Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Civil Rights

Committed to equality in transportation service

Transportation workers

About EEO

MnDOT is responsible for ensuring equal opportunity for employment in the construction trades on state and federally funded projects regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital status and status with regard to public assistance. The EEO program requires contractors to actively recruit women and minority applicants for employment in accordance with federal and state EEO laws and MnDOT policies. The EEO program requires a workplace free from discrimination, harassment and violence.

A team of Civil Rights Specialists manage the EEO program. They perform in-depth EEO project reviews as required by federal regulation, monitor the implementation of EEO requirements and investigate and resolve EEO concerns on projects. The Civil Rights Specialists manage the On-the-Job Training (OJT) Program and Support Services Programs which are administered to recruit, train and place minority and women applicants with highway construction contractors.

The Civil Rights Specialists work with Tribal Employment Rights Offices, contractors, and MnDOT districts to ensure appropriate application of Tribal sovereignty when highway contracting occurs on Tribal reservations.


Federal On-the-Job Training Program

The Federal Highway Administration OJT policy requires state DOTs to establish apprenticeship and training programs targeted to move women, minorities, and disadvantaged persons into journey level positions to ensure that a competent workforce is available to meet highway construction hiring needs, and to address the historical under-representation of members of these groups in highway construction skilled crafts.


MnDOT's OJT Program involves several major components and shared responsibilities between the FHWA, the STA, and the contractor. These components include:

  • Development of statewide training goals – FHWA requests the STA’s to submit recommended calendar year goals for approval
  • Assignment of contract training goals – The STA assigns the training goals for each contract. The contracts selected for a training goal and the goal set for each contract should be based on:
    • Availability of minorities and women in the project vicinity
    • Potential for effective training
    • Duration of the contract(s)
    • Dollar value
    • Total anticipated workforce
    • Geographical location
    • Type of work
    • Need for journeyman in the area and by type of trade
    • Statewide goal
    • Satisfactory ratio of journeymen to trainee expected during normal operation of the construction project (ordinarily in the range of 10:1 to 4:1)

The contract training goal is the actual number of training positions or slots required on the project. The OJT Program requires that a special provision be placed in the contract which specifies the number of trainees that are to be assigned to various appropriate highway construction skilled crafts for actual hands-on experience. If a contractor does not attain the contract training goal for the project, the contractor could be subject to monetary penalties.


Highway Heavy Opportunities Occupations Training

MnDOT has funded and partnered with five training and placement entities Minneapolis Urban League, Merrick Community Services, St. Paul YWCA, Department of Employment and Economic Development, and Summit Academy OIC. The purpose of these contracts is to establish and implement a Highway Heavy Occupations Training On-The-Job Training Program, to assist Highway Heavy contractors acquire and maintain a diverse and qualified workforce, increase the under-representation of females, minorities, and disadvantaged individuals in the Highway Heavy Construction industry, help and improve the State’s Equal Employment Opportunity workforce goals. The programs will include a strong process for marketing graduates and utilizing the established network and partnerships to facilitate the referral of qualified women, minority and under-represented candidates for jobs and careers to potential employers who work on MnDOT Federal-aid projects. Training providers create partnership agreements with unions, non-profit community based organizations, community training providers, educational institutions, and/or workforce centers to provide training and to support Equal Employment Opportunity outreach, recruitment and placement.


Heavy Equipment Operator Training Program

Free, statewide pre-apprentice training program that will assist contractors who work on highway-heavy construction projects to obtain/retain a diverse, qualified workforce.

Class A Commercial Drivers License Training Program

The purpose of this program is to increase the representation of females, minorities and disadvantaged individuals, and assist contractors recruit a qualified and diverse workforce, and help them attain Equal employment opportunity work force goals. MnDOT has partnered with community organizations, MnDOT District Construction Offices, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, Minnesota Workforce Centers, Tribal Employment Rights Offices, in St. Cloud, Winona, and St. Paul to recruit minority and female candidates, to improve their math and reading skills, develop soft skills and train them to have the necessary skill and aptitude to obtain a Class A CDL. The graduates of these programs will be available to hire for the 2013 Construction season. Classes were offered in the following areas: St. Cloud (District 3), Winona (District 6), and St. Paul (Metro).


Special provisions and forms


MnDOT has established an OJT Program and an OJT Special Provision that has been approved by the FHWA. It is located in the Contract Special Provisions, Division S – Part B, S-41 (2041) On-The-Job Training Program.