Core Development Program: Engineer Associates

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

Associates crosstrain throughout VDOT, gaining engineering knowledge and a well-rounded view of the agency.

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

The program focuses on developing the technical and leadership competencies that will sustain VDOT now and in the future.

Participants will:

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

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

Also required is the ability to:

  • Make quality and timely decisions
  • Take initiative
  • Communicate effectively (in speaking and writing)
  • Prioritize and organize multiple demands in a continuously changing environment
  • Meet deadlines
  • Anticipate problems
  • Provide solutions
  • Follow instructions
  • Learn quickly
  • Collaborate

Here are the areas where our participants work.

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 fieldwork 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

Page last modified: May 30, 2018