Twenty-seven members of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe earned their certification to work as flaggers on tribal construction projects through a free Construction Academy sponsored by the Arizona Department of Transportation.
After completing a series of weekend courses, participants in the Pascua Yaqui Reservation Tribal Employment Rights Organization Construction Academy are now qualified to work on road projects on the reservation, located in the southwest Tucson area.
The OJT program was created to accelerate expansion of the pool of qualified women, minorities and disadvantaged persons in the highway-construction industry. Participants can be trained for a variety of positions:
- Heavy-equipment operator
- Commercial driver
- Highway surveyor
- Highway inspection/testing
- Traffic controller/flagger
- Highway-related carpentry
- Block mason
- Concrete finisher
- Pipe layers / pipe fitter
- Highway-related painter
Fifteen participants will serve as flaggers for six months on road projects administered by the Tribal Employment Rights Organization, while the remaining 12 will work as general laborers. After six months, participants will switch roles.
“The Pascua Yaqui Tribe is expanding its horizons by offering increased opportunity for learning, particularly with our youth,” Tribal Chairman Robert Valencia said. “We are very interested in developing additional programs similar to the Construction Academy in the very near future and have very high expectations that the outcomes of this Academy will be successful.”
ADOT offers the Construction Academy Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program through its On-The-Job-Training Supportive Services Program, part of the agency’s Business Engagement and Compliance Office.
“Construction Academy programs benefit the transportation industry while they connect people with careers,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “Our partnership with the Pascua Yaqui Tribe is one way we are providing this opportunity to more and more people around Arizona.”
ADOT’s On-The-Job Training Supportive Services Program will receive $112,000 in funding from the Federal Highway Administration to continue offering workforce-development initiatives in the coming federal fiscal year, which begins in October.
ADOT covers training costs and fees for participants and provides support including transportation and child care assistance, job-readiness training and safety gear such as hard hats and protective eyewear.
For more information or to apply for a Construction Academy, please visit azdot.gov/BECO, call 602.712.7761