American Trucking Association to Create 50,000 Career Opportunities

Today, leaders from the American Trucking Associations pledged that the trucking group would provide at least 50,000 people enhanced career opportunities as part of today’s Trump administration announcement to provide pathways to better careers for a half a million Americans.

“ATA is proud to be part of this effort to provide enhanced career opportunities to hard-working Americans. Our nation’s economy depends on our trucks moving goods from ports, factories and farms to stores and homes – and we depend on the millions of men and women who drive those trucks, maintain those trucks, load and unload those trucks and route those trucks,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “We appreciate President Trump and Secretary Acosta making this a priority and having the vision to follow through with today’s executive order. We hope that through this workforce development effort, we will be able to connect more Americans to family-supporting incomes and address the persistent shortage we face in attracting enough well-trained workers to our industry.  The economy is strong and unemployment is low, but there are critical shortages of skilled workers in sectors of the economy, like truck drivers, technicians and mechanics.  We support these efforts to help ensure Americans have the skills and training needed to support the modern economy.”

ATA was represented at today’s White House event by past ATA Chairman Dan England, chairman of the board at C.R. England Inc., Salt Lake City.

“C.R. England believes in providing hard-working Americans a path to a better life,” England said. “That’s why we work so hard at our driving schools and training facilities, giving people a place to learn important and valuable skills that can keep our industry and our economy moving.

“Our industry is under constant pressure to bring in new drivers and new technicians to replace an aging workforce and to keep up with the demands of a modern, just-in-time economy,” he said. “Today’s announcement underscores our commitment, and ATA’s commitment, to doing all we can to provide opportunities for careers in trucking.”

At today’s announcement, ATA pledged to offer enhanced career opportunities to 10,000 people a year, every year, for the next five years, bringing the total commitment to 50,000.

Read the full release at trucking.org 

Project Bike Tech Educating Students for a Bike Mechanic Career

Project Bike Tech (PBT) is a non-profit specializing in educating high school students on bike mechanic skills and provide career preparation training. As they move forward into their 10-year anniversary they are expanding their educational program to Colorado.

Currently, Project Bike Tech is operating in multiple California schools and this move to Colorado expands PBT to a national level and sets the stage to innovate program offerings to include college credit eligible programs and an emphasis with the math and science in bike design.

Originally the program was founded as a 4-semester Career Technical Education class, and PBT has already successfully launched young people into careers within the bicycle industry. Preparing young people with bike mechanical skills is an important component of a future career within the bicycle industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for bicycle repair jobs is forecast to grow nationally by 29.3 % by 2026 leading to a significant shortage of bike mechanics as cycling emerges as a critical component of urban transportation planning.

According to Mercedes Ross, PBT’s Executive Director, “Nationally, demand for bicycle technicians is expanding rapidly. Students in our classes are exposed to an immersive educational experience centered around bicycle mechanics while learning key life skills like resume writing, job interview techniques, and teamwork.” The PBT curriculum also encompasses other core academic principles like mathematics, physics, and engineering that fit in with more traditional academic concepts. “We’ve created a hands-on class that can not only produce graduates who are primed for a position in a bike shop right away, but also exposes our students to a myriad of career opportunities in the bicycle and outdoor industries,” added Ms. Ross.

You can find more information about Project Bike Tech on their website here.

 

Tools for the Zombie Apocalypse: Avoiding the Brain Drain in Transportation Organizations

Information is coming in and knowledge is going out more rapidly than anticipated. Not only are we losing knowledge from long-time employees, but consultants and contractors have an equal amount of knowledge that could escape at any moment.

  • How can transportation agencies make sure that essential knowledge is retained?
  • How can they make sure that employees have access to the right information at the right time to be effective and contribute to the success of the organization?

This session will focus on recent guidance and current practices that transportation agencies can apply to tackle these challenges.   Presiding: Becky Burk, Maryland State Highway Administration

For more information, check out the event flyer.

