Page 1


INSIDE: PAGE 3: Mike Garcia developed an online guide for construction inspectors that can be accessed in the field.

Summer 2013

UDOT Director’s Message: New at UDOT U UDOT University was initiated in 2011 with the overall goal to support our dynamic, remarkably knowledgeable and diversely talented workforce.

AND, see a video from the guide on Page 6.

The UDOT U organization is structured much

PAGE 4: UDOT U supported

like a regular university with four colleges, 32

With UDOT U as the

development of a finance guide

schools, a course catalog, registration system

clearinghouse, employees

for project managers.

and an event calendar. UDOT is one of only 5

can look across disciplines to

departments of transportation in the United

PAGE 6: Online software training

States organizing training in a similar way.

through UDOT U lets you learn at your own pace.

find the training they need.

The centralized organization provides access to training from across the department and makes finding training easier and more systematic. With UDOT U as the clearinghouse, employees can look


across disciplines to find the training they need. UDOT Director Carlos Braceras

Continued, page 2.

News from the College of Project Delivery, Lisa Wilson, Dean As UDOT U College of Project Delivery Dean, I’m glad to kick off the first issue of UDOT U’s quarterly newsletter. For the first four issues, the newsletter will focus on each of the colleges. See the chart on the back page that lists colleges and some of the people involved with UDOT U. UDOT U serves as a clearing house of training for the entire

Inspection Guide with one goal being to make it easy for

department, but experts do the work to develop training and

inspectors to find important information. An inspector's

associated materials like manuals or guides that serve as

‘office’ for any given day may be a construction site. Since

resources for our employees.

the inspection guide is accessible online and down-

For example, Mike Garcia developed an online Construction

loadable, finding information, or even watching an Continued, page 2.

UDOT University NEWS

UDOT Director Message: New at UDOT U continued... As UDOT U grows, more courses and features will be

will improve access to all UDOT training

added to expand opportunities for employees: ♦

training and to also help develop more training.

Video and audio recordings of many presentations from the UDOT Conference are available at:

Your expertise and institutional memory may

and also let employees and supervisors track

The UDOT U course catalog will show core

training progress through the Utah Division of

and elective courses for every position at

Human Resource Management record keeping


A new website, U


UDOT U is developing video hosting

I encourage all employees to take advantage of

capabilities with a dedicated YouTube channel that will provide access to in-house produced training.

provide others with important knowledge that could benefit UDOT for years to come.

News from the College of Project Delivery, Lisa Wilson, continued... instructional video, can be done

lot about the functions of other groups. That

anywhere a mobile device operates.

kind of shared information and understanding

Accessibility makes the guide more

among employees helps us function more

usable for inspectors who have a critical

effectively as a department. UDOT U helped

function at UDOT.

fund development of this guide.

Lori Dabling who develops training for

Delivering a project from start to finish involves

project managers worked with many

a lot of specialty areas from concept

groups to develop the new Project

development through design, construction to

Financial Management guide. Besides a

closeout. As new training is developed by our

An online guide lets inspectors access information an on a PC, smartphone or tablet.

great product, the cross

college, those trainings will be accessible

-division effort produced

through UDOT U’s website. And, updates as

some added benefits –

needed will be in the quarterly newsletter.

participants learned a


Summer 2013

Tools for Trans-Techs An online guide for construction inspectors offers a way to refresh skills for pros and a training fast-track for new employees who need to learn the UDOT language. Transportation Technicians, who fill the role of inspectors on construction sites, are responsible to observe processes and to take samples of materials back to a lab for testing. Inspectors are the “first line of defense” because they help ensure construction materials meet UDOT contract requirements, explains Mike Garcia, UDOT Construction Operations Specialist.

Inspectors are the “first line of defense” because they help ensure construction materials meet UDOT contract requirements...

Smart access Making sure the information in the guide is easy to access was a goal of the manual development. The new online manual can be accessed on tablets, smartphones or PCs and viewed online or downloaded. Double duty Many inspectors work alternately in construction and maintenance, and some may have a break from construction for two to three years. The new manual can be a great tool for someone returning to construction who may need a quick review of a topic.

Inspectors need to have a broad range of

For example, an embedded video in the Pavement

knowledge about road way features, surveying,

and Materials Chapter has a video of how to take samples of untreated base course. It’s quick and easy to use the manual to find a topic and “get a refresher of how to do that inspection,” says Garcia.

plan sets, specifications, signs, and structures. The new online UDOT Construction Inspection Guide is “what the employee out in the field needs,” says Garcia.

Continued, page 6.


Mike Adams, an instructor in the Transportation Education Program, shows how to collect an aggregate sample that accurately reflects the makeup of the material being used. The new manual will be the basis of future training.

UDOT University NEWS

M ONEY M ANAGEMENT Project Financial Management is a new guide that helps UDOT Project Managers oversee project funds from concept to close-out. The guide is a cross-specialty effort and was developed with support from UDOT U. Project Financial Management walks managers through project phases. UDOT’s Electronic Program Management system (ePM) is the connecting thread throughout the guide. A massive effort

Other benefits Working together gave participants a look at how other groups operate. Gorac liked the healthy interaction among group members. “A lot of people with very busy schedules took time to help with the development of the manual. It was a great team

Developing the guide took collaboration from many groups at

effort, and the byproduct was that each group got a greater

UDOT, including the comptroller’s office, UDOT Project

understanding of the function of the other groups.”

Finance, ePM, ETS and UDOT Project Management. Lori Dabling, UDOT Statewide Project Manager, approached the comptroller’s office and expressed a need to inform project managers about the whole funding cycle, start to finish. Brent Laulusa and Jim Gorac from the comptroller’s office were involved. “Our office provided guidance, and Lori kept the process on track,” says Laulusa. “Each of these groups saw the big-risk things that each do,” says Dabling. The result is a thorough guide, including a checklist at each stage to make sure users cover all the bases and prevent unintended consequences.

Brent Laulusa from the comptroller’s office views the online guide. One great feature of the guide is a glossary that defines engineering and accounting terms to get all audiences on the same page.


Summer 2013

Kathy Starks, Kristi Urri and Mary Ann Wayman in Program Finance helped with the effort by providing forms, insight into the finance processes and review of the draft guide.

“A lot of people with very busy schedules took time to help with the development of the manual. It was a great team effort…” Feedback Once a draft was completed, the group got feedback from

One valuable part of the guide is a glossary that “puts

users. It was especially important and helpful to get the

accounting language into common PM terms,” says

perspective of people at the region level, says Kathy Starks,

Dabling. Laulusa believes the glossary is a helpful

Financial Manager from UDOT Program Development. That

resource on its own, so employees can understand

feedback didn’t change the content, but did change the

common terms and acronyms are not “just alphabet

order of how the information was presented.


A great outcome

Finding ways to meet Utah’s increasing transportation

Dabling is happy with the guide. It’s basically “UDOT Project Finance 101.” The content and online format “gets the information to the right people at the right time.” She will use the guide as part of a structured curriculum for new project managers

needs while keeping the current system in good condition requires resources to help PMs optimize project funds. The guide provides tools that help managers avoid financial risk to better manage a budget throughout the life of a project. 5

UDOT University NEWS

PACE YOURSELF One of the newest additions to UDOT U is access to, a service that offers helpful, relevant online software training employees can take at their own speed.

Great Graphs Many courses have downloadable exercise files that support skill-building through practice.

The site lets employees find and take training modules and at and determine the time and pace of the training. Options include commonly used software like Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and even Google Docs. Hundreds of courses are available — there is even a course on how to make the most of training courses on the site. New courses are added often. Many of the courses have downloadable exercise files that let users

practice new skills. To take advantage of, employees need to have supervisor

Mike Garcia shows an online guide vs. a spec book and the old manual — online wins when it comes to convenience.

permission and contact Lynn Starley at

Tools for Trans-Techs, continued. A smart phone app that will access the guide is also being built. Building skills Trans-Techs become qualified for the job through the Transportation Education Program that focuses on maintenance,

Check it out:

construction and materials. The new guide will be used for TEP training at UDOT.

See the guide . See a video from the guide.

The UDOT Transportation Technician program boosts efficiency and allows funding to be used judiciously to balance workload throughout the year. The guide is designed to be a well-used and practical resource that will support inspectors in their vital role. 6

Summer 2013

About this Newsletter This quarterly newsletter is about UDOT University, a clearinghouse of training courses that allows all UDOT employees – engineers, support staff, technicians and communicators – to find opportunities to meet workplace needs at the Utah Department of Transportation. UDOT U also provides funding to develop training. To share ides for articles, photos or other

For questions or more information about

feedback: Catherine Higgins,

training at UDOT: Richard Murdock, or 801 803-9413. or 801 965-4856.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Randy Park, Chair Shane Marshall Cory Pope



Jim Gorac, Dean

Richard Manser



Lisa Wilson, Dean

Richard Murdock

Ahmad Jaber


Becky Bradshaw

Cameron Kergaye, Dean

COLLEGE of OPERATIONS Lloyd Neeley, Dean


UDOT U News Summer 2013  

UDOT U News is a quarterly publication about training opportunities at the Utah Department of Transportation.

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