ITD secured nearly $155,000 in training funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) 2009 which designated $20 million nationally for surface transportation and technology training.
The Idaho Transportation Board, at its business meeting in Boise last week (Feb. 17, 18), approved funding two projects through the federal ARRA funds. The Wounded Warrior Training Cooperative Treasure Valley project in the amount of $99,330 will create and fund a training program within the greater Boise area for veterans returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. (See related article)
The partnership with the Idaho Department of Labor and Boise State University Truck Driving School will help veterans obtain commercial driver licenses and flagger certifications.
The Safety Fest of the Great Northwest program was established by the Idaho Technology Transfer Center to increase the safety level of construction jobs in Idaho and provide training at no cost to people working with construction trades. Initially created for the Treasure Valley, it was expanded to northern Idaho last year.
Now, with the availability of stimulus funds, the program will be extended to eastern Idaho. The Construction Safety Training for $55,448 is targeted at minorities, women, Native Americans and disadvantaged individuals.
Both projects will help unemployed workers gain additional skills to improve their prospects of finding employment in Idaho.
Other board business
External Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program
Four Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complaints were filed against ITD in FY09. The FHWA investigated the complaints and is in the process of resolving the concerns. One ADA complaint was filed against a sub-recipient city by a citizen. ITD’s staff is working with the respective city to develop an action plan for resolving the issue.
In the federal contracting category, more than $413 million was awarded to prime contractors in FY09. Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) were awarded about 1 percent of those contracts. Additionally, DBE subcontractors were awarded $17.6 million in subcontracts, which was 15 percent of the total subcontracts awarded.
There were 184 DBE firms at the end of the federal fiscal year, down from 206 the previous year. Most of the DBEs (104) were operated by female Caucasians. The next highest categories were Hispanic males, 22; Native American males, 16; and African-American males, 15.
Annual update of Safety Rest Areas and Oasis partnerships
The 2011 chart, which the board approved at its February meeting, includes a new category called “Proposed Public/Private/Government Partnerships.”
District 2 has been working with the Nez Perce Tribe on a partnership rest area near Winchester to service traffic on U.S. 95 south of Lapwai. This facility, known as Camas Prairie, was moved from “Proposed Safety Rest Areas (Horizons)” to this new partnership classification. District 3 also includes two rest areas in the “partnership” category – Cougar Mountain Lodge rest area on Idaho 55 and the ION Truck Stop near the U.S. 95 and Idaho 55 junction (near New Meadows).
The other changes to the draft program were the removal of six proposed new rest areas in District 3. The new facilities were proposed for construction near Lowman, Grasmere, Idaho City, Murphy, Round Valley and Marsing. The Round Valley and Marsing facilities were replaced with the partnership rest areas.
The only project planned in FY10 is rehabilitation of the Hagerman Rest Area on U.S. 30 in District 4. Future projects include reconstructing the Dubois Gateway on I-15 in District 6 in FY11 and rehabilitating the Mineral Mountain facility on U.S. 95 in District 2 in FY12.