ArDOT seeks applicants for program supporting transportation research, workforce development

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 683 views 

The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT) is taking applications for the next round of the Transportation-Related Research & Workforce Development Grant Program.

In 2021, state legislators approved the program that was based on one they established in 2017. That program was expanded to include workforce development. Grant money for the program comes from up to $500,000 in interest income annually from the State Highway and Transportation Department Fund.

Publicly-supported institutions of higher education can apply for a grant for transportation-related research or workforce development.

According to a news release, the purpose of the grant is to “support the study of materials and sources to establish facts and reach new conclusions to provide resilient and sustainable logistics, processes, materials and methods to ensure cost-effectiveness and the furtherance of education and economic development concerning all forms of transportation.” The program also supports “industry training, apprenticeships and educational programs to foster skills required for transportation-related personnel development.”

Link here for the application. The deadline to apply is 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 26.

According to ArDOT, a committee provides the ArDOT director with recommendations on the applications. Following the director’s approval, the Arkansas Highway Commission will vote on whether to approve the grants. The recipients will be selected and notified by the end of 2022, and the money will be given in early 2023.

Since 2018, the University of Arkansas has received the majority of the grant money from the program. In 2018, the UA received $1 million for the Civil Engineering Research and Education Center. In 2020, the UA received $329,054 for developing a sustainable approach to roadside vegetation management in the state.

Following are the other recipients and total grant money received:

  • Southern Arkansas University, $361,163
  • Arkansas State University, $155,589
  • Arkansas Tech University, $63,648