California College Receives $1.3M Grant to Train Construction Workers

A new partnership with Cal State Long Beach will help train Caltrans workers. The Joint Training and Certification Program will provide certification in the fields of Hot-Mix Asphalt, Soils and Aggregates and Portland Cement Concrete.

The state of California has a new pot of money to spend on improving its transportation and infrastructure. Now, it needs workers.

A new partnership with Cal State Long Beach, announced Monday, would help train Caltrans workers and others in certain specialties mostly related to concrete work.

“This partnership is a great step in addressing the needs of the state and industry in fixing and upgrading the state transportation infrastructure,” Hamid Rahai, an associate dean in the College of Engineering at CSULB, in a statement.

The state is providing a $1.3 million grant that will be administered by the local campus. The Joint Training and Certification Program will provide certification in the fields of Hot-Mix Asphalt, Soils and Aggregates, and Portland Cement Concrete.

Gov. Jerry Brown in April signed the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, which is expected to generate $52.4 billion over 10 years for transportation needs. The law increases the state’s gas excise tax by 12 cents a gallon, boosts the diesel excise tax by 20 cents a gallon and boosts the diesel sales tax by 5.75 percent.

Money also will come from a new fee based on a vehicle’s worth and a $100 annual fee on zero-emission vehicles. A constitutional amendment in the bill would require the money to be spent on transportation.

The tax increases go into effect Nov. 1.


The CSULB program is targeting independent technicians in the construction paving industry who hope to work with the state on projects in the future.

Rahai believes the partnership with Caltrans is the first step in the school’s vision for becoming a hub of education, training and the advancement of technology related to infrastructure.

Caltrans and industry officials believe that working closely with the university will foster a respect for the growing field, while also setting a higher standard for workers who use the specialized materials on various construction projects across California.

In a written statement, Russell Snyder, executive director of the California Asphalt Pavement Association, said the industry is “pleased to partner with Caltrans on this innovative program.”

The week-long in-person classes begin in December at CSULB and its sister campus San Jose State University.

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