WV LTAP receives new contract to provide support and resources to aid West Virginia transportation
Employees who work in the transportation system, specifically those who work on our roadways, are more at risk of being killed on the job than the average American employee, making safety training in the field a top priority.
Story by Adrianne Uphold, Graduate Assistant
Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
The West Virginia Local Technical Assistance Program (WV LTAP) at West Virginia University has spent the last three decades preparing the transportation workforce in West Virginia through training, technical assistance and providing resources to individuals and agencies responsible for managing and maintaining roads in West Virginia.
Recently, WV LTAP received a $1.5 million five-year contract from the West Virginia Department of Transportation/Division of Highways (WVDOT/DOH). The current contract runs through December 31, 2025, which will put WV LTAP at 40 years of service to the Mountain State.
Established in 1984, the outreach program, housed in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, is funded by the WVDOT/DOH and the Federal Highway Administration through funding authorized in various transportation bills over the years.
Program Coordinator Andrew Morgan explained that while safety is vital for the employees, it is also vital for members of the public.
“Employees in the field have a responsibility for safety for both the public and themselves,” Morgan said. “Some of our most popular classes and resources focus on making these potentially hazardous work zones as safe as possible for drivers, pedestrians, workers, and others.”
Kim Carr, program coordinator, said prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, WV LTAP hosted in person trainings across the state, but over the past year, they began offering virtual training to their clients.
Professor Emeritus and WV LTAP Director Ron Eck mentioned that after 35 years of traditional in-person classroom and small-group training, it has been rewarding to see the program pivot to virtual training, virtual one-on-one sessions and other mechanisms to continue to reach their audience with important and current local road-related training.
“Such services are more important than ever given the funding and other constraints imposed by COVID-19. The training we provide covers a wide range of topics. In addition to safety, WV LTAP provides maintenance related training in areas such as pavement preservation, snow removal and ice control, equipment operation, drainage, asset management and more,” Eck said.
“One of the ways our partnership with LTAP has advanced our common goals for a transportation system the people deserve is through the Roads Scholar program," WV DOH Deputy Secretary/Deputy Comissioner Jimmy Wriston said. "This program has helped educate our employees so they can be of better service to the public. That’s really what it’s all about. Working together, we build on what they know, and what they can do; then we build on that again.”
Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit
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