Thomas J. O’Bryant Transportation Policy Fellowship – Summer 2019

The Eno Center for Transportation is now accepting applications for its Summer 2019 Thomas J. O’Bryant Transportation Policy Fellowship. This fellowship provides a high-quality professional development opportunity for aspiring transportation specialists. Successful applicants will gain in-depth knowledge of transportation policy and practice under the guidance of Eno staff.

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE:

  • Assisting in the development of Eno publications and products. Fellows play an integral part in the research and development of transportation research documents, policy recommendations, and events. Projects cover all modes, sectors, and levels of government within transportation.
  • Contributing to the premier transportation publication: Eno Transportation Weekly (ETW). Fellows cover transportation-related hearings on Capitol Hill, analyze legislation, and develop think pieces and other commentary for ETW.
  • Bridging the gap between research and policy. Fellows participate in Eno’s outreach through participation in conferences, briefings, and private meetings.
  • Gaining in-depth knowledge of U.S. policymaking. Fellows engage the policymaking community through association with the Board of Directors, Eno education programs, and briefings to policymakers.
  • Participating in Eno’s Future Leaders Development Conference. The selected fellow will be one of 20 students to participate in the annual Future Leaders Development Conference, June 2-7. This week-long conference held each year in Washington, DC gives participants an exclusive, inside look at how national transportation policy is made.

Duration

Duration of the appointment is 10 weeks (start/end dates to be determined by successful candidate and Eno staff, but the fellow must be available to participate in the Future Leaders Development Conference June 2-7).

Qualifications

Fellowships are awarded to bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and Ph.D. students working in transportation, engineering, housing, urban planning, or related degrees. Fellows must have already developed research skills and a strong writing ability.

Compensation

Fellows are paid a stipend of $2,250 per month.

To Apply

Submit cover letter, resume, and scholarly writing sample (2-3 page selection) by March 8, 2019 to Brianne Eby at beby@enotrans.org. First round interviews will be held in late March.

Now Available Minority Serving Institutions: America’s Underutilized Resource for Strengthening the STEM Workforce

This report provides evidence-based conclusions and multi-stakeholder recommendations to help create and support the necessary conditions, systems, policies, and practices to bolster the STEM education and workforce outcomes for millions of MSI students across the nation. Importantly, the educational outcomes and STEM readiness of students of color will have direct implications for American’s economic growth, national security, and global prosperity.

The recommendations of this report are offered as guideposts for Congress, federal agencies, state leaders, tribal nations, business and industry leaders, association and nongovernmental organization leaders, and higher education faculty and administrators across the nation to help promote progress.

For access to the report, click here.

Event Allows NH youth to Explore Construction, Transportation Careers

By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent

Event Allows NH youth to Explore Construction, Transportation Careers

NEW BOSTON — Hundreds of students in New Hampshire left their classrooms on Thursday for a unique, hands-on experience in the fields of construction and transportation.

The two-day event kicked off on Thursday at the 4-H grounds of the Hillsborough County Youth Center Foundation where about 75 exhibits were on display teaching children about careers in welding, plumbing, surveying, electricity and more.

“The whole goal is to expose kids to the trades,” said Meghan Theriault, director of public works for Goffstown and one of the co-organizers of the 10th annual New Hampshire Construction Career Days. “I think the trades have been suffering, and we are trying to bring light to this issue.”

Not every high school graduate wants to attend a four-year college, according to Theriault, who stressed that many interesting careers are available with good pay and opportunities for advancement. Companies such as Paradigm Plumbing, Longchamps Electrical, EnviroVantage, Maine Drill, Methuen Construction and more were on hand to speak with students, answer questions and give them a chance to attempt some simple job tasks. Student participants were given the opportunity to test drive tractor-trailers, maneuver excavators, climb trees, make cobblestones out of granite and more.

“This was a lot harder than I thought,” Mason Bennett, a freshman from Alvirne High School, said after driving an excavator while attempting to pick up balls and place them into a bucket using the machine.

Jackson Parker of Reed & Reed General Contractors said the career day event is a great way to engage youth and get them thinking about their future.  “I worry about the age of our workforce all the time,” said Parker. “This gives young people a chance to explore all sorts of jobs that could eventually lead them to a successful career.”

More than 1,900 high school students from 54 middle and high schools are attending the event, which continues on Friday.  “It is fun to pick their brains a little,” said Paul Bedard of Pawjer Earth Products. Bedard brought several large pieces of granite salvaged from a construction project in Manchester to the event.  Teens had the chance to make cobblestones out of the large granite pieces.  Cody Crossland, a sophomore at Alvirne High School, said he was looking forward to Thursday’s field trip and learning more about the various careers in transportation.

“I have thought about entering the trades,” said Crossland, who enjoys working on trucks and dirt bikes.

The two-day event coincided with the launch of the Construction Sector Partnership within the New Hampshire Sector Partnership Initiative — an industry driven effort to help businesses address workforce needs focusing on construction, health care, hospitality, manufacturing and technology.  According to a release, New Hampshire’s construction sector represented about 32,000 jobs in 2017, with a projected 3 percent increase between 2018 and 2022. “About 22 percent of people working in this industry are age 55 or older and are expected to retire within the next 10 years, promising to create an extremely competitive recruiting landscape,” states the release.

