Core Development Program: Associate Testimonials

Tiffany D. Toliver, currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Urban & Regional Planning with a concentration in Environmental Science at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), a new Core Development Program Associate Engineer working in Staunton District Lexington Residency.Tiffany D. Toliver, pursuing a Master’s in urban and regional planning with a concentration in environmental science at Virginia Commonwealth University, is a new Core Development Program (CDP) associate engineer working in the the Virginia Department of Transportation's (VDOT) Staunton District's Lexington Residency.

“Before interning at VDOT, my educational background was in commercial, residential, and design aspects of construction. 

"I was unfamiliar with civil engineering concepts and theories and the application of certain software and skills. 

"After interning for two years in the Central Office's Construction Division and now working full-time as part of the new 2015 CDP cohort, I have had the opportunity to immerse myself in diverse day-to-day operations and am learning how strategies, planning, and implementation become standard practicum within the agency. 

"Working for VDOT, I realized the organization is fully committed to offering the highest level of service to its clients, citizens and the traveling public. 

"The CDP provides a plethora of valuable hands-on experience and training, through a two-year program that involves rotations throughout the agency. 

"I feel these experiences will enhance my knowledge and skills so that one day I may become a licensed Professional Engineer. 

"The Core Development Program is focused on nurturing innovation, problem solving, flexibility, and risk-taking. As I continue in my role as an associate engineer, I feel the program and technical training will help me embody the attributes that are expected of me.

I am truly grateful for this opportunity, and I am proud to say that I am part of ‘Keeping Virginia Moving.’”

 Jesus Hernandez-Cruz, a recent graduate of George Mason University, with a Bachelor’s of Science in civil engineering.Jesus Hernandez-Cruz, a recent graduate of George Mason University, with a Bachelor’s of Science in civil engineering.

“The CDP has provided me the opportunity to gain extraordinary knowledge of how VDOT plans, funds, designs, builds, maintains, and operates all roads, bridges, and structures in the commonwealth. 

"The program allows us to rotate through the various divisions in a district office or the Central Office, allowing us to gain valuable experience by performing hands-on job assignments while working closely with a diverse group of professionals.

"I've been a part of the Location and Design Division for the past three months and have been exposed to just about everything: public involvement, highway engineering, roadway geometric design, hydraulic computations, surveying, project management, utility conflict analysis, traffic engineering design and interpretation of standards, policies and procedures.  

"By working in this division, I've gained firsthand experience of the design and development process of multiple projects at different phases. I've observed how all of the other divisions work independently to accomplish their part in a project, yet come together as a team to complete the project. 

"Along the way, it's been a great opportunity to network and meet professionals in the industry. These are people II can reach out to for assistance or advice in the future.

"The program also focuses on developing technical and leadership skills that will help sustain VDOT now and into the future. 

"It's truly a blessing and honor to be part of this wonderful program and I think those of you who wish for a challenging, rewarding and diverse cross-training program will find this opportunity parallel to no other.”

Nishant M. Patel, a 2015 graduate of George Mason University, in the Core Development Program at the Halifax Residency.Nishant M. Patel, a 2015 graduate of George Mason University, in the Core Development Program at the Halifax Residency.

"I started the CDP at the end of May 2015, and I've already learned so much. 

"Currently I"m stationed in Chatham. I've obtained a vast amount of knowledge and gotten hands-on experience that couldn't come in a classroom.

"Either I'm out in the field seeing a project being built from the ground up, or I'm learning the aspects that go into completing a project.  

"Every day I'm learning or doing something new. I experience a different challenge on a day-to-day basis, which enables me to apply what I've learned in school to the work force. It also enhances my problem-solving skills. 

"What I enjoy most about the CDP is that I'm not just tied down to one field. I'm rotating through the different specialties and learning how things are done in a team environment. 

"This gives me the chance to become well rounded and to understand how everything is tied together. 

"VDOT has been an outstanding environment to work in. I've met great people who are always be willing to help me. I'm very excited to be here and can’t wait to see what my future holds."

Email questions or comments to PipelinePrograms@vdot.virginia.gov.

Growing the people who "Keep Virginia Moving"

Chris Copeland, a graduate from University of Virginia with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering, working at the Ashland Residency.Chris Copeland, a graduate from University of Virginia with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering, working at the Ashland Residency.

“The Core Development Program is one of the most rewarding opportunities I’ve encountered throughout my education and as I begin my career as a civil engineer.  Since 2011, I have worked summer and winter breaks with VDOT as an Engineer Scholar which has allowed me to gain invaluable hands-on experience in various Divisions across the agency. 

To date, I have learned countless lessons, and none more important than VDOT’s commitment to providing safe roadways and a remarkable level of service to the traveling public.  From my first few months in the CDP, it has become evident that hard work and collaboration across many different Divisions plays a vital role in the continued success of VDOT’s goals.  The CDP’s unique competency cross-training approach allows each Associate across the state to apply high-level technical knowledge to effectively contribute to the mission.

Currently, I am applying my classroom based knowledge to contribute in the Ashland Residency.  Our office provides day-to-day operations in the area, both rural and urban, with roadway and safety improvements.  Field work and on-the-job exposure has aided in the expansion of my knowledge and skills that will lead to obtaining my Professional Engineer license.  Additionally, as I progress through the program and other Divisions across the agency, I am excited and motivated to develop even further as a well-rounded engineer.

I’m truly blessed to be a part of VDOT, the CDP, and an unmatched opportunity for civil engineers to develop, build, and expand on critical career skills.”


Email questions or comments to PipelinePrograms@vdot.virginia.gov.

Growing the people who "Keep Virginia Moving"

 

Page last modified: Sept. 15, 2016