The impact of Disruptive/Transformational Technologies in Transportation on the Workplace and Workforce

TRB 97th Annual Meeting  January 7-11, 2018  Washington, D.C.

National Transportation Career Pathways Initiative Stakeholder Engagement: Scoping Transformative Technologies

 Workshop 873: Thursday, January 11, 2018, 8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Convention Center 204B

Diana Long, Rahall Transportation Institute, presiding

Sponsored by Standing Committee on Transportation Education and Training

The pressures of technological advancement within the personal and freight mobility spaces present employers and workforce development practitioners with the challenge of adapting worker skillsets to have the competencies necessary to be effective in a dynamic workplace.

To address this challenge, the Federal Highway Administration Center for Transportation Workforce Development funded an initiative to identify the education, curriculum, training, and experiential learning required for post-secondary institutions to effectively deliver skilled and technically competent transportation workers for the next 15 years. Known as the National Transportation Career Pathways Initiative, this effort brings together academic and industry leadership to identify future workforce needs and how education and training at the technical school, community college, and university levels can be best designed to address those for the long term. As these discipline leaders work to create a framework to test implementation strategies at the post-secondary level, how can we design pathways that will succeed in supporting a future positive path for the transportation sector? This workshop will set the context for the project and invite in depth opportunities for practitioners and educators to provide their insights, feedback and perspectives on this effort.



Setting the Context – Three guests will lay out perspectives on how transportation is radically changing in the coming decades, technology disruption is changing the way the industry does business and how all of this will require a differently trained and educated workforce.

Eric Plosky, Chief, Transportation Planning Division at the Volpe Center.

Terry Bills, ESRI, presenting advanced tools to help DOT’s address strategic decision making through data-driven analysis and presentation.

Eric Rensel, VP, Gannett Flemming / National Operations Center of Excellence


Response panel: Tom Obrien (CSULB), Stephanie Ivey (UMemphis), Steve Albert (Montana State), Teresa Adams (UWisconsin-Madison), Glenn McRae (University of Vermont)

From the National Network for the Transportation Workforce (5 regional centers) centers, a discussion of how this future casting is reflected in the research results being conducted across five disciplines (Engineering, Safety, Environment, Operations, and Planning) and what it means as they seek to build new competency models, underlying critical career pathways for expanding occupations in each of the disciplines.

 Workshop 873 Agenda (continued)


Working Session: Break-out groups by discipline

5 discipline groups: Environment, Engineering, Operations, Planning, Safety

Information Sharing: What have we learned in each discipline


  • How are transformational technologies impacting how we teach, learn and practice within the discipline?
  • What are the most effective teaching and training methodologies to keep up with rapid changes in the field?
  • How are employers responding to the changes in ways that they recruit, hire, on-board and provide professional development?
  • How do educational programs remain current and relevant in addressing needed competencies in the field, as well as address emerging fields and innovations?
  • What role does experiential learning play? What are models of experiential learning that are most successful in producing the best prepared workers?

Lead by NTCPI team leaders with special Discussants (invited)

Report out summation – Key take-aways to guide future implementation of effective career path design, program collaboration, targeting of key audiences of future workers, and strong engagement of employers.
Workshop Breakout Group Leaders – Regional Workforce Centers

Center Center Director Center Associate



Stephanie Ivey

Associate Dean for Research, Herff College of Engineering

Director, Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute, The University of Memphis

Martin Lipinski

Director Emeritus, Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute
The University of Memphis




Tom Obrien

CITT Executive Director,

METRANS Associate Director

California State University at Long Beach

Tyler Reeb

CITT Director of Research, Research and Communications

California State University at Long Beach




Steve Albert

Director of the Western Transportation Institute (WTI) at Montana State University

Susan Gallagher

Project Manager of the Western Transportation Institute (WTI) at Montana State University




Teresa Adams

Professor of Civil Engineering

University of Wisconsin-Madison


Maria Hart

Program Manager

University of Wisconsin-Madison





Glenn McRae

Outreach Manager, Transportation Research Center

University of Vermont


Janet Leli

Associate Director, Technology Transfer

Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT)

Rutgers University


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Institute of Transportation Engineers and the National Network for the Transportation Workforce Enter Partnership Agreement

The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and the National Network for the Transportation Workforce (NNTW) are pleased to announce a collaborative working partnership to promote an increasingly skilled professional transportation and engineering workforce.  The partnership agreement will allow ITE and the NNTW to formally address a looming national labor shortage: nearly half of the current transportation workforce will be eligible to retire within the next ten years.

