program goal for 2021.  The program - designed to create a "more diverse workforce" - was working towards a goal of 130 trainees for the year; MNDOT is reporting that they placed 211 trainees in jobs in highway construction careers during the past year.

The positive efforts this year mark the fourth year in a row that the state agency has been able to exceed their trainee goal numbers.

Opportunities and training are the primary end goal for trainees in the program, combined with an objective of a diverse workforce.  MNDOT Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher explains:

"The On The Job Training program's goal is to create a more diverse workforce by providing the training in highway construction to people of color, women, and disadvantaged populations.  MNDOT is committed to improving access to positions and enhancing career opportunities for historically underserved individuals."

Looking at the 2021 On The Job Training program participants, here's a break down of their ethnicities:

  • 31% were Hispanic or Latino
  • 23% were Caucasian
  • 19% were African American
  • 15% were American Indian or Alaska Native
  • 8% were Asian or Pacific Islander
  • 4% were a combination of two or more ethnicities

It's also worth noting that of the total number of On The Job Training Program participants, 39% of them were female.

Sergii Petruk
Sergii Petruk

Responsibility for the On The Job Training Program - from establishing the goals to recruitment and training - is a direct collaboration between the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, Tribal Governments, training providers, community-based organizations, and construction contractors.

Reviewing sample data for the 211 participants in the 2021 program, their end result saw them pursuing the following trade training:

  • Laborer - 105 people
  • Equipment operator - 51 people
  • Carpenter - 15 people
  • Truck driver - 14 people
  • Pile driver - 13 people
  • Cement Mason - 8 people
  • Electrician - 4 people
  • Iron Worker - 1 person

MNDOT shared that 19 of the trainees taking part in the program "reached journey-level status" during the year.  Meanwhile, 74 employees have reached this status since 2018.

The state agency provides a complete summary of the On The Job Training Program - including details on how you can apply, visit the page on their website.

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