Transportation Workforce Development Strategies: Success Stories and Lessons Learned to Aid in Building Career Pathways for Young Adults, Second Career Professionals, Veterans, and Encore Careerists
research needs statement focuses on a synthesis of literature on the success
stories and lessons learned associated with the implementation of surface
transportation workforce development strategies. A
special effort will be made to identify workforce development strategies to help
build career pathways in surface transportation for youth, second career
professionals, veterans, and encore careerists. Surface transportation for the
purposes of this project would include motorized (e.g. automobiles, trucks,
buses, rail cars) and non-motorized (e.g. cycling and walking) modes.
A great deal
of excellent work has been conducted and published over the last several
decades on transportation workforce development issues and challenges in the
U.S. and based on these work strategies have been proposed to address these
issues and challenges. Some of these strategies have been effective and others
have not. Moreover, there is general agreement that a single document
summarizing the results of the strategies would be very useful to individuals
in academia, industry, labor and professional organizations, and government who
are interested in meeting workforce needs and promoting workforce development
in the 21th century.
objectives of this research project are to: 1) synthesize the literature on
surface transportation career pathways and workforce initiatives, outlining
issues, challenges, and strategies; and 2) document the major results of the
literature synthesis including success stories and lessons learned in building
pathways to the surface transportation field for youth, second career professionals
(particularly veterans), and encore careerists. The anticipated product will be a written
report and a public webinar to summarize the findings of the study. The
expectation is that this report will be of great interest to a variety of
surface transportation stakeholders including: groups involved in K-12
activities that generate an awareness of surface transportation career
opportunities: faculty and researchers in community colleges/technical schools,
4 year colleges, and public and private universities with undergraduate and
graduate degree and certificate programs; and experts in continuing education
and professional development programs.
An underlying aim of the report would be to serve as a resource document
to help these transportation stakeholder groups ensure that
workforce development is: a) well understood in terms of challenges, needs, and
the opportunity – within the industry and among stakeholders; b) elevated
to a pressing public policy level that
recognizes the direct links between a well prepared transportation workforce,
an effective and efficient
transportation system, and the health of every sector of our economy; c) recognized
as a critical source of good jobs and careers that are well distributed
geographically across the U.S.; and d_)_
advanced most effectively through building linkages and coalitions between
elected officials and key stakeholders in industry, labor, government, and
transportation agencies, it is important to know if investments in workforce development activities will
produce benefits to the agency. These benefits might include, for example,
increases in employee, retention and efficiency as well as cost savings. This
research will provide transportation agencies with guidelines for determining
which workforce development activities to implement for various operational and
training tasks based on anticipated costs, benefits, and implementation
strategies. The methods identified in
this research will also have the potential to provide agencies with
quantitative evaluations of benefits to provide support for investment
decisions. This research will also guide transportation agencies in developing
appropriate workforce development programs.
syntheses, special reports, workshops, conferences, standing committees, and
peer exchanges should be reviewed for relevant research. Below is a partial list of such reports
spanning 3 decades:
National Transportation Workforce Summit Summary Report,
Consortium of University Transportation Centers, Washington D.C., 2013.
Wittwer, Adams and Toledo-Duran. “Report on 21st Century
University of Wisconsin, Madison, National Center for Freight &
Education, May 2009.
Simpson, Ava. “Community College Contribution to
Transportation Workforce Development.” Department of
Political Science, Howard University, April 17, 2007.
“Recruiting and Retaining Individuals in State
Transportation Agencies.” NCHRP Synthesis 323,
Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, DC 2003.
Rahn, Toole, et al. “European Practices in Transportation
Workforce Development.” U.S.Department of
Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. June 2003.
National Cooperative Highway Research
Program, “Recruiting and Retaining Employees in State Transportation Agencies.
- Diewald, Walter, “The Workforce Challenge: Recruiting,
Training, and Retaining Qualified Workers for
Transportation and Transit Agencies.” TR News, No. 229 (November-December
- Coyner, Kelley. “Education Tomorrow’s Transportation
Workforce: The Garrett A. Morgan Technology and
Transportation Futures Program.” TR News 200 (February): 17-24. 1999.
should cover four topic areas as they relate to workforce development
initiatives and strategies: (1) implementation, (2) impacts, (3) barriers, and
(4) future challenges. Such initiatives
and strategies are diverse and are designed to meet a set of intended objectives
and workforce needs, competencies, and skill sets. It is expected that the
implementation, impacts, and barriers of these initiatives may vary by
workforce group and participating stakeholders.
Implementation: This topic should address the _how, what, and who related to the workforce
initiatives and strategies: How were the initiatives and strategies implemented? What were the intended objectives and were
they achieved? Who in the workforce was to benefit and what competencies and
skills sets (if any) were addressed? An inventory of the initiatives and
strategies should be developed in the form of case studies. The case studies should review the how, what, and who related to the
initiatives and strategies.
Impacts: This topic should cover impacts
related to workforce training administrative requirements, costs, and benefits.
Based on the case studies, the successes
and lessons learned will be identified and the extent to which objectives were
achieved and not achieved will be reviewed. An emphasis should be placed on determining
the costs and benefits of employing such workforce development strategies. Direct costs as well as indirect costs should
be evaluated. It is expected that workforce
development programs and strategies yield a diverse array of benefits. Benefits
might include cost savings, improvements in job completion times and
quantities, and increased retention. Based
on the case studies, an effort should be made to identify guidelines on how to
quantitatively calculate resultant benefits associated with the implementation
of the workforce development strategy.
Barriers: This topic will address the barriers
and challenges associated with the implementation of the workforce development initiatives
and strategies presented in the case studies. Barriers may relate to the following factors:
or socioeconomic characteristics of the transportation workforce
barriers, e.g. securing the funds needed to implement the workforce development
barriers, e.g. collaborating with other agencies with similar workforce
barriers, e.g. limited computer skills and abilities of the workforce
barriers, e.g. safety concerns related to the use of innovative technology
should make a special effort to identify successful strategies that have been
used to overcome these barriers.
Future Challenges: It is important to plan for the future changes
in the field of transportation. This
research should try to identify potential changes in workforce needs as
demographics of the workforce shift over time; as the challenges and costs of delivering
transportation services change; and as technology innovation continues to
impact the way transportation services are provided
|Sponsoring Committee:||AJE15, Workforce Development and Organizational Excellence
|RNS Developer:||John Collura, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Lydia Mercado, U.S. DOT University Transportation Centers Program; Glenn McRae, University of Vermont Transportation Center|
|Index Terms:||Transportation planning, Labor force, Professional employment, Transportation careers, Strategic planning, Nonmotorized transportation, |
Administration and Management|
Education and Training