DelDOT Office of Civil Rights receives $75K grant
The Delaware Department of Transportation’s Office of Civil Rights announced a recent $75,000 award from the Delaware Department of Labor - Division of Employment for the implementation of the Today’s Reinvestment Around Industry Needs Program.
The program will be administered as a collaborative effort between DelDOT, the Federal Highway Administration Small Business Development Center, Delaware Contractors Association, DiSabatino Construction, Buccini/Pollin Group, Corrado Construction Co., Associated Builders & Contractors of Delaware, New Castle County Economic Development Office and AA Consulting.
DelDOT is making significant investments in transportation infrastructure over the next seven years, with more than $4 billion of investments planned, 47% of which is subsidized by FHWA funding. Federal investment brings federal mandates to provide training aimed at moving women, minorities and disadvantaged individuals into journey level positions to ensure that a competent workforce is available to meet highway construction hiring needs.
As such, the grant will enable DelDOT to work closely with Delaware certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms to help strengthen their core business and build up their workforce in the highway construction industry. The program is scheduled to take place over a 12-month period beginning this October.
“These last several months have been extremely difficult for small businesses and the workforce that supports them,” said DelDOT Civil Rights Administrator Wendy Henry. “This strategic workforce development program will allow an opportunity for these businesses to receive intensive training that will strengthen their businesses and prepare them to work on the many upcoming construction opportunities here in Delaware. In addition, these businesses will add to their workforce individuals that are looking for opportunities in the construction workspace. It’s a full circle approach where we all support one another with the goal of getting small businesses back on track and supporting workforce development here in Delaware.”
The TRAIN Program is designed to address the federal mandate and promote economic growth through increased participation of women, minorities and disadvantaged individuals in skilled and semi-skilled crafts. DelDOT, in collaboration with its partners, will undertake this TRAIN initiative to increase the availability of qualified workers, ultimately increasing the department’s and its partners’ federal compliance success rate.