This project was funded through the Highway Construction Workforce Development Program by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI) and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT)
Career education, Apprenticeship programs, Vocational guidance
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) have partnered in a statewide effort—the Highway Construction Workforce Development Program—to recruit, train, and employ a diverse workforce for highway construction jobs throughout the state. This program, begun in 2010, supports pre-apprenticeship programs and provides financial assistance (i.e. fuel assistance, support for overnight travel, childcare, and work clothes, tools, and protective equipment) and non-financial support (i.e. counseling, formal mentoring, social support) in an effort to increase the recruitment and retention of women and people of color in Oregon’s highway construction trades.
In 2014, Measure of America, in collaboration with Portland State University, released a report assessing the impact of the Highway Construction Workforce Development Program. The current report follows up on the 2014 study to assess the continued effectiveness of supportive services on the recruitment and retention of apprentices, with a particular emphasis on women and people of color. This report provides findings based on data from the Oregon Apprenticeship System (OAS) and a phone survey, conducted in March of 2016, of current and recently active apprentices. We compare these more recent findings with those reported in 2014 in order to provide continued assessment of ODOT/BOLI’s Highway Construction Workforce Development Program.
Overall, the current study provides findings regarding the effectiveness of the Highway Construction Workforce Development Program at improving recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce as well as recommendations for continuing to improve the recruitment and retention of a diverse work force.
Wilkinson, Lindsey and Maura Kelly. 2016. (Still) Building A More Diverse Workforce in the Highway Trades: 2016 Evaluation of the ODOT/BOLI Highway Construction Workforce Development Program.Final report submitted to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries and Oregon Department of Transportation.