This project was funded through the Highway Construction Workforce Development Program by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT)
Career education, Apprenticeship programs, Vocational guidance
While white men have historically dominated the highway construction trades in Oregon, this trend continues to change: of those enrolled in apprenticeships in the highway construction trades in 2005, 81% were white men; in 2017, this number was 69%. Of apprentices who completed an apprenticeship in 2010, 84% where white men; in 2017, this number was 76%. These changes are likely due, in part, to efforts by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Bureau of Labor Industries (BOLI) to diversify the skilled highway construction workforce through pre apprenticeships as well as financial and nonfinancial services to apprentices in eligible trades through the Highway Construction Workforce Development Program.
This report assesses the continued efforts of these supports using data from the Oregon Apprenticeship System (OAS) and a phone survey of recently active highway trades apprentices conducted in March of 2018. In addition, we compare these findings to those previously reported in 2014 and 2016. This year’s survey included additional information on apprentices’ individual and household income and childcare needs, before, during, and after apprenticeships. Specifically, this report aims to explore the following questions: 1) Has the recruitment and retention of women and people of color in highway trades apprenticeships continued to increase since a) the inception of the program in 2010? and b) the previous reporting period of 2014-2015? 2) Has the awareness, use, and evaluation of supportive services changed since the previous reporting period? and 3) What is the impact of supportive services on retention and diversity in the highway trades? The report concludes with a set of recommendations for improvements to the Highway Construction Workforce Development Program and an update to the Performance Measurement System proposed in the 2016 report.
Wilkinson, Lindsey and Maura Kelly. 2018. Continuing to Build a More Diverse Workforce in the Highway Trades: 2018 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.