How Effective is Your Career Pathways Advisory Board?

This discussion will focus on how to maximize the effectiveness of an advisory board to advance a transportation, or other, career path program. Hear from educators who have engaged, nurtured and maintained board involvement in the design, development and delivery of their program.

Many instructors and administrators struggle with effectively building and using advisory boards. Many do not know how to get started or how to find good advisory board members. Often, once they have identified members, they don’t know how to effectively engage and retain them. Participants will be encouraged, before the session, to provide their concerns and also suggestions for successful implementation for using advisory boards. Our distinguished presenters will describe how they have successfully used new and innovative ways to start and maintain advisory boards while addressing the concerns and suggestions identified by participants.

Participants will leave with information covering at least 4 critical components:

  • The importance of using a highly effective advisory board.
  • How to design and develop a highly effective board.
  • How to identify potential effective members and retain them.
  • How to engage critical employers in the advisory process.

To register, please visit https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3769492395759656716

 

Aging and in need of attention: America’s infrastructure and its 17 million workers

By now, you’re probably familiar with America’s infrastructure challenge. From clogged roads, to unsafe pipes, to limited broadband access, the list goes on. Concerns over infrastructure affordability, reliability, and overall investment also remain a constant. And despite potential infrastructure solutions coming from leaders in Washington, along the campaign trail and beyond, there has been little federal action.

But what you may not have thought or heard as much about is the enormous infrastructure workforce challenge facing the country.

Just as our physical infrastructure systems are aging and in need of attention, so too are the workers who design, construct, operate, and oversee these systems. In other words, these workers are not only constructing projects in the short-term, but maintaining all types of facilities in the long-term—from ports and power plants to railroads and waterways. The problem is that many of them are nearing or are eligible for retirement, and there is not a strong training pipeline to educate and equip a new generation of talent with the skills they need.

Past Brookings research has shown the wide range of workers involved in managing the country’s infrastructure, and the latest labor data from 2018 shows a continued demand for skilled workers throughout this foundational economic sector.

Crucially, though, this workforce challenge also presents a workforce opportunity. At a time when many Americans are still struggling to secure stable, well-paying jobs, infrastructure offers just that.

Indeed, the enormous number and variety of infrastructure jobs speak to the multiple career pathways available to workers across all skill levels and all regions. Estimates from 2018 find that nearly 17.2 million workers—or about 12 percent of all workers nationally—are employed in infrastructure jobs, concentrated in 94 different occupations. Electricians, water treatment operators, and civil engineers are among the largest occupations overall, in addition to many other positions in the skilled trades, finance, and management. Truck drivers and material movers remain essential to carrying out a range of non-automated tasks. Taken together, infrastructure jobs employed more workers than retail (16.0 million) or manufacturing (12.6 million), among other sizable sectors.

Read more at https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2019/04/16/aging-and-in-need-of-attention-americas-infrastructure-and-its-17-million-workers/

TRANSIT WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: Improved Strategic Planning Practices Could Enhance FTA Efforts

The nation’s transit agencies are having a hard time finding the qualified workers and managers needed to keep buses, trains, and ferries moving. To address this, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued a report finding that
current federal projections of future workforce needs either don’t include or aren’t specific to the transit workforce and the Federal Transit Administration’s strategic planning could be more effective in assisting transit agencies with workforce issues

The GAO made 3 recommendations, including that FTA consider whether more specific workforce projections would be worthwhile and develop a strategy to address future workforce needs.

  • The FTA Administrator should determine, in collaboration with transit stakeholders, whether additional transit workforce data are needed to identify potential future occupational shortages in the transit industry and whether the benefits of this collection would outweigh the cost of gathering it. 
  • The FTA Administrator should develop and document a strategy that outlines how FTA will help address future transit workforce needs. 
  • The FTA Administrator should develop and document clearly defined performance goals and measures for its transit workforce development efforts.

