U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content
Facebook iconYouTube iconTwitter iconFlickr iconLinkedInInstagram

Center for Accelerating Innovation

FHWA Home / OIPD / Accelerating Innovation / Every Day Counts / EDC News: March 25, 2021

EDC News

March 25, 2021

Innovation of the Month:
Strategic Workforce Development

Last week, we identified some of the key industry partners in the strategic workforce development (SWD) initiative that can support your agency in the training and placement process. This week, we'll highlight one of the SWD pilot locations – Denver, CO, and look at some of the programs they have in place to meet the demand for regional highway construction positions including for the labor-intensive, $1.2 billion Central 70 project. The purpose of this project is to reconstruct a 10-mile stretch of I–70, including the addition of one new Express Lane in each direction; the removal of the 57-year-old viaduct; lowering a portion of the interstate; and placing a 4-acre park over a portion of the lowered interstate. The Central 70 corridor is home to 1,200 businesses, provides the regional connection from I-25 in downtown Denver to the airport, and carries about 200,000 vehicles per day.

Denver skyline in the evening.
Denver skyline (Credit: Fotosearch)

Recognizing the scope and significance of the Central 70 project, the Colorado Department of Transportation, community and technical colleges, trade associations, and registered apprenticeship programs in the Denver metro area formed a unique workforce collaborative, the Colorado Resource (CORE) Partners, to provide community-focused training services for construction workforce readiness and career success. CORE's focus is on connecting members to training, placement opportunities, and support services to foster community-centered hiring on regional infrastructure projects. While the initial focus for CORE is the Central 70 project, the CORE partnership will be continued to address workforce needs for future Colorado highway projects.

A first step for CORE Partners was to assess the Central 70 project workforce needs to help define the goals and recommendations for connecting local residents to employment on the project. To support underrepresented populations in this effort, recruitment and outreach into all levels of career pathways actively sought out women and people of color.

CORE Partners also identified resources to eliminate barriers for candidates and increase retention including transportation assistance, industry work-readiness instruction, access to childcare, and access to mentors, and post-placement support services.

CORE Partners also created WORKNOW, an employment platform that includes a Navigator program, which provides one-on-one help to job candidates for training, employment, or advancement, identifying relevant skills and strengths, enrollment in support services, connecting with mentorships and coaching services, and providing a follow-up check-in with workers.

A key element of the broader WORKNOW platform is an interactive skills-based hiring platform for employers and potential workers, Trade Skills Match (TSM). Candidates create a virtual profile on TSM via the app or website that outlines their skills and experience. Employers search the TSM database for potential workers and invite candidates to apply, or employers may create job postings that will match employers to candidates. A total of one hundred forty-six Central 70 employees were placed or received services through WORKNOW.

If you have questions on how to identify, train, and place highway construction workers in your area, please contact Karen Bobo FHWA Office of Innovative Program Delivery Center for Transportation Workforce Development, or Joe Conway, FHWA Office of Innovative Program Delivery Center for Local Aid Support.

EDC Outtakes—Strategic Workforce Development

Branded thumbnail for EDC Outtakes - "Strategic Workforce Development." Photo of woman at right, identified in text as 'Karen Bobo, Federal Highway Administration.'

EDC Outtakes–a series of short interview videos–give insight into the current round of EDC innovations from State practitioners and FHWA personnel. In our latest edition, FHWA's Karen Bobo discusses the cost of not acting to fill workforce vacancies.

Keep reading EDC News for future editions of EDC Outtakes!

Have You Visited the FHWA UAS Website?

The FHWA unmanned aerial systems (UAS) website is a great resource for any agency, whether you are starting your UAS program or already have a mature program in place.

The site contains resources such as fact sheets, tech briefs, State DOT publications, and published State policies. Additionally, you will find links to on-demand UAS webinars and three peer exchange reports from across the country.

Visit the site today and familiarize yourself with the many available informational tools to enhance your UAS program. To learn more about UAS and how they can benefit your agency, contact James Gray, FHWA Office of Infrastructure.

Discover Home-Grown Innovations from Around the Country

State and Local Innovations - Home Grown Premuim Quality

Are you interested in homegrown innovations being used by your peers in other parts of the country? Check out the National STIC Network Showcase, a component of the EDC-6 Virtual Summit. Over 200 innovations, submitted by State DOTs, Local Agencies, and other STIC members, are grouped into eight topic area categories for easy navigation. This site features a convenient one-time registration that will allow you to continue accessing information throughout 2021.

The showcase prominently features several innovations focused on workforce development and knowledge sharing. Learn about the Ohio DOT's Planning and Engineering Roadshow, an internal communication program that connected representatives from the Planning and Engineering Departments with workforces in OH's County garages; South Carolina DOT's Applied Drone Technology Course, created through Clemson University's Department of Construction Science and Management and now available online to any State DOT; and the Maine DOT's "Guardrail Garden," a hands-on training facility that has enabled more effective training and education on guardrail inspection.

Celebrate the ingenuity of your peers and read about these innovations—developed and deployed in-house at transportation agencies nationwide. Additionally, we invite you to watch the one-hour presentations on-demand that feature several of the highlighted innovations.

Screen capture of EDC Virtual Summit Lobby with graphical arrow pointing to the button that will access the National STIC Network Showcase. The arrow contains text stating, "Access Home-Grown Innovations Here."

Did You Catch the Last Innovator?

Innovator cover image - UHPC bridge deck replacement shown.

The March/April issue of Innovator is available, accessible from your computer, tablet, or mobile phone to optimize your reading experience!

In this issue:

Comments? Questions? We'd love your feedback! Drop us a line and let us know what you think.

Read past issues and sign up to receive Innovator by email, or text "FHWA Innovation" to 468311 to get Innovator on your smartphone.

About EDC

Every Day Counts, a State-based program of the Federal Highway Administration’s Center for Accelerating Innovation, works with State, local, and private sector partners to encourage the adoption of proven technologies and innovations to shorten and enhance project delivery.

Stay Connected Stay Connected icon

Sign up to receive EDC News, Innovator newsletters and other information.


View Events


Jeffrey A. Zaharewicz
(202) 366-1325

Page last modified on March 25, 2021
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000