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CDOT Announces Job Training and Local Hiring Goals for Central 70 Project

FHWA awards Department $400,000 to support workforce development for project to reconstruct I‐70 in central Denver.

DENVER—The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will provide training and set hiring goals to enable hundreds of local residents to work on the reconstruction of the I‐70 corridor from Brighton Boulevard to Chambers Road, an unprecedented workforce development program supported by a recently announced $400,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

The project is one of only nine pilot projects of this type authorized nationally.

For more information on the Central 70 project, visit central70.codot.gov. Find additional details on the FHWA grant program, and learn more about the local hiring pilot initiative.

CDOT proposes to focus local hiring on neighborhoods adjacent to I‐70 in central Denver. Normally, federally funded projects are prohibited from setting geographically‐based hiring goals. This is the first time a Colorado project has received special permission from FHWA to set local hiring goals.

"A project of this magnitude will require thousands of workers, many in high‐demand positions requiring tremendous skill and training," said CDOT Executive Director Shailen Bhatt. "This program will allow CDOT to provide lifelong career opportunities to local communities and build a skilled workforce to support construction projects across the region."

In the coming months, CDOT will be working with workforce partners to design and implement training programs for the Central 70 project, ranging from entry‐level skills development to apprenticeship programs.

"We have heard from the stakeholders the importance of training and hiring workers from the neighborhoods that will be most affected by this project. We are very excited to pilot local hiring goals on this critical project and to pair these goals with training programs. Moreover, we can start these training programs now, before construction starts, so we have a trained workforce ready to hit the ground running," said Tony DeVito, Central 70 project director.

The focus of the FHWA grant program is to support innovative, nationally significant highway construction workforce development programs that target specific workforce needs across the country, and build ladders of opportunity to the middle class for American workers. The Central 70 Project, formerly known as I‐70 East, is scheduled to begin construction in late 2017. A Record of Decision, completing a 13‐year study process, is expected later this summer. The project proposes to improve safety, mobility and community connections along one of Colorado's most congested interstate corridors.

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