News & Media  »  California Department of Transportation Selects BTI to Provide Heavy Highway Construction Trades Training

California Department of Transportation Selects BTI to Provide Heavy Highway Construction Trades Training

MEDIA CONTACT:  Sandy Mitchell, Baker Technical Institute,, 541-524-2651

Comprehensive heavy highway construction training aimed at addressing a shortage of skilled workers.

BAKER CITY, OR – Baker Technical Institute (BTI) is pleased to announce that the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has selected BTI to provide heavy highway construction trades training. The work provided by BTI is part of a partnership created by the Caltrans Office of Civil Rights to implement an innovative training academy that includes BTI, Highlands Community Charter School (HCCS), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The first location of the new academy will be in Sacramento, CA, and is scheduled to commence in January 2023.

The construction industry, particularly heavy highway construction, has and will continue to endure a significant shortage of skilled trade workers. FHWA and Caltrans have joined forces to fund an On-The-Job Training (OJT) Heavy Highway Construction program to ease this trend.  By working with industry and training partners like BTI, a framework for identifying and training skilled workers for the heavy highway construction industry will be developed and implemented. Caltrans has identified BTI and HCCS as the training partners to deliver the program. Various industry partners will provide equipment, knowledge, and other real-life learning opportunities, such as field trips to live construction sites for job shadowing. The program aims to provide opportunities to minorities, women, veterans, previously incarcerated, and disadvantaged individuals by offering a life-changing career opportunity.  “This is just one of the many ways the Federal Highway Administration works with California and its partners to grow the specialized talent we need to keep America’s roads and bridges safe. The most important investment we can make in our nation’s highway system is in the people entrusted to build and protect it,” says Michael Caliendo with the FHWA.

BTI will provide training to individuals selected through a program application process.  The academy will consist of five intense weeks of hands-on training, with participants working in the classroom, virtual reality labs, and in the field running equipment and training alongside BTI’s experienced instructors. Participants will showcase their operator skills and gain employment opportunities with California contractors that will be invited to attend the heavy equipment land lab.

During the comprehensive training program, participants will gain experience, knowledge, and earn multiple industry certifications.  BTI will provide heavy equipment operator training using many machines operated in highway construction. Other certifications and training elements include concrete and asphalt training,  forklift operation certification, OSHA-10 certification, HAZMAT First Responder certification, first aid / CPR, and traffic control flagger certification.  Participants will also gain skills in trenching and shoring safety, land grade basics, construction math, blueprint reading, career readiness, personal wellness, and have the opportunity to spend time on construction sites observing best trades and safety practices.

“Our entire team is honored to be part of such an amazing project,” says Doug Dalton, President of BTI.  “This program exemplifies what can be accomplished with an innovative approach to collaboration between agencies.  Programs like this can put the participants' lives on a new trajectory and into a respected career field while building a much-needed pipeline of trained workers for employers who desperately need them.”

“This training could not come at a better time as California continues to make major progress to rebuild, revitalize, and reimagine our infrastructure to support a cleaner, safer, and more equitable transportation system, where access to skilled workers will be critical, especially if it will be successful and sustainable, ” says Associate Director of the Caltrans Office of Civil Rights, David DeLuz and adds, “We strive to provide this program opportunity to traditionally underrepresented groups that have historically not had access to quality training like this to build a stronger diverse workforce.”

About Caltrans

Caltrans manages more than 50,000 miles of California's highway and freeway lanes, provides intercity rail services, permits more than 400 public-use airports and special-use hospital heliports, and works with local agencies. Caltrans carries out its mission with six primary programs: Aeronautics, Highway Transportation, Mass Transportation, Transportation Planning, Administration and the Equipment Service Center.