Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Civil Rights

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On-the-Job Training (OJT) Program FAQs for contractors

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Why is there an OJT program?

To provide training and improve the skills of minorities, women, and disadvantaged persons so they have access and the opportunity to perform skilled trade jobs and reach journey level positions in highway heavy construction.

What is MnDOT’s authority to have an OJT Program?

Per 23 CFR 230.111, the State highway agency shall determine which Federal-aid highway construction contracts shall include the “Training Special Provisions” (appendix B) and the minimum number of trainees to be specified therein after giving appropriate consideration to the guidelines set forth in ยง230.111(c).

What are the eligibility requirements for an OJT trainee?

An individual must be a minority, woman, or otherwise disadvantaged. An individual cannot be a trainee in any classification in which he/she has been employed as a journeyperson or is considered skilled in all areas of that classification.

What is the minimum standard for setting project-specific OJT goals?

A federally funded project that is estimated to be 100 working days or more and at least $1 million per the engineers estimate.

What is considered when setting the project-specific OJT goals?

The following guidelines are used by MnDOT:

  • Availability of minorities, women, and disadvantaged for training
  • The potential for effective training
  • Duration of the contract
  • Dollar value of the contract
  • Total normal workforce that the average bidder could be expected to use
  • Geographic location
  • Type of work
  • The need for additional journeymen in the area
  • Recognition of the suggested minimum goal for the state
  • A satisfactory ratio of trainees to journeymen expected to be on the contractor’s workforce during normal operations

How do I know if there is an OJT goal set on the project?

Review the OJT section of contract (section 2041) or contact the MnDOT Contract Compliance Team.

What is the difference between the OJT Program and the OJT Alternative Program?

If a contractor is in the OJT Program, then the contractor must achieve the project-specific OJT Goal set by MnDOT Office of Civil Rights. If a contractor is in the OJT Alternative Program, then the contractor must achieve the yearly trainee goal and yearly minimum hours goal established by MnDOT Office of Civil Rights.

How is an OJT trainee different than an Apprentice?

To be counted as an OJT trainee, an employee must be a female, minority or disadvantaged individual. The employee must be approved for the OJT program by MnDOT Office of Civil Rights. Enrollment as an apprentice is not based on demographics. Per the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry, apprenticeship is a formal system of employee training that combines on-thejob training with related technical instruction. With apprenticeship training, there is a written contract between the apprentice and the sponsor, approved by and registered with the state of Minnesota (see http://www.dli.mn.gov/APPR/apprfaq.asp).

Does an OJT trainee have to be an Apprentice?

No.

Can an OJT be an Apprentice?

Yes.

How often do contractors need to submit an OJT Trainee Application for approval by MnDOT Office of Civil Rights?

Contractors must submit an OJT Trainee Application each calendar year prior to the trainee start date or within 30 days of the trainee start date.

What is included in an OJT Trainee Approval Letter?

The letter will include the name of the trainee, trade, whether the individual graduated from a MnDOT OJT Supportive Services Program, effective approval/reimbursement date and hourly reimbursement amount.

How do I know who is an approved OJT trainee?

Contact the assigned MnDOT Office of Civil Rights Contract Compliance Specialist.

What are the trainee reimbursement rates?

The prime contractor may be reimbursed:

  • $1 per hour: approved OJT trainee
  • $5 per hour: approved OJT trainee + graduate of MnDOT OJT Supportive Services Program
  • $10 per hour: approved OJT trainee + graduate of MnDOT OJT Supportive Services Program + assigned a mentor

How long can a trainee be in the OJT Program?

The timeframe for being an OJT trainee is consistent with the hours established by the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry. For trade-specific hours, see table below:

Trade Hours
Carpenter 7,000
Cement Mason 6,000
Crane Operator 8,000
Electrician 8,000
Iron Worker 6,000
Laborer 4,000
Operating Engineer 4,000
Painter 6,000
Pile Driver 8,000
Pipefitters 8,750
Truck Driver 2,000

If a subcontractor contributes hours to the project-specific OJT goal, who gets reimbursed?

The prime contractor receives the OJT reimbursement.

Can contractors receive additional reimbursement after the OJT goal has been reached?

Possibly, if there are project funds available after the OJT goal has been reached. Reimbursement may be provided at the discretion of the MnDOT project engineer for hours that exceed the OJT goal.

What is a MnDOT OJT Supportive Services Training Program?

MnDOT partners with union training centers and a variety of organizations to provide highway heavy training to individuals. For further information visit the MnDOT Office of Civil Rights Business and Program Development website.

How do I know if a trainee graduated from a MnDOT OJT Supportive Services Program?

Request the Certificate of Completion from the trainee or contact the MnDOT Office of Civil Rights Business and Program Development staff.

What hours count toward the OJT goal?

  1. The hours worked in the trade that the trainee was approved in and
  2. The hours worked on or after the effective reimbursement date indicated on the OJT Trainee Approval Letter

Can trainees work on more than one project and still count for the OJT goal?

Yes.