Public works staffers certified as Master Road Scholars

Published 7:00 am Thursday, December 23, 2021

Three long-time employees of the Boyle County Public Works Department recently completed the three-year Roads Scholar and Master Scholar programs, sponsored by the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Mark Gordon, Les Jones, and Cody Lister were commended for their accomplishments by the Fiscal Court on Tuesday, Dec. 21. Judge Howard P. Hunt III spoke to the Fiscal Court about the value counties place on this level of training, “There are many counties who place such a high value on this type of training that they offer incentives and rewards to employees who complete this type of coursework.”

The Roads Scholar program provides an opportunity for road maintenance personnel to receive specialized training in areas such as fundamentals of road maintenance, traffic management and techniques of personnel management. Once they completed the program, they advanced to the Master’s program.

Les Jones spoke on the variety of coursework they completed, “We were exposed to a variety of perspectives. From roads, bridges and vegetation to leadership skills, ethics and communication techniques; we were given many different views and methods for handling problems and improving how we manage the transportation systems of Boyle County.”

The Road Master Program provides a more advanced level of technical information and builds upon the Roads Scholar Program. The program is designed to relate to those in a supervisory role. Mark Gordon stated, “The coursework specific to personnel and dealing with different personalities taught me how to be a better leader.” Gordon is the senior staff member serving over 20 years under Director Duane Campbell.

“Learning how to prevent accidents through improved signage was invaluable,” said Cody Lister who added, “Improved communication skills will benefit our department in how we handle situations that involve Boyle County citizens.”

In order to become a Road Master, an individual must have completed the Roads Scholar Program; they must complete four required courses, and three optional courses, totaling 42 hours of training. Magistrate Jason Cullen called for a review of our personnel policy to ensure that we can provide incentives for our staff to elevate their knowledge and skillset. The fiscal Court agreed that the new HR Director should review policies and recommend a program to incentivize work-related training.

Since the inception of the Road Master Program in 1998, over 2,900 participants have completed the program.