US 36 Project Provides State With Nearly 250 Jobs

October 27, 2014 - Denver Metro Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - Workforce Development Program Trains Coloradans for Work on Express Lanes.

BROOMFIELD – Ames Granite Joint Venture and Plenary Roads Denver, the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) design-build contractor and concessionaire on the US 36 Express Lanes Project, announced today that Phase 1 of the project has put nearly 250 people to work locally and is responsible for an additional 130 Colorado subcontracting jobs – helping to keep the unemployment rate in Colorado at a moderate 4.7 percent (as of October 2014) compared to 2010, when the unemployment rate in Colorado peaked at 9.1 percent. Phase 2 has added an additional 200 jobs.

The Workforce Development Program helps the contractor find qualified workers, and more importantly, provides opportunities for people without construction or design experience to gain entry into the field.

“This program is a win-win for everyone,” said Workforce Development Program Coordinator Jim Hottinger. “As participants complete their training, they further advance their skillset and career potential within the industry, making the program an asset to employees, the project and the industry as a whole.”

The program is a combination of CDOT’s On the Job Training (OJT) and the Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) Workforce Initiative Now (WIN) programs. To supplement on-the-job and classroom training, WIN also provides career coaching, industry networking and personal supportive services to help participants succeed on the jobsite long-term.

On US 36, this innovative partnership helps train general craft field employees and professional service employees. General craft employees include equipment operators, truck drivers, carpenters, and others who aid with operations in the field, and professional service employees support the project in a variety of tasks such as quality assurance, inspection, materials testing, accounting, document control, public information, computer-aided drafting and engineering. The program on US 36 is the first time that professional services have been included in a CDOT OJT program.

Jed Manheim, a field erosion control technician, began working on the US 36 Express Lanes Project two years ago, through WIN.

“When I started, I didn’t know anything about construction, but through the last two years, the Workforce Development Program has heightened my training and has helped me understand how to do my job safely,” said Manheim. “Today, I have 16 certificates that are helping advance my career.”

Ames Granite has a goal of having 14 percent of its US 36 project workforce on Phase 1 and 9 percent on Phase 2 participate in the Workforce Development Program, making the program integral to the success of the project. To date, the US 36 Express Lanes Project has graduated 18 employees from the program. Currently, 26 apprentices are enrolled, and six more will start by the end of the year.

“There is a shortage of qualified construction workers in the industry right now,” said CDOT Project Director Mark Gosselin. “This program is an asset to the US 36 Express Lanes project but will also increase the talent pool for future projects.”

The US 36 Express Lanes Project is a multi-modal project that will build an express lane in each direction on US 36. The lanes will accommodate High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV), Bus Rapid Transit and tolled vehicles. In addition, the project will replace several bridges, build a commuter bikeway, add Bus Rapid Transit improvements, and install Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) for tolling, transit and traveler information, and incident management. Phase 1 (Federal Boulevard to 88th Street in Louisville/Superior) will open to the public in spring 2015. Phase 2 (88th Street to Table Mesa Drive in Boulder) will open in 2016.

For more information about the project, please visit