 

Read the whole article at Union Leader

FMCSA eliminates requirement for military CDL holders to pass knowledge, driving skills tests

Military members looking to become truck drivers may have an easier time in doing so as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has authorized states to waive the commercial learner’s permit (CLP) knowledge test and driving skills tests. It does not direct the states to do so but allows each state to at its own discretion.

The ruling was announced in a Federal Register Final Rule this morning. Specifically, the rule states that “certain individuals who are, or were, regularly employed within the last year in a military position that requires, or required, the operation of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV)” are eligible to skip the knowledge test portion of the CDL process. “This rule includes the option for an SDLA [State Driver Licensing Agency] to waive the tests required for a passenger carrier (P) endorsement, tank vehicle (N) endorsement, or hazardous material (H) endorsement, with proof of training and experience.”

Spc. Trey Dodds, a truck driver with the 110th Composite Truck Company, attaches a trailer to a vehicle as evening falls on Thursday, September 13. Soldiers worked into the night preparing vehicles for rapid deployment to hurricane-affected areas along the American East Coast.

The rule also states that certain drivers can be exempted from taking the driving skills test as well.

“This rule gives states the option to waive both the CDL knowledge and driving skills tests for certain current and former military service members who received training to operate CMVs during active-duty, National Guard or reserve service in military vehicles that are comparable to CMVs,” the rule states. “The combined effect of the Military CDL I rule and this rule will allow certain current or former military drivers, domiciled in participating States, to transition to a civilian CDL more quickly due to their armed forces training and experience.”

Many in trucking have viewed veterans as a key piece to help alleviate the driver shortage but concerns over the timeliness of that process and the inability of states to recognize veteran’s driving experience have slowed that process.

One of the factors that delay licensing is that CDL holders must pass requirements in their home states – which for military members is often not the state in which they are stationed.

The Military CDL I rule, issued in October 2016, sought to alleviate this by allowing states to extend up to 1 year the time a candidate has to apply for a test waiver after leaving the military. It also allowed the state where the military member is stationed to coordinate with the member’s home state on the knowledge or skills test.

This rule, first published on June 17, 2017 as proposed rule, received 17 comments, FMCSA said, with 15 in support. Among those submitting supporting comments was American Trucking Associations (ATA), the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA), the Propane Gas Association of New England (PGANE), the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), and the Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA).

Many commenters felt the rule would reduce the burden to enter the industry, including the time it takes to become licensed, and help in recruiting efforts.

Read this article in full at freightwaves.com

Finding the Future Workforce for State DOT’s Becoming Tougher

With the unemployment rate hitting an 18-year low of 4 percent this July and “Baby Boom” generation workers now retiring at roughly 10,000 per day, industries across the United States are finding it harder to recruit and retain workers.

Roger Miller, Secretary of Transportation for Washington State DOT

A study released by consulting firm Korn Ferry in May predicts that a growing “skilled talent” shortage could impede global economic growth, which could result in 85.2 million unfilled jobs worldwide by 2030.

“The world can’t afford to have tens of millions of unfilled jobs,” noted Alan Guarino, vice chairman of Korn Ferry’s CEO and Board Services division, in a statement. “Companies must work to mitigate this potential talent crisis now to protect their future. If nothing is done, this shortage will debilitate the growth of key global markets and sectors.”

That labor shortage is beginning to felt more – and more acutely – within the state departments of transportation, as worker retirements can often result in a loss of valuable institutional knowledge as well.

“The one thing that concerns me most as a CEO, and what I am now spending a lot of my time on, is our workforce. Great men and women work for WSDOT but approximately half of them are eligible to retire today and the higher you go up the food chain, the more eligible they are to retire. The institutional memory that leaves us when they retire is really scary,” explained Roger Millar, secretary of transportation for the Washington State DOT, in a presentation July 17 at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials 2018 Joint Policy Committee Meeting.

“So we are working hard to encourage the ones who can stay to stay and we are inviting more new people to join our world. But it is hard to compete with the likes of local employers like Microsoft – we can only pay half of what they pay,” he said. “So we offer flexible work schedules and internships. We are also looking at more diversity because we will be a multicultural community. It’s a demographic fact but also a huge opportunity for us. So we want our hiring practices to be inclusive.”

Matthew Garrett, director of the Oregon DOT, added in a separate speech at the policy meeting that technological change is also a factor re-shaping the workforce needs of the state DOT community.

“Technology threatens to remake every aspect of every company and industry that we deal with,” he stressed. “So you must ask yourself these questions – what do you foresee the most significant challenge to retraining workers for the new jobs of this brave new world? Is the private sector focused on that challenge? Is our educational system, which is built around four-year degrees up to the challenge in a world that needs continuous training?”

Garrett noted that this movement forward “can be exciting and refreshing” and lead to new ways of doing business. “But it also demands that we must adapt and support a culture that’s reimagining our work structure and learning platforms, that’s moving to continual education training and retraining across all portfolios within a state DOT,” he emphasized.

Shailen Bhatt, president and CEO of ITS America and the former executive director of the Colorado DOT, explained in an interview with AASHTO Journal on July 27 that “workforce issues have changed a lot” in the state DOT community, but in many cases for the better as there is more positive appeal for transportation jobs among younger workers.

Read more at AASHTOjournal.org