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Killen, Sterling earn Road Scholar certification

| November 8, 2010 8:00 PM

At last week's City Council meeting, Heavy Equipment Operators Eric Killen and Aman Sterling received their Road Scholar certificates. The Road Scholar program is a way for local road professionals in Idaho to be recognized for successfully completing training designed to provide participants with the fundamentals of safety, management, and advanced technologies. The coursework also exposes those who attend to a wide variety of other, relevant transportation topics.

Of the over 32,000 miles of highways, roads, and streets in Idaho, cities, counties and highway districts are responsible for the majority of road-miles within the state. The transportation professionals who are constructing and maintaining these roadways need to keep up to date on the new technologies and skills required to construct and maintain effective highway systems.

"I would like to emphasize the importance of the Road Scholar program," said Killen, who began his career with the street maintenance department in November 2003. "The benefit that the employee and department will gain from this well-developed curriculum compares to no other."

Nine one-day classes are mandatory, many of them having extensive testing requirements afterwards. These include: basic surveying, roadway materials, roads 101, pavement maintenance, effective communication skills, first aid, CPR, basic math, and flagger training. Participants must receive a score of 80 percent or higher on exams to receive a Road Scholar certificate. Two elective classes that range from heavy equipment operation to signs and signals and de-icers are also required. All of the courses must be completed with a passing grade within four years of starting the program or be retaken.

"We gained knowledge from instructors who are experts in their field," Sterling explained. Sterling started his career with the street maintenance department in October 2002. "They answered questions that have arisen from our daily work in the field and informed us of changes that may occur in the future of road work. We learned the standards of road building, right-of-way, and legalities of proper signage and placement."

Both Killen and Sterling emphasized how the program will make them more efficient at their jobs, and appreciated meeting with other transportation professionals from around the state. "We have also enjoyed the instructors' insight and camaraderie," added Killen.

Sterling and Killen are Coeur d'Alene's first Road Scholars. Stormwater Field Supervisor Terry Leigh and Heavy Equipment Operators Sharron Simon, Travis Galloway and Russ Grant are close to completing the program. Five of the eight classes completed during the Road Scholar program are also required for the Idaho Road Master program. Interested professionals can apply for the Road Master program once they have received their Road Scholar certificates. Both Killen and Sterling are just one class away from obtaining their Road Master certification.

"We are not just road workers," said both Sterling and Killen. "We are now Road Scholar professionals."

For more information on the Road Scholar program, call 1-800-259-6841. For Coeur d' Alene street information, please call the street maintenance information line, 769-2233.

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