Center helps local public works departments maintain roadways across Colorado.
Front Range Community College (FRCC) was recently awarded the contract to manage the Colorado Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) center—in a cooperative effort sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
The role of Colorado’s LTAP is to research and distribute best practices and provide training to help improve the safety and maintenance of the state’s road infrastructure.
What is an LTAP?
Every state has an LTAP to provide training, technical assistance and technology transfer services that support local public works agencies in managing and maintaining their roadway systems. “Technical assistance” means providing targeted support to local agencies on specific questions, needs or problems they have. LTAPs provide mission-critical services, filling vital needs for a traditionally underserved portion of the national roadway system.
Giving Local Agencies a Voice
“Colorado LTAP represents local agency needs at the state and federal level. The LTAP works with national partners to increase awareness of local and rural transportation issues,” said Jean Runyon, Vice President of FRCC’s Larimer Campus.
“Our college has a longstanding collaborative partnership with CDOT— including the creation of a first-in-the-nation degree program in highway maintenance management,” Runyon adds. “Now by hosting the Colorado LTAP, FRCC will support the program in its continued efforts to provide the best quality programs and services for local agencies around the state.”
Sharing Training Resources and Best Practices
Over the past 35 years, Colorado LTAP has developed a strong reputation for being a trusted resource for local transportation agencies. FRCC will continue to engage with local, state and national partners to provide the best quality training and technical resources in areas of the most critical need.
LTAP work focuses on four areas:
- Safety (Roadway, Work Zone, and Workplace)
- Infrastructure Management
- Workforce Development
- Operational Excellence
Additional initiatives include an equipment loan program, the Local Innovative Solutions award, and helping local agencies acquire grant funding for innovation implementation.
Colorado’s LTAP runs three successful training certificate programs:
With more than 1,500 graduates, these programs are designed to help educate and prepare participants to comfortably and confidently perform in a transportation management position.
The college’s previous work with the highway maintenance and public works industry makes FRCC uniquely qualified to host the Colorado LTAP center—and to help meet the needs of road and bridge agencies across the state. As a community college, we are committed to providing our resources and expertise to help adults achieve their personal, professional and academic goals.
As sponsor of the Colorado LTAP center, FRCC will not only provide the staff with office and library space on campus, but will also ensure the LTAP has support in a number of areas, including: information technology; online instruction and prior learning assessment; workforce development; institutional research; fiscal services; resource development and grant assistance.
“Our LTAP provides direct value to Colorado’s local agencies through training and technical services,” said Nick Spezza, Dean of Instruction at FRCC’s Larimer Campus. “FRCC will retain the experience and knowledge of LTAP Director Renée Railsback, who has managed the LTAP Center for the last 20 years.”
Railsback is Colorado’s longest running LTAP Director. She has master’s degrees in both architectural design and structural engineering from the University of Colorado. She was a structures professor in the Master of Architecture program at CU Denver, and is the recent recipient of the Colorado Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) Leader of the Year Award and the National LTAP Association’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2018, due in large part to Railsback’s leadership, the Colorado LTAP received an Innovation Excellence award from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
She has presented throughout the country on preparing public works for emergency disaster response, and traffic sign inventory management. Nationally, Railsback has served on several Federal Highway Administration committees and is past-president of the National LTAP Association.
In state, she focuses on the advancement of local transportation needs by serving as APWA’s Colorado Chapter President; as Treasurer-Secretary of the Colorado Association for Roadway Maintenance; on Colorado’s State Transportation Innovation Council Executive Committee; and the Colorado Strategic Transportation Safety Plan Committee. Railsback serves on the FRCC Advisory Committee for the college’s first-in-the-nation Associate of Applied Science Degree in Highway Maintenance Management.
About Front Range Community College
FRCC offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs from locations in Boulder County, Larimer County, Westminster, Brighton, and online. FRCC is a member of the Colorado Community College System.
About the Colorado Community College System
The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is the state’s largest system of higher education, serving 138,000 students annually at 13 colleges and 39 locations across Colorado. Our open access mission ensures all Coloradans who aspire to enrich their lives have access to quality higher education opportunities.