On-the-job training program
The primary objective of the Minnesota Department of Transportation On-the-Job Training program is to offer equal opportunity for the training and upgrading of minorities, women, and disadvantaged persons toward journey-level status in the highway construction trades.
The OJT program involves shared responsibilities among the Federal Highway Association, MnDOT and construction contractors. Some of these responsibilities include:
- Establishing an annual OJT trainee goal
- Assigning trainees and hours goal to projects
- Recruiting and training minorities, women and disadvantaged persons
Per 23 CFR 230.11, MnDOT has an established OJT Program and an OJT Special Provision that has been approved by the FHWA. This regulation is located in the Contract Special Provisions, Division S – Part B, S-41 (2041) On-the-Job Training Program.
OJT program application
Before a project is advertised, it will be evaluated for an OJT goal. An OJT goal includes the minimum number of individual trainees and a total number of hours that a contractor should utilize on a project. OJT goals are set after considering factors such as:
- Length of the contract
- Amount of the contract
- Type of work in the contract
- Need for additional journey level workers in the area
- Availability of minorities, women, and other disadvantaged persons for training
- Other applicable guidelines
OJT program proposal
Once a project with an OJT goal is awarded, the apparent low bidder must submit an OJT program proposal form stating the anticipated trades and potential sources for recruiting OJT trainees.
OJT trainee application
The contractor must submit an OJT trainee application within 30 business days of the trainee’s start date.
OJT mentorship agreement
The contractor may assign an OJT trainee recruited from a MnDOT workforce training program a mentor. The contractor must submit a mentorship agreement within 30 business days of the trainee’s start date.
The contractor is then eligible for hourly reimbursement up to the goal of the contract. MnDOT may pay bonus incentives if the OJT trainee is a graduate of a MnDOT-funded workforce training program and if the contractor assigned that trainee a mentor. Contractors must provide their trainees with a copy of their training plan and a certificate of training hours completed.
The contractor must submit the departure form within 15 business days of any OJT trainee voluntarily or involuntarily leaving its employment. The contractor does not need to submit a departure form for seasonal layoffs.
The contractor must notify the engineer and MnDOT’s Office of Civil Rights when the OJT goal is met and/or work is complete. Then, MnDOT’s Office of Civil Rights will issue a final clearance letter.