Core Development Program: Engineering Associates

The Core Developmental Program (CDP) is designed to build capable, innovative and experienced individuals with the know-how and skills to transition into a vital role at the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). 

In the CDP, associates cross train throughout VDOT, gaining engineering knowledge and a well-rounded view of the agency. 

CDP associates experience the diverse work VDOT performs, through hands-on assignments and the opportunity to work closely with a diverse group of professionals. 

In addition, the program focuses on developing the technical and leadership competencies that will sustain VDOT now and into the future.

Participants in this program will:

  • Rotate through VDOT various locations
  • Become a well-rounded engineer
  • Increase practical experience while in a full-time job
  • Gain an invaluable view of how all the areas of VDOT work together
  • Network with other professionals across the agency
  • Benefit from a professional engineer mentor

Successful associates must be motivated, customer focused, innovative, and action-oriented individuals with a drive for achieving results and managing projects effectively. 

Also required are:

  • A demonstrated ability to make quality and timely decisions
  • The ability to take the initiative
  • Talent at communicating effectively, both speaking and writing 
  • The ability to prioritizing and organizing multiple demands in a continuously changing environment
  • Being able and meeting established deadlines

Successful associates must also have the ability to anticipate problems, provides solutions, follow instructions, learn quickly and collaborate with teammates.

As an associate, you will cross-train through several of VDOT’s core functions.

Below are the areas our participants work in.

Structure and Bridge Design

The Structure and Bridge Division offers an opportunity for designers (engineers) to put sound engineering principles to work in a dynamic environment of evolving specifications and materials.

You will work in VDOT's design and inspection programs for bridges and other highway-related structures, using the latest technologies.

Location and Road Design

The Location and Design team delivers plan assemblies in accordance with the Six-Year Improvement Program.

Our team of professionals includes:

  • Highway engineers
  • Roadway geometric designers
  • Hydraulics and river mechanics
  • Survey and photogrammetry technicians
  • Project managers
  • Consultant services and administrators
  • Traffic engineering designers
  • Computer-assisted designers
  • Specialists in safety hardware
  • Those who handle the interpretation of standards, policies and procedures

Materials Engineering

The Materials Division provides engineering services through technical leadership and training in building and maintaining a safe and efficient transportation system. It assesses highway construction materials and the application of innovative engineering.

The division is organized into a Central Office and nine district offices and is separated into two major areas: Preliminary Engineering and Quality Assurance.

Associates are exposed to laboratory testing and field performance for highway construction materials including concrete, steel, aggregate, soils, and asphalt.

Transportation and Mobility Planning

Transportation planning provides the framework for the development of a safe and efficient transportation system. Key to this is forecasting the multimodal mobility needs of people and freight and predicting future system deficiencies.

The goals of transportation planning are to:

  • Increase access to the transportation system
  • Improve traveler safety
  • Support economic growth
  • Maintain efficient management of the existing infrastructure
  • Minimize environmental and community impacts

Associates are exposed to:

  • Regional and local planning processes
  • Project development and programming processes
  • The Long Range Plan development process

Associates may be involved in planning for transportation alternatives such as transit, high-occupancy vehicles and bicycle and pedestrian facilities. This involves:

  • Federal and state regulations and policies governing transportation planning
  • Land development
  • Environmental issues, including air and water quality, wetlands, and environmental justice

Environmental Engineering

VDOT's Environmental Division has expertise in a broad range of areas, including:

  • Biology
  • Acoustical modeling
  • Geology
  • Forestry
  • Wildlife management
  • Engineering
  • Environmental science
  • Environmental planning
  • Chemistry
  • Wetland science
  • Public administration
  • Natural and cultural resources

The division's major function is to ensure regulatory compliance and to promote environmental conservation, protection and enhancement in transportation. 

Associates gain experience in regulatory clearances, environmental conservation, protection and enhancement.

Construction Management

Construction management is a multi-level system. It manages people, equipment, materials, money and time in a centralized system of planning field work to meet the goals of schedule, cost and quality.

Associates will work with engineers and management, learn engineering principles and gain extensive experience in projects of varying complexity.

Project Management

The mission of the Project Management Office (PMO) is to continuously improve the commonwealth's transportation system by incorporating best business practices and tools, aligned with the agency's organizational goals. The focus of the PMO is on people, processes and tools.

The PMO is committed to supporting project managers by:

  • Defining agency project management policy and procedures
  • Implementing project management tools and techniques
  • Ensuring relevant project management training that facilitates a disciplined approach in a standardized project management environment

Associates will:

  • Work on smaller design/no plan projects
  • Perform quality assurance and quality control checks to gain a thorough understanding of plan development
  • Assist with development of schedules and budgets
  • Learn techniques to monitor schedules and budgets
  • Become familiar the VDOT project management process

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Growing the people who "Keep Virginia Moving"

Page last modified: Sept. 16, 2015