Minnesota LTAP announced its second Roads Scholar Program graduating class at the Spring Maintenance Training Expo in April 2007. Six local agency maintenance personnel from around the state were recognized for their accomplishments.
Graduate Mark Henry, a Castle Rock Township road maintenance contractor, said the courses on liability and general traffic safety were the most helpful part of the program. He recommends them for anyone working in maintenance and transportation.
“I picked up a lot of good pointers,” he said. “I will be continuing on with the program.”
Graduate Robert Hummel, Jackson County maintenance supervisor, said the program is valuable because of the variety of courses available including courses on erosion control, asphalt preservation, and storm water management.
“I picked up a lot of helpful points in my classes,” Hummel said.
Jackson County assistant maintenance supervisor David Luhmann said after completing the Roads Scholars program he was able to advance in his career. He was promoted from highway maintenance worker to his current position. It also helped him to find effective ways to do his new job.
“We have made some good contacts to draw from their experiences, and the different courses all supply manuals to help with any questions in the future,” Luhmann said.
For some graduates, specific training within the program provided the necessary means to effectively do their job. Scott County highway maintenance worker and recent graduate Scott Fiebelkorn was able to expand his knowledge and understanding of highway maintenance and construction, specifically related to bridges.
“The biggest thing that has affected the county is from his knowledge of bridge inspections,” said Scott County operations supervisor Ron Robb.
Scott County’s other graduate this year, highway maintenance worker Pat Pitlick, was able to broaden his understanding of concrete maintenance and construction. His new knowledge has allowed the county to save money by performing its own inspections. “[Pitlick] is very dependable and always looking for ways to improve,” Robb said.
New graduate and City of Cottage Grove senior public service worker Les Wick said the Roads Scholar program was appealing because of the opportunity for professional growth and improving the roads in his city. “I would recommend [the Roads Scholar Program],” he said. “It gives you a little incentive to get into classes related to your career field.”