Salem— The Oregon Department of Transportation's Office of Civil Rights has opened a toll-free, bilingual phone line so that Oregonians interested in highway construction jobs can find out about employment or apprenticeship opportunities with ODOT's contractors on highway projects.
When they dial (877) 972-5700, callers will hear a greeting and can leave a message in English or Spanish. Within 48 hours, they will hear back from a Civil Rights specialist in their location telling them about employment and apprenticeship opportunities in their area and how to get involved.
According to ODOT, there is a critical need for trained construction workers in Oregon, but the process for entering the high-paying construction industry can be challenging. The toll-free number is part of ODOT's Workforce Development Plan.
Through regional alliances statewide, the Workforce Development Plan is building a qualified labor pool to work on highway and bridge construction projects, which are reaching record levels. All over the state, ODOT is engaged in major construction projects to improve the highway infrastructure, including projects in the $1.3-billion OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program. The bridge program, part of ODOT's 10-year, $3-billion Oregon Transportation Investment Act, is replacing and repairing hundreds of aging highway bridges across the state.
"The new toll-free number gives people a simple, direct line of communication," said Michael Cobb, manager of ODOT's Office of Civil Rights. "Now anyone, anywhere in the state, can receive personal guidance about construction opportunities in their area."