An aging workforce, low employment rates and competitive job market are all factors behind a new jobs programs started by the Iowa Department of Transportation. The program aims to recruit, educate …
An aging workforce, low employment rates and competitive job market are all factors behind a new jobs programs started by the Iowa Department of Transportation. The program aims to recruit, educate and train as many as 50 new employees over the coming months.
The name of the new engineering technician training program is “CoolCareers.” Materials promoting the program point out these are “not your ordinary 9-5 jobs.” That’s because individuals hired will benefit from a 10-week intensive technical education program and a three-month field training assignment, leading to career placement within the DOT. Education and training will be provided at absolutely no cost to the employee. Classes will be held at Iowa State University in Ames.
“This is a genuine opportunity for individuals interested in the technical field to earn full-time wages and benefits while obtaining the education and experience necessary to succeed in technical career positions at the DOT,” said Dan Ohman, assistant design engineer.
Retirement of hundreds of DOT workers, who were hired during the peak of the interstate highway building era in the late 1950s and 1960s, has resulted in a decrease in staff resources, and movement of personnel within the department’s workforce. Especially hard hit are offices staffed by technicians who provide road and bridge design, survey work, materials testing and highway construction inspection.
Attempting to fill these vacancies with experienced individuals has been a challenge for the DOT. Factors also affecting the availability of qualified individuals are historically low unemployment rates, an extremely competitive job market, and young people leaving the state. The DOT sees the CoolCareers program as a promising new approach to attracting a needed workforce.
For more information on how to apply for these positions, contact the Iowa Department of Transportation, CoolCareers, 800 Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa 50010, phone 515-239-1783. Applications are being accepted through January 29.
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