To prepare current and new employees to fill emerging job opportunities in transportation and engineering, ITE and NNTW will work toward a number of common goals:

  • Identify successful strategies to attract youth, veterans, women and underserved populations to career opportunities in transportation;
  • Use data-based methods to forecast future workforce needs and to develop effective strategies to meet those needs; and
  • Support educators at all levels as well as educator-industry collaborations to introduce and advance skills and training that will fill current and future workforce needs in transportation.

“ITE is pleased to be partnering with NNTW on this pivotal issue of workforce development. It is imperative that the transportation profession be forward-looking to be able to attract the diverse set of new and transitioning workers needed for the future transportation workforce,” said Jeffrey F. Paniati, ITE Executive Director and CEO.

In the near-term, the partners will begin with activities that include collaboration on national events and conferences, and the creation of joint education and industry outreach products.

ITE will also provide guidance and input to the National Transportation Career Pathways Initiative, led by the NNTW. The national career pathway program is the result of a $1.25 million Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) grant. Under the grant, the five regional centers that make up the NNTW will launch pilot career pathway demonstration programs focused on five strategic disciplines: planning, environment, operations, engineering, and safety. The goal behind the career pathway demonstrations is to engage post-secondary students to choose transportation career paths and to gain critical skills identified by industry and employers. ITE will participate on discipline advisory groups established by the workforce centers to garner industry insight to shape the development and implementation of career pathway demonstrations.

“The National Network is looking forward to working with ITE to identify the needs of the future workforce,” said Steve Albert, Director of the West Region Transportation Workforce Center; “we also want to provide clear and well-grounded pathways for meeting the needs we have right now.”

About ITE:

ITE is an international educational and scientific association of transportation professionals who are responsible for meeting mobility and safety needs. Founded in 1930, ITE is a community of transportation professionals, including transportation engineers, planners, consultants, educators and researchers. ITE promotes professional development of its members, supports and encourages education, stimulates research, develops public awareness programs and serves as a conduit for the exchange of professional information.  Learn more at:

About the NNTW:

The NNTW is consortium of five regional transportation workforce centers established by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to connect and empower the transportation workforce through research, education, and industry engagement. Each center serves as a resource to support, grow and maintain a skilled and career-ready transportation workforce in their respective regions, and the centers collaborate on the national level to provide for a more strategic and coherent approach to workforce development.  Learn more at:





Advanced Technologies and the Impact on Transportation Industries: A Workforce Conversation

As technologies advance and are steadily incorporated into the operations of transportation industries, workforce needs evolve at increasingly progressive rates across all levels. Technological impacts are widespread and create internal and external demands on both public and private sector agencies, businesses, and institutions. This webinar’s objective is to identify the impact advanced technologies have on the transportation industry. Presenters will examine the overall industry story- how services, customer relations, and employee needs are influenced. They will speak to current trends, best practices, and skill gaps that must be filled with up-to-date trainings and planning of potentially new certifications. Furthermore, presenters will look at the need for continued educational partnerships and their role in creating a steady pipeline of qualified employees into the workforce. Finally, speakers will conclude with how we merge what we know, with what we need, into proactive next steps.

Monday, December 18, 2017
2:00-3:15 p.m. EST; 1:00-2:15 p.m. CST;
Noon-1:15 p.m. MST; 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m. PST
Moderator & Facilitator:
  • Mr. Ferdinand Risco, Assistant Executive Director, TARC; Vice Chair, Workforce Development Committee  
Invited Speakers and Panelists:  
  • Mr. Mike Loehr, Global Practice Leader, Transit and Rail, Track and Civil, CH2M; Chair, BMBG Workforce Development Subcommittee
  • Ms. Joanne Peterson, Executive Office – Human Resources, LA Metro
  • Ms. Leticia Barajas, Vice President, Pathway Innovation & Institutional Effectiveness, Los Angeles Trade Technical College
  • Dr. Thomas O’Brien, Executive Director of the Center for International Trade and Transportation; Associate Director of METRANS; Director, Southwest Transportation Workforce Center

Reserve your webinar seat now! Please click on the below link to register for this webinar.