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National Transportation Week: Construction Career Days Event to feature unique truck simulator


Construction Career Days returns to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation’s (RIDOT) Midstate Facility in East Greenwich on Wednesday, May 14 and Thursday, May 15, 2008 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Now in its eighth year, the event allows hands-on exploration of construction equipment and tools for approximately 1,000 students from 45 technical and high schools throughout Rhode Island.

The purpose of Construction Career Days is to attract and expose high school students to the transportation trades industry, hoping to interest them in jobs in the field. Annually, there is a national need to fill 250,000 job openings in the construction industry.

“Today there is a demand for qualified, skilled workers in the construction industry and tomorrow the demand will be even greater,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “Because many of these skills are needed in the construction and maintenance of transportation-related infrastructure, it makes perfect sense for RIDOT to be involved in Construction Career Days.”

Construction Career Days is one of the many events taking place during National Transportation Week (May 12-17). RIDOT is proud partner with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the University of Rhode Island Transportation Center in sponsoring this event.

A new feature to Construction Career Days will be a unique truck simulator that students will be able to try. The unit features a console with wrap-around screens and the same steering wheel, pedals and transmission shifter found in large trucks. The simulator can be programmed so the user can “drive” a variety of trucks such as snowplows, box trucks, fire trucks and city buses. It has more than 200 engine and transmission combinations and can simulate driving in day, night and in any type of adverse weather conditions. The simulator records the operator’s experience which can be reviewed later to examine a driver’s expertise and ability to drive in a more fuel-efficient manner.

RIDOT used the simulator Monday at its Highway & Bridge Maintenance Headquarters in Warwick for snowplow and other truck driving simulations. The City of Pawtucket will be using the simulator for sanitation truck driver training today and it will be at Construction Career Days on Wednesday and Thursday.

Students attending the event will be able to operate a wide range of construction equipment such as backhoes, excavators, pavers and bucket trucks. Inside the Midstate facility, there will be a variety of booths and tables to showcase welding, plumbing, electrical, landscaping and other disciplines. Also, a number of technical schools and colleges will be attendance.

Other Construction Career Day sponsors include Construction Industries of Rhode Island, New England Laborers Tri Funds, Local 57 Operating Engineers, Beacon Mutual Insurance Company, Junior Achievement, Rhode Island Public Works Association, Rhode Island School-to-Career, Rhode Island Builders Association and the Rhode Island Technology Transfer Center.

Participating schools and dates of attendance include:

Wednesday, May 14

Bristol: Mount Hope High School

Burrillville: Burrillville High School

Cumberland: Cumberland High School

Cranston: Cranston Area Career & Technical Center and Cranston High School East.

Exeter: Exeter Job Corp Academy

Middletown: Middletown High School, Mount Pleasant High School,

North Kingstown: North Kingstown High School and Forward View Academy

North Smithfield: North Smithfield High School

Providence: College Crusade of Rhode Island, E3 Academy, GAP/TD Program, Metropolitan Career & Technical Center, and Youthbuild Providence.

Woonsocket: Beacon Charter High School

West Warwick: West Warwick High School

Westerly: Westerly High School

Thursday, May 15

Chariho: Chariho Career & Technical Center and Chariho Regional High School

Cranston: Cornerstone School, NEL/CPS Construction Career Academy

Coventry: Coventry High School Regional Career & Tech Center

Cumberland: Cumberland High School Special Needs Class

East Providence: East Providence Career & Technical Center

Exeter/West Greenwich: Exeter/West Greenwich High School

Glocester: Harmony Hill School

Johnston: Johnston High School

Lincoln: Lincoln High School and Spurwink School II

Narragansett: Narragansett High School

North Providence: North Providence High School

Pawtucket: Tolman High School and The Tides School

Providence: Hanley Career & Technical High School, Providence Center School, and The Tides School/Providence

Smithfield: Smithfield High School

South Kingstown: South Kingstown High School

Warwick: Westbay Skills Center and The Eleanor Briggs School

DIRECTIONS: Take I-95 North or South to Exit 7 (West Warwick, Coventry). Follow signs.

Contact: Charles St. Martin 222-1362, Ext. 4007


Related links

Department or agency: Department of Transportation