The Road Scholars graduation ceremony took place April 10, 2012, at the Minnesota Roadway Maintenance Training and Demo Day on the University of Minnesota campus in St. Paul. Minnesota. LTAP Director Jim Grothaus congratulated five Road Scholar graduates as each received a certificate for completing the program.
The Road Scholar program, in its seventh year, awards certificates to maintenance workers who complete a variety of training workshops and programs. Grothaus thanked the students for their participation. “Completion of this program by these individuals demonstrates their commitment to serving their communities as well as the entire state,” he said. “Without a doubt, their hard work and dedication on the job is one big reason we continue to enjoy such a high quality of life here.”
The Road Scholar program combines practical, hands-on material with maintenance expos, training programs, and LTAP workshops to form a structured curriculum. More than 1,500 students from across the state were enrolled in the program this year.
Cottonwood County highway superintendent Jerry Hayes said the program provides participants continuing job-related education and credit for the effort. “We had the opportunity to learn with those that are in the same field of employment,” he added. “Participants share job-related experiences, safety issues, and how to deal with depleting budgets.”
City of Prior Lake public maintenance worker Leo Dorn said that the information he learned from classes and workshops in the Road Scholar program directly applies to his job. “You pick up a lot,” he said. “I got to visit with a lot of people, get ideas from lot of people. It works very well. Very good classes.”
Fridley street department employees Reggie Revier and Ken Small said the program has been especially helpful in daily operations because the classes are geared toward public works maintenance. Among subjects they found particularly helpful were deicing materials savings, truck-weight compliance, and tree-cutting techniques.
Ulteig Engineers lead engineer and environmental specialist Jennifer Hanley, who was unable to attend the graduation ceremony, said that the variety of topics presented in the LTAP classes and programs were valuable to her job and directly applied to the work she is currently doing. She said that the materials she gained from the Road Scholar experience also have provided her with a library of resources that she can turn to when looking for information.
City of Coon Rapids heavy equipment operator Doug Meyenburg said he was able to share ideas with other students in the Road Scholar program and learn how other maintenance workers accomplish their daily work. He said that the LTAP program helped him try new technology that is now benefiting the residents that he serves. Meyenburg summed up his experience saying that he’s “never too old to learn.”
Students who completed their coursework by December 31, 2011, are considered the Class of 2011.