For the past two-plus decades, Missouri S&T has administered Missouri’s Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP), and the university is set to remain in the driver’s seat moving forward thanks to a new agreement.
The Missouri Department of Transportation recently awarded S&T a contract for almost $1.3 million to run the program, which the state agency funds in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, for the next three years.
“Our LTAP works with cities, counties and other districts throughout the state that are responsible for roads and bridges,” says Dr. Heath Pickerill, LTAP director and assistant teaching professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at S&T. “We are an amazing resource for training employees and helping them be as safe, knowledgeable, and effective as possible when on the job.”
On average, the LTAP trains over 5,000 participants each year in over 110 classes for a nominal fee, which is charged to their organizations. Everything from work zone safety and motor grader skills to preventative pavement maintenance and culvert installation and maintenance is offered through the program.
“We have a large catalog of courses available for participants covering almost any topic you could think of associated with transportation-related issues,” Pickerill says. “Many of the local public agencies we serve require their employees to complete several courses and eventually advance through one and sometimes two levels of our MO-LTAP Scholars Program.”
The LTAP also recently started co-hosting the Missouri Concrete Conference and the Missouri Asphalt Conference in conjunction with the S&T’s civil, architectural and environmental engineering department, which Pickerill says should increase public awareness of the program and its offerings.
The program has served tens of thousands of road and bridge workers throughout the years and developed partnerships with multiple cities and counties, and Pickerill says he aims to see the those numbers continue to increase.
“We have classes throughout the entire state,” he says. “Any city or county in Missouri would be welcome and encouraged to use our services.”
Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,000 students. Part of the four-campus University of Missouri System and located in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri S&T offers 101 degrees in 40 areas of study and is among the nation’s top 10 universities for return on investment, according to Business Insider. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit www.mst.edu.