TDOT to require GED for construction and maintenance workers

TDOT to require GED for construction and maintenance workers

Posted:
"It is a big challenge when you've been out of school for a long time," TDOT Director/Assistant Chief Engineer Steve Borden said "It is a big challenge when you've been out of school for a long time," TDOT Director/Assistant Chief Engineer Steve Borden said

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -  The Tennessee Department of Transportation will soon require some members of its workforce who don't have a high school diploma to get a GED.

TDOT said those workers could lose their jobs if they don't fulfill that requirement by September 2015.

The new education requirements would only apply to maintenance and construction workers, totaling around 230 statewide. Fifty-seven of those workers are from Knoxville and upper East Tennessee.

"Ultimately, it gives them the opportunity to be more competitive with their wages," TDOT Director/Assistant Chief Engineer for Region 1, Steve Borden said.

Borden said TDOT will assist workers in the process, offering a mentoring program and reimbursing them for the cost of the GED program.

Borden admits it could be challenging for some employees, especially since the workers' ages range from people in their twenties to those in their seventies.

"It is a big challenge when you've been out of school for a long time," Borden said. "We've had several employees that have already passed their GED. They've been out of school for up to 45 years."

The education requirement changes are a result of the department merging the regional construction and maintenance divisions. Workers without a GED will have to reapply for their jobs, which will have new job titles and new responsibilities.

"A lot of the employees in maintenance typically in the past were not responsible for being able to inspect on jobs, being able to do some of those math computer skills were not required," Borden said. "Under the new classification, it's all one title, so the person in construction has the same requirements as the person in maintenance."

Borden said all construction and maintenance workers must completely earn a GED by September 2015. Even partially completing the GED program or starting the process likely means they're out of a job.

"At that time, there is the possibility that there could be separation," Borden said.

Borden said there are five TDOT employees taking adult literacy classes now in order to improve their reading skills before starting the GED program.

Borden said there are five others who have already passed at least some parts of the GED exam.

Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.