From Germanna Community College
Culpeper resident Ed Dalrymple Jr., the driving force behind Germanna Community College’s Center for Workforce opening its Virginia Education Center for Asphalt Technology at Central Park in Fredericksburg, will be honored at the GCC Educational Foundation’s 2018 Philanthropist of the Year at 6 p.m. on Nov. 17, 2017 at Stevenson’s Ridge in Spotsylvania County. VECAT is part of GCC’s new Fredericksburg Center for Advanced Technology.
Germanna President Janet Gullickson thanked Dalrymple for his support as a connector with the Virginia Asphalt Association and state agency parters, adding that the long term importance of VECAT sustaining Virginia’s roads infrastructure to public safety and a healthy economy is immeasurable, and that she is happy the college is training students for careers that pay well.
Dalrymple, president of Chemung Contracting Corp., Dalrymple Holding Corp. and Cedar Mountain Stone, is essentially the founder of VECAT. He is a former president and the current treasurer of the VAA, a member of the Germanna Educational Foundation and a member of the State Board for Community Colleges.
He said VECAT training will make a difference in the lives of Virginians for decades to come and added that he’s proud that Cedar Mountain Stone has developed a paid apprenticeship program for its students at its quarry in Culpeper.
“At our company (VECAT students) have full-time jobs while in the apprenticeship program and when they’re all done with still have full-time jobs. They will earn an associate degree and can transfer to a university. But they don’t have to go to a university because (salary) is going to be $85,000 to $100,000 and they’re going to have a full- time job with us.”
Gullickson said VECAT will support business growth and jobs creation, increased competitiveness for Virginia’s asphalt industry, continuing education for changing materials and practices and create a supply chain to replace retiring workers. This will be accomplished through entry level to advanced training, stackable credentials, an apprenticeship program and the development of a pathway to an associate degree, she said.
Andy Babish, state materials engineer for the Virginia Department of Transportation, said of VECAT, “The labor pool we all pull from is getting smaller and smaller and this is providing a mechanism to reverse that and all will benefit from a growing, skilled workforce.”
Trenton Clark of the Virginia Asphalt Association said VECAT is answering the questions: “How do we address the workforce shortage? How do we train people to fill that need? I’m looking forward to taking this model elsewhere.”
Virginia Department of Transportation Commissioner Charlie Kilpatrick said VDOT invests more than $500 million in asphalt paving each year through new construction and maintenance:
Asphalt production facilities occupations: plant operators, plant technicians, laboratory technicians and asphalt mix designers
Asphalt placement site occupations: asphalt paving foreman, asphalt paving crew, asphalt paving superintendent, and density technician
Transportation agencies occupations: project manager, project engineer, project inspector, plant inspector, asphalt lab technician, asphalt mix designer/certifier
Consulting industry occupations: project engineer, project inspector, asphalt lab technician, and asphalt mix designer/certifier