The Virginia Asphalt Association, the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Virginia Community College System to establish the Virginia Education Center for Asphalt Technology.
Virginia Department of Transportation Commissioner Charlie Kilpatrick said it invests more than $500 million in asphalt paving each year through new construction and maintenance.
“With this large investment, it is imperative the individuals involved with the design, production, placement and acceptance of asphalt materials are effectively trained to perform the monumental task of constructing and maintaining Virginia’s roads,” said Kilpatrick.
Richard Schreck, executive vice president of the Virginia Asphalt Association said, “New technologies, innovations in construction practices and changing materials usage are leading to increased sustainability and cost savings.”
“But putting these innovations into practice requires the sort of focused training and education that VECAT will provide, deploying research, innovation and best practices to the benefit of taxpayers and the driving public.”
Training will include:
- Asphalt production facilities occupations: plant operators, plant technicians, laboratory technicians and asphalt mix designers
- Asphalt placement site occupations: asphalt paving foreman, asphalt paving crew, asphalt paving superintendent, and density technician
- Transportation agencies occupations: project manager, project engineer, project inspector, plant inspector, asphalt lab technician, asphalt mix designer/certifier
- Consulting industry occupations: project engineer, project inspector, asphalt lab technician, and asphalt mix designer/certifier
Zitz said new certification courses will also be developed and current certifications will be revised to align with asphalt occupations using subject matter experts in those fields following business and industry skill standards.
VDOT already offers asphalt courses through its Materials Certification Schools in various locations including Fredericksburg, Bristol and Northern Virginia.