The North Carolina Department of Transportation recently launched two career-building programs to help fill vacancies for jobs that don’t require college degrees.
[Above photo by NCDOT]
The department noted it has “hundreds of job openings” across the state due primarily to promotions and retirements. Many of those openings are for entry-level transportation workers, which offer on-the-job training that can lead to higher pay and supervisory responsibility within the agency.
Amanda Olive, NCDOT’s human resources director, said the agency has an overall 21 percent vacancy rate, and that a transportation worker has an entry-level starting salary of $38,377.
“You can come in and you will get your experience on the job,” Olive said in a statement. “You will learn the different skills that you need to know, depending on what area you’re in.”
NCDOT noted that such “on-the-job” learning helped propel Mike Fisher through its ranks after he became a transportation worker with no experience right after high school in Bladen County in 2001.
Fisher advanced in his career, and today he is the bridge maintenance engineer for Highway Division 6, which is based in Fayetteville and covers five southeastern counties.
“As long as you are willing to step through the door, you can take advantage of what NCDOT has to offer, and you can definitely succeed here,” Fisher said.
[Editor’s note: NCDOT released the video below detailing Fisher’s on-the-job success at the agency.]
The first of the two new NCDOT career-building initiatives is known as the On-the-Job Training Program, offered through the department’s Office of Civil Rights. It is a two-week summer course to help prepare high school students for construction industry careers.
Later this fall, the department will kick off a second initiative, called the Transportation Apprenticeships Program, with a goal of hiring 100 high school graduates to be transportation workers and engineering technicians. They will continue as full-time NCDOT employees after they complete their apprenticeships, the agency said.
NCDOT’s Olive said some of the department’s deputy division engineers, county maintenance engineers and other supervisors began as entry-level transportation workers.
“During employee orientation, I like to tell people, the world is your oyster, because you can work your way up to anything,” Olive noted.