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Want to work in road construction? Here’s what you need to know about training

Want to work in road construction? Here’s what you need to know about training

By: Syma Chowdhry

HOWELL, Mich. (WXYZ) — There’s a saying that Michigan has two seasons: winter and construction. The future looks bright for those who want to be the one fixing our roads.

Operating Engineers 324 is looking to train people to get them ready for construction projects. John Hartwell is the Career & Outreach Representative with OE324.

“The amount of work that we have in Michigan with the crumbling infrastructure and a lot of the projects that we know are up and coming, we need trained individuals to complete these,” said John Hartwell, the career and Outreach Representative.

He said there is a shortage when it comes to qualified construction workers.

The OE324 has a learning facility in Howell that sits on 500 acres. Apprentices train on-site using heavy equipment. This is an earn-to-learn program, so you get paid to be here.

“They start out at 70% of what a journey person would make, which could be $18 to $20 an hour,” Hartwell says. “Every thousand hours you’re in the program, you receive a 5% increase in pay.”

That’s just the start to career that could earn you up to $100,000 a year. You need to be at least 18-years-old with a high school diploma or GED, valid Michigan driver’s license and Workkey test scores.

“It’s for people who don’t want to work inside,” Hartwell says. “It’s for people who want a change and not drive to the same job site every day and one of the exciting pieces I really enjoy about it was we build monuments. You can look and see what you’ve accomplished.”

It is not a ‘man’s world’ in this field.

“Our percentages of females in the trade have been rising steadily over the years,” Hartwell says.

The application process will begin in June. They are hoping to attract the right people with the right attitude.

“Work ethic, show up everyday ready to work on time, with all your gear, excited about the industry, want to be there,” says Hartwell.

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