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ADOT's Construction Academy goes virtual to help Arizonans build a new career path

The Rebound Arizona
Posted at 5:42 AM, Jun 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-01 11:26:56-04

PHOENIX — You can build a better career path for yourself, while building better roads and construction projects for the community.

The Arizona Department of Transportation has found a way to keep their free Construction Academy moving during the coronavirus pandemic by putting a large portion of the program online to get people back to work.

"We needed to change everything," said Steve Navis.

Navis is ADOT's OJT/Workforce Development Program Manager and he explained, construction work is an essential service so there are plenty of projects in need of workers around the state.

"So we decided, 'Okay, well - what can we do online that still serve our students and serve our customers, which would be our contractors, to help get them qualified people for these positions?'"

Two weeks ago, they launched the program in a virtual form.

"It just worked out pretty well," Navis said.

ADOT's Construction Academy has been offering free instruction to Arizonans for about six years. They work to train people in the trades, like truck driving, heavy equipment operators, pipe fitters, etc.

"We try to advertise it as, it's not just a job - it's a career," Navis said.

After the two weeks of free instruction. participants can start earning between $14 and $24 an hour, and more to come as experience is gained.

"A lot of these people are making $30 to $60 an hour," Navis said. "Some are making over $100,000 a year pretty easily."

ADOT really hopes that minorities, women, disadvantaged individuals, and veterans take advantage of this program. However, it is open for everyone to apply to.

To start the application process, click here.