California’s state transportation agency is looking to fill thousands of jobs to meet growing demand for work spurred on by the passage of SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. Caltrans plans to swell its staff by 10 percent over the next five years, adding 2,000 employees to help it execute projects funded by SB 1. Those positions run the gamut from maintenance to architects and engineers.

The agency began escalating its hiring efforts a year ago in anticipation of the new revenue stream from SB 1, which is expected to generate $5.2 billion a year for transportation projects over the next decade.

“We’re looking to hire thousands of people over the next several years,” said Caltrans spokesperson Jim Shivers, “those positions include everything from maintenance workers to construction engineers to regional planners — all of this the result of Senate Bill 1.”

“We have a lot of different opportunities. It’s just about everything across the board you can think of,” said Caltrans staff services manager Christina Hisamoto during a recent Caltrans recruitment event. In the Bay Area, where Caltrans is headquartered, that also means more human resource workers and administrative employees, she said.

Caltrans spokesman Mark Dinger said the agency has committed to fixing more than 17,000 miles of pavement, 500 bridges, 55,000 culverts and 7,700 traffic control lights and message boards in 10 years — and is already hard at work tackling a backlog of shovel-ready projects that had been shelved due to lack of funding. To keep up with the demand for more workers for these SB 1 projects, as well as the need to replace retiring employees, Caltrans must recruit quickly and is actively participating in career fairs across the state.

“SB 1 is an all-hands-on-deck moment,” said Ted Toppin, a representative of PECG, the union that represents transportation engineers.

In April 2017 when SB 1 was signed into law, the bill’s lead author Sen. Jim Beall promised, “This bill will provide hundreds of thousands of jobs for people that need work, and it will stimulate the economy.”

Southern California Partnership for Jobs supports infrastructure investment. It enhances our overall quality of life and supports individuals’ employment and their families’ well-being. We advocated for the passage of SB 1, a new transportation funding source that is becoming ever more critical for California. We continue to work closely with other advocates to seek more funding at the state, regional and local levels.

Source: Sacramento Bee