While FTA assists transit stakeholders with addressing workforce needs—for example, providing about $29 million in workforce development assistance in fiscal year 2017—it lacks key strategic planning practices that could ensure its efforts are effective. FTA first reported to Congress in 2016 that it planned to develop a transit workforce strategic plan; however, no clear action has been taken to develop one so far. Further, FTA does not have clearly defined performance goals and measures—as outlined in the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) and the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010—for FTA’s transit workforce development efforts. Without these key strategic planning practices, FTA is limited in its ability to make informed decisions about effectively leveraging its resources to address future transit workforce needs and in measuring the effectiveness of its efforts.

FTA provides more than $12 billion annually to support and expand transit services. The operation of transit systems depends on a skilled, qualified workforce, but impending transit worker retirements and advances in transit technology may create challenges for the transit workforce such as finding eligible applicants for transit jobs and obtaining the technology expertise needed.

2019 National LTAP/TTAP/NTTD Conference

2019 National LTAP/TTAP & NTTD Conference

August 12-15 2019
Stowe, Vermont

Hosted at the Stoweflake Conference Center www.stoweflake.com

Conference Registration Fee:  $375.00 Early Bird (before July 1, 2019) or $425 (after July 1, 2019)

Spouse/Guest Program Fee:  Full Guest (Conference Meals and Evening Events): $275.00

Guest Registration for Evening Events Only:  $100.00

Conference Attendee and Exhibitor Registration Link:  

https://NatLTAPAssoc.regfox.com/national-ltap-ttap-nttd-2019-conference

For registration questions, please contact:  Regina Hackett – CT LTAP – (860) 486-6753 

Hotel Reservations:  Make your reservation by calling 800-253-2232  –  Hotel Rate is $135 (2019 Federal Per Diem Rate)

Recruiting Tomorrow’s Workforce

The transportation industry faces a significant gap between the number of skilled positions needed in the workforce and the number of people qualified to fill those positions. The projected annual job openings in the transportation field through 2022 are about 68 percent greater than the number of people completing transportation-related education and training programs, according to Strengthening Skills Training and Career Pathways Across the Transportation Industry, a joint report from the U.S. Departments of Transportation, Education, and Labor. Without enough qualified workers, the industry grapples with a growing challenge to develop, operate, and maintain a safe and efficient transportation system.

One way the Federal Highway Administration is working to narrow the workforce gap is by encouraging young people to explore the opportunities awaiting them in transportation. Many middle and high school students are unaware that a transportation career can involve a variety of disciplines—from engineering to planning and design to safety and supply chain management. Conducted in partnership with State departments of transportation and academic institutions, the National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI) is an FHWA program that expands the awareness of career opportunities in transportation and helps address future needs for a capable and diverse workforce.

In 2018, NSTI celebrated 25 years of educating students about transportation and piquing their interest in college-level studies and career opportunities in the field.

Administered by FHWA’s Center for Transportation Workforce Development, NSTI promotes science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines among middle and high school students and encourages them to pursue transportation-related studies at the college and university level. Open to middle and high school students throughout the United States and its territories, NSTI enables teenagers to experience campus life and get a preview of transportation-related studies at accredited colleges and universities. All are welcome to apply, with a focus on underserved students, including minorities, women, socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, at-risk youth, and students with disabilities.

Introducing Transportation Opportunities

Daniel Davalos knew little about the transportation field, but he was intrigued when his high school engineering teacher distributed flyers on NSTI because it offered hands-on experience in STEM.

“I applied to this program because it would help me focus my education and career decisions in the STEM disciplines,” he says.

In addition to inspiring Davalos to study electrical engineering at California State University, Los Angeles, the NSTI session he attended in 2014 gave him insight into the types of careers people could have in transportation. As a result, he says, “I am planning to use my knowledge in electrical engineering in the transportation industry.”

Over the years, NSTI has benefited more than 25,000 students. In 2017, 1,446 students, including 21 with disabilities, attended programs at 62 host sites in 48 States.

