California State University, Long Beach
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CSULB, Caltrans Team For Training

Published: August 7, 2017

Caltrans and CSULB are introducing a Joint Training and Certification Program (JTCP) to give participants the tools to increase quality and reduce delays on construction projects throughout the state. Given an expected influx of transportation funding coming from the new transportation bill (SB 1), these projects will need trained technicians at the ready to ensure the quality control of materials being used.

Supported by a $1.3 million grant from Caltrans, the program will deliver training and certification for materials testing technicians in the specialties of Hot-Mix Asphalt, Soils and Aggregates, and Portland Cement Concrete.

“Caltrans is very excited about the partnership we have cultivated between Cal State Long Beach, our private industry partners and local agencies through this effort,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “With the recent passage of the new transportation bill, a trained workforce is vital to ensure statewide consistency in materials quality. This training program will benefit both our contracting partners and public agencies.”

“We are delighted to be working with Caltrans Materials Engineering and Testing Services to provide those in the construction paving industry with the knowledge and skills they need to create quality infrastructure throughout the state,” said Principal Investigator Shadi Saadeh, a CSULB associate professor in civil engineering.

“This partnership is a great step in addressing the needs of state and industry in fixing and upgrading the state transportation infrastructure,” added Hamid Rahai, associate dean for research and graduate programs in CSULB’s College of Engineering.

Technicians earn certification by taking a prerequisite test in one area of specialization, followed by in-person class, laboratory and written/practical examination sessions. Caltrans, local agency and contractor personnel attend the same classes, work together and receive equivalent training and certification.

This practice fosters respect within the industry, while generating increased consistency. The JTCP also enables individuals and agencies to verify progress and certifications held by other individuals.

“This type of certification program has been proven in other states to improve competence of materials technicians, which reduces test variability and disruption on public works projects,” said Russell W. Snyder, executive director of the California Asphalt Pavement Association. “Our industry is pleased to partner with Caltrans on this innovative and transparent program designed to hold both industry and agency technicians accountable to meeting the latest standards of excellence.”

Eight construction trade associations proposed creation of the program in a 2014 letter to State Transportation Secretary Brian Kelly. Overseen by Caltrans, the Federal Highway Administration, academia and industry, the program is designed for all technicians involved in the transportation construction industry throughout California.

Administered by Cal State Long Beach, the program will offer in-person classes at its campus and San Jose State University beginning in December.

For more information or to begin training, visit the Joint Training and Certification Program website.

–Margo McCall