The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as directed by 23 Code of Federal Regulation
(CFR) requires all State Transportation Agencies (STA) to create and utilize On-the-Job Training (OJT)
on federally assisted highway construction projects. This directive was derived from the legislative
acts of 23 United States Code (U.S.C.) 140 a) - Federal Aid Highway Act of 1968 (OJT Program) and 23
U.S.C. 140 (b) - Federal Aid Highway Act of 1970 (OJT Supportive Services Program).
The aforementioned legislative acts originated in the late 1960s and early 1970s when it was recognized that a need existed to train minority employees in the highway construction trades. Though minorities have been employed in highway construction for a number of years, they were usually assigned the more labor-intensive jobs or the lower paying jobs in the semi-skills or unskilled labor classifications.
Discrimination based on sex has always been prohibited in the highway construction industry; however, the role of women in the industry was not specifically addressed until 1975. Since 1975, a conscientious effort has been made to train and employ women in nontraditional jobs (i.e., highway construction skilled trades).
An additional component of the OJT program has been the integration and utilization of Welfare to Work participants under the auspices of the OJT Supportive Services (See OJT Supportive Services). Section 1208(a) of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) allows State Transportation Agencies (STA) to reserve training positions for welfare recipients. This section requires that such positions shall not cause current employees to be displaced or current positions to be supplanted.
The objectives of the OJT Program are to:
provide training and improve the skills of women and minorities so that they have the opportunity and access to the higher paying skilled trade jobs and journeyman position and, broaden the labor pool to meet the projected future labor needs in the construction industry.The OJT program involves several major components and involves shared responsibilities between the FHWA, the STA, and the contractor. These components include:
- the type and duration of projects,
- the estimated number of projects to be awarded during the year,
- letting referrals,
- the changing character of projects and,
- the interrelationship of the above factors and any other relevant factors.
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 (Slots should not be assigned based on dollar value of contracts alone),
- total anticipated work force,
- geographical location,
- type of work
- need for journeyman in the area, and by type of trade,
- statewide goal, and,
- satisfactory ratio of journeyman 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 trainee quits or is terminated, the slot is to be refilled until a trainee completes the program. If a contractor does not attain the contract training goal for the project, the contractor could be subject to monetary penalties.
The contractor shall submit to the STA, for approval, the commitment in terms of the number
of trainees to be trained for each selected classification and the training programs to be
Note: Unionized State, apprenticeship programs have been developed by the various trade unions and are registered with the DOL, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (BAT). These training programs are acceptable for use on Federal-aid projects but must not require employees to be or become union members.
The STA as delegated to the Compliance and Business Opportunities Bureau must review, analyze, accept or reject training programs proposed by the contractor. The STA ensures that:
- proposed training programs are reasonable and realistic based on the job skill classification and,
- the number of training hours specified in the training program is consistent with the project's duration and sufficiently long enough for the trainee to obtain journeyman level status.
The contractor recruits and selects the trainees. However, the contractor may receive assistance from outside sources to accomplish this task. For example, the OJT Supportive Services (SS) Training Centers may refer trainees to the contractor (See OJT Supportive Services).
Once the contractor's training program has been finalized and approved by the STA, the trainees in each training slot begin hands-on training at the project site. Normally, the trainees are paid a percentage of the journeyman's wages (Davis-Bacon rates). The following payment plan is required in the FHWA Training Special Provisions (23 CFR 230 A - Appendix B).
- 60 percent of the journeyman's wages for the first half of the training period,
- 75 percent of the journeyman's wages for the third quarter of the training period, and
- 90 percent of the journeyman's wages for the last quarter of the training period.
- the contractor must periodically evaluate the training provided, and the trainee's progress. As evidence of a trainee's progress, contractor's compile and monthly report to Region personnel.
- Since 1983, the FHWA has required information to be submitted on the number of trainees and the job classifications in which training is occurring,. The FHWA requires this information to be submitted on Forms FHWA-1391 and FHWA-1392, which are to be prepared by the STA and the contractor and submitted to the Office of Civil Rights.
The STA and the FHWA share the responsibility of determining:
- the number of trainees that complete training,
- the number of trainees upgraded to journeyman-level status,
- the level of skills attained and,
- whether the statewide training program is meeting the needs of the construction industry regarding work force requirements and level of skills.
For information regarding the OJT Program and contractual responsibilities associated with it contact:Anthony Miller, OJT Specialist
(334) 260-2247 OR (334) 260-2241
FAX (334) 260-5329