To broaden access to the NSTI experience, FHWA instituted an exchange program in 2012 for students living in U.S. territories. The pilot program enabled four students to travel to the U.S. mainland to stay on a college campus and participate in a session. By 2018, about 40 students from U.S. territories had attended NSTI sessions, an average of 8 to 10 students per year.

Each year, State departments of transportation ask accredited colleges and universities (potential NSTI host sites) to develop proposals for NSTI programs on their campuses that meet FHWA’s curriculum guidelines. State DOTs recommend one or more applications from potential NSTI host sites to their State’s FHWA division, which reviews the applications and provides feedback and assistance on the proposed programs.

Providing Hands-On Experience

A typical NSTI program lasts 2 to 4 weeks. Host institutions offer day or residential programs that include room and board for students. Each institution targets its program to students in either high school or middle school. High school programs emphasize activities to improve STEM skills, prepare participants for post-secondary education, and encourage them to pursue transportation-related careers. Middle school programs focus on career exploration.

Designed to provide a stimulating introduction to the transportation industry and career opportunities, typical NSTI programs feature exposure to land, air, and water transportation modes, as well as safety. The curriculum includes an introduction to each transportation mode taught by college or university instructors, presentations from industry professionals, and field trips to transportation and transit facilities and government agencies. Students also learn from hands-on activities, such as laboratory exercises, computer programming tasks, and competitions to design bridges, gliders, solar cars, or mass transit projects.

Land transportation topics included in a typical program include highway design, transportation planning, traffic signal timing, transportation logistics, and public transit. Water transportation covers topics such as deep sea freight and passenger transportation, intercoastal waterways, towing and tugboat services, and marine cargo handling. Air transportation focuses on flight theories, aircraft performance, flight instruments, and air navigation. Safety is an integral part of the curriculum, including safe transportation infrastructure; improving safety and communication; analyzing and forecasting safety trends; and pedestrian, bicycle, vehicle, and air travel safety.

Programs also introduce methods and activities that improve study habits, promote academic achievement, and foster self-awareness. Topics include time management, critical thinking, problem solving, research techniques, and internet and library use, as well as preparation for standardized college admission tests. Students learn teamwork and sportsmanship through sports and recreation activities.

Partnership Takes Flight

Some host institutions partner with the National Flight Academy in Pensacola, FL, which offers an immersive program to inspire students to pursue STEM studies and careers. At the conclusion of their campus programs, these host institutions select students to attend a weeklong course at the academy, where they live in a simulated aircraft carrier environment and get hands-on experience learning about flight control, aircraft safety, piloting, and other technical operations associated with aviation.

Each day, academy students participate in “missions” that challenge their mental agility, preparedness, and communication skills while demonstrating the value of teamwork and goal completion. Through simulator experience and role play, students learn firsthand how those in naval aviation respond to real-life situations and emergencies. At the end of the week, students participate in a graduation ceremony to celebrate their accomplishments.

Student Perspectives On NSTI

Many former participants in NSTI programs consider their experience as key to their decision to pursue STEM-related studies in college and apply their education in the transportation and engineering fields. Many also express appreciation for the opportunity to get a taste of life on a college campus.

Dr. Makoloa Abdullah. Dr. Abdullah, Virginia State University president, was a junior in high school when his mother told him about the NSTI program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “She thought it was a program I should be a part of. We all know mothers know best,” he says.

“I applied because I thought it would be wonderful to have the experience of staying on a college campus while still being a high school student. It provided me with the opportunity to spread my wings,” Abdullah says. “Most importantly, I had a strong interest in the STEM field, particularly in engineering.”

After interning the following summer at the Illinois Department of Transportation, Abdullah earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Howard University and master’s and doctorate degrees in civil engineering from Northwestern University. Early in his career, he worked at a civil engineering firm in Chicago. Later, he served as a college professor, dean of engineering, and university provost.

Read the full article on FHWA Public Roads Magazine

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