Youth Workforce Development Resources
May 1, 2015
USDOT - CNCS Letter
On January 28, 2015, Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx and Wendy Spencer, the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), sent a letter to the governor of each State to announce a national service collaboration to expand youth-workforce development opportunities and strengthen transportation career pathways while improving infrastructure.
The DOT-CNCS letter encourages State agencies to work together to use youth service and conservation corps in transportation-related projects. States can lead this effort. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) may help facilitate these meetings and provide technical assistance, as appropriate. FHWA Division offices can:
- Assist with setting up exploratory kick-off meetings including the State Service Commission, State DOT, State resource agencies, and Federal land management agencies.
- Provide information resources, such as those listed below.
- Provide technical assistance related to the Federal-aid highway program, especially for locally-administered Federal-aid projects.
- Work with the State to determine which kinds of Federal-aid projects may be appropriate for using qualified youth service and conservation corps. Ensure that these projects are ready-to-go during seasons when youth corps teams are available. For example:
- Expedite projects through environmental streamlining procedures and programmatic agreements.
- Encourage design flexibility appropriate for smaller projects: avoid overdesign.
The USDOT and FHWA do not have official guidelines for how to incorporate youth corps programs. We encourage State agencies to work together to determine what is best for their State and to combine resources to work with qualified Corps organizations in their State.
States may use existing Federal, State, local, and private programs. We expect that State agencies will find that using qualified youth service and conservation corps within Federal-aid projects for transportation workforce development will be cost-effective.
- Several States have programs that can use Corps organizations in transportation. See the examples below.
- The FHWA On-the-Job Training (OJT) Program requires State Transportation Agencies to establish apprenticeship and training programs targeted to move women, minorities, and disadvantaged individuals into journey-level positions to ensure that a competent, well-diversified workforce is available to meet highway construction hiring needs, and to address the historical under-representation of these groups in highway construction skilled crafts. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/civilrights/programs/ojt.cfm and www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/factsheets/workforcedbe.cfm
- The Surface Transportation Program Workforce Development is eligible at 100 percent Federal share. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/guidance/guidestprev.cfm
- AmeriCorps members in DOT-funded programs may earn money for college and gain skills.
- The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) provides funds for many kinds of projects within the skill range of youth service and conservation corps. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/transportation_alternatives/
- The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides funds for many kinds of recreational trail projects. Most States have experience working with youth service and conservation corps on RTP-funded projects. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/
Example State Programs
Several States include youth service and conservation corps in transportation programs.
Example National Programs
Several national organizations and Federal land management agencies have active youth corps programs. See: