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An estimated 388,904 highway construction and maintenance job openings—the majority of which will require semi-skilled or highly skilled workers—will be created between 2012 and 2022, according to a report released by the U.S. Transportation, Labor and Education departments. Following are some of the anticipated job openings, along with median annual wages for each position: 
  • 141,009 highway maintenance workers ($34,507); 
  • 88,860 construction laborers ($33,592); 
  • 44,729 operating engineers and other construction equipment operators ($48,568); 
  • 24,756 frontline supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers ($62,25); 
  • 15,609 carpenters ($44,970); 
  • 12,875 cement masons and concrete finishers ($37,502); and 
  • 6,882 construction managers ($87,048). 
Hawaii has the highest projected net job growth at 58 percent, followed by Florida and Ohio (42 percent), Washington (39 percent), and Colorado and Delaware (34 percent). Fifteen states are projected to have negative growth, including South Carolina (-26 percent), Massachusetts (-22 percent), New Mexico (-18 percent), Wyoming (-14 percent) and Montana (-13 percent). 

 To fill the “critical need for building a qualified and skilled transportation workforce,” the Transportation, Labor and Education departments plan to coordinate on career and technical education programs, pre-apprenticeship programs for disadvantaged youth and adults, career pathway systems that are aligned with registered apprenticeship programs, and significant workplace training to transition people to more highly skilled positions. 

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