Building a Talent Pipeline
April 26, 2016: The VDOT Staunton District is working to grow its future workforce while offering young people a bright future of their own.
An April 19 “Transportation Career Fair” at Blue Ridge Community College attracted 300 students from 10 different high schools, as well as students from the college and the public.
The district offered information, displays and face-to-face contact with employees from 16 career disciplines.
The fair also included 31 other employers with transportation-related jobs, from local governments to VDOT contractors.
The Staunton District has a large percentage of experienced employees who are – or soon will be – eligible for retirement.
The career fair is a vital outreach to help VDOT tap into a broad and diverse talent pool.
“The high schools and community college counselors tell us that students are talking about the fair,” VDOT Civil Rights manager Donna Brown said. “It really ‘opened their eyes’ to the many career opportunities within the transportation industry.”
Adopt-a-Highway Volunteers Celebrate Earth Day
April 26, 2016: Each year, thousands of Adopt-a-Highway volunteers plan litter pick-up events in conjunction with Earth Day on April 22.
This year, VDOT Commissioner Charlie Kilpatrick (near center of photo at right) joined in with a group of Central Office employees to help clean up trash along the roadsides near the agency's headquarters. They collected 15 bags of trash in only an hour.
"We focus on litter pick-up to celebrate Earth Day,” said statewide Adopt-a-Highway coordinator Christine Kemp, “but keeping areas along Virginia’s roads free of trash is important throughout the year. This can be done through volunteering with a group, or simply by disposing of garbage responsibly."
If you’re interested in becoming an Adopt-a-Highway volunteer, contact your local coordinator.
How else can you help support the Adopt-a-Highway mission?
When you travel:
- Secure trash in bags.
- Use a travel mug to eliminate the need for throwaway cups.
- Set an example and others will follow.
Districts Use Cups to Serve Safety Message
April 21, 2016: VDOT employees worked to install 1,500 cups in two fences on opposite sides of the state, all to share one simple message: SLOW DOWN IN WORK ZONES.
The chain-link fence installations were the idea of Salem District Communications Manager Jason Bond, who had seen similar fence art.
Bond found a vendor for a specially designed product that snaps into place and will not turn into roadside litter, then chose a location for the Salem District along Interstate 581 in Roanoke.
“The highly visible interstate location was great because it is near a work zone and really drew attention to our message,” Bond said.
Meanwhile, Stacy Londrey, acting Culpeper District communications manager, identified a fence location surrounding their district complex along Route 15.
Employees (shown at right), including District Engineer John Lynch, tackled the installation with the help of a diagram.
The fence-cup designs were seen by a combined 80,000 people each day during Work Zone Awareness Week.
Tornado Clean-Up Efforts Recognized
April 20, 2016: VDOT crews, first responders and other volunteers were recently recognized by the town of Waverly and Sussex County for their efforts in the aftermath of the Feb. 25 tornadoes.
When Phil Fonner, incident management coordinator for VDOT's Hampton Roads Transportation Operations Center, arrived on the scene in Waverly, there was devastation all around.
Multiple vehicle crashes had shut down U.S. 460. Downed power lines hung across the road and debris was everywhere.
“I did an assessment of the area where the tornado hit and found the tractor-trailer that had jackknifed and was blocking the roadway,” Phil said. He worked with Keith Crocker, Waverly Area Headquarters maintenance superintendent, to set up detours.
That was just one example of the teamwork that took place. VDOT crews from Waverly, Capron, Smithfield, Stoney Creek, Windsor, Franklin and Emporia helped to clear roadways, search for survivors and remove debris.
Ditch Deadly Distractions
April 18, 2016: April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, an opportunity to talk with your loved ones about the dangers of distracted driving and reinforce your commitment to staying focused on the road.
It’s also a reminder to be mindful of distracted drivers.
In 2014, distracted driving resulted in 3,179 fatalities and 431,000 injuries in motor vehicle crashes in the United States.
“Distracted driving is a danger to everyone on the roads and totally preventable,” said VDOT State Operations Engineer Dean Gustafson.
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from driving, or endangers the driver, passengers or bystanders.