Train­ing cen­ter to hire lo­cals

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Jon Mur­ray

A new ca­reer train­ing and re­source cen­ter that’s set to open Thurs­day in north­east Den­ver will help pre­pare res­i­dents who live near In­ter­state 70 to work on the mas­sive, $1.2 bil­lion ex­pan­sion.

Us­ing a $400,000 fed­eral grant that the state re­ceived last year, the Colorado Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion plans to re­quire that 20 per­cent of the work­force on the project — about 350 work­ers — come from 15 neigh­bor­hoods ad­ja­cent to I-70 in Den­ver and Aurora. CDOT says Gary Com­mu­nity In­vest­ments, founded by oil­man Sam Gary, also will pro­vide more than $1 mil­lion for train­ing and sup­port pro­grams, in­clud­ing child care.

The train­ing cen­ter is in Elyria-Swansea at 3600 E. 46th Ave., which for­merly housed An­der­son Drilling.

It will of­fer six cour­ses on a flex­i­ble sched­ule and will host net­work­ing events and job fairs, CDOT says. The cen­ter has three work bays, four train­ing rooms and a heavy equip­ment yard.

“CDOT is one of only a few DOTs (de­part­ments of trans­porta­tion) in the na­tion to im­ple­ment lo­cal hir­ing” pro­grams on projects, said Shailen Bhatt, CDOT’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, in a news re­lease. “We are do­ing this not just by set­ting hir­ing goals but by ac­tively reach­ing out to our part­ners to cre­ate a com­pre­hen­sive sup­port sys­tem that makes a ca­reer in con­struc­tion ac­ces­si­ble for ev­ery­one.”

Among of­fi­cials plan­ning to at­tend a cel­e­bra­tion of the train­ing cen­ter’s open­ing Thurs­day were state House Speaker Crisanta Du­ran, Den­ver Mayor Michael Han­cock and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Com­mu­nity Col­lege of Den­ver and Emily Grif­fith Tech­ni­cal Col­lege. The I-70 widen­ing project is set to break ground early next year be­tween Brighton Boule­vard and Cham­bers Road. But it faces en­vi­ron­men­tal law­suits, and more could be filed by the July 10 dead­line.

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