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Free highway and heavy construction training starts June 1 in Rochester

Agencies band together to help attract targeted groups to help meet workforce goals.

DMC Destination Medical Center logo

Hoping to achieve workforce goals for women and minorities in public construction projects, several agencies are joining forces to provide specialized training.

Workforce Development Inc., the city of Rochester, Destination Medical Center, Laborers Local 405 and Minnesota Department of Transportation are partnering to offer a free four-week highway and heavy construction training course in June focused on minorities, women, and disadvantaged individuals.

The training is part of a $100,000 award from MnDOT for highway and heavy construction training, recruitment, screening and placement with contractors.

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Rochester and DMC projects are subject to the state's workforce goals for women and minorities. It has been challenging for local contractors to meet the goal for women -- 7 percent in 2021-- especially on highway and heavy construction projects, because of a lack of trained workers.
Classes begin June 1 and run from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily through June 25. The class will be held at Workforce Development, Inc. at the Heintz Center of the Rochester Community and Technical College in Rochester.

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Participants will go to the Laborer’s Training Center in Lino Lakes, Minn., one day during the second week of training.

During the third week, Local 405 Laborers Union trainers will conduct OSHA 30 and CPR/first aid/AED training.

During the fourth week, participants will receive flagger training, qualifying them for flagger positions on MnDOT projects. Local contractors will have the opportunity to interview class participants.

Classes will follow CDC guidelines for social distancing and all participants will wear masks.

Jobs in highway and heavy construction pay a competitive wage with benefits. Related prevailing wage for highway and heavy construction in the region is an hourly rate of $30.15, plus $21.84 fringe rate for a total of $52.35 per hour.

Fringe benefits include medical/dental/life insurance, pension benefits and training.

To learn more about the free highway heavy construction training, contact a local Workforce Development office or call 507-512-0494.

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