REGISTER HERE

Part I: July 13, 2018, noon-1pm ET

Avoiding Brain Drain in Transportation Organizations

Part II: August 8, 2018, noon – 1pm ET

Avoiding Brain Drain in Transportation Organizations

NTTD Annual Conference

Oct 7-11, 2018, in Chattanooga TN – Transforming Transportation Training

Registration is open!

Each year NTTD highlights innovative training policies, programs and technologies that serve the unique needs of the transportation community, bringing together DOT staff and trainers, LTAP personnel, and national training resource experts from federal, university and private sector organizations. Members of the transportation training community exchange ideas about training innovations and resources, develop collaborative relationships and networks, and learn from leading experts in the field.

Registration is open! This year NTTD has several new registration options, including an early registration discount ($375.00 before August 8th), and a discount if more than one person from your organization registers for the conference. As trainers and networkers, we know of the added value when more than one member of an organization attends meetings and can work together, during and after the conference. Register today! Our colleagues at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville are managing registration to keep it secure and efficient.

Conference location & accommodations:

Room Reservations are now open.

Chattanooga Downtown Marriott for 103.00 USD per night
Book your group rate for National Transportation Training Directors 2018

Discover Chattanooga.

Confirmed Presentations and Workshops for 2018 (Schedule & descriptions to be posted soon)

  • TDOT’s Reconnect Program: Advancing workers with no Post-secondary education experience (TDOT staff)
  • Cooperation Pays: LTAP & DOT Training Program models for cooperation and coordination (LTAP presenters from CT, KY, ND, and others)
  • Tech in the Classroom for Learner Engagement (Garrett Wheat LADOT)
  • Video Content Management for Training Support (TDOT)
  • Planning and Training for a Successful Future -Advancement & Leadership (Maxine Wheeler, ALDOT)
  • From Presenter to Trainer workshop (with the National Highway Institute)
  • Supporting Emerging Leaders: Refresh your approach to organizational leadership training (Christine Hetzel, VTAOT; Tony Loomer, ITD)
  • State Sharing – a state-by-state overview of new innovations & practices

For more information, please visit the registration page at http://nttdonline.net/nttd-annual-conference/ 

Ninety-Eight Years Later: Empowerment in the 21st Century Workforce

On June 5, 1920, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau was established to promote the welfare of wage-earning women and to help advance opportunities for gainful employment. At the time, women represented just 21 percent of the workforce. Today, women comprise 47 percent of America’s workforce. Last month, the unemployment rate for adult women dropped to an 18-year low of 3.3 percent.

President Trump’s Administration is working to help all Americans access good, family-sustaining jobs. At the Women’s Bureau, we are focused on empowering women to thrive in all aspects of America’s dynamic economy.

Apprenticeships ‒ an earn-while-you-learn career pathway ‒ can help women enter careers in which they are historically underrepresented, such as construction, manufacturing, and STEM fields.

As the wife of a retired service member, another priority near to my heart is helping military spouses in the workplace. Nearly 80 percent of civilian military spouses move as a result of their spouse’s military service. Unfortunately, 40 percent of military spouses report that it took seven months or longer to find employment following a move.

Occupational licensing can create unnecessary barriers by restricting entry and re-entry into the workforce. The Department of Labor is encouraging states to evaluate and reduce unnecessary licensing burdens for individuals like military spouses who move across state lines with their service member. President Trump also recently signed an Executive Order that advances the Administration’s commonsense efforts to improve the portability of occupational licenses.

Finally, we are working to find the balance between families’ access to affordable, quality childcare and workforce participation. President Trump included a paid parental leave proposal in his Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019 budget requests – the first time in history such a proposal was included in a budget request.

Ninety-eight years since our establishment, the Women’s Bureau remains committed to helping women thrive in the 21st century workforce.

Patricia Greene is the Director of the Women’s Bureau.

For the whole article, please visit the Department of Labor website.

Know a veteran looking for a job? Check out Career One Stop

Put your military skills to work! Visit Career OneStop  and share this link with resources to help with resume writing, interview prep, networking, finding jobs, and matching military skills to civilian careers. The site will show you local job openings in those areas.

If you already know the career field or occupation you want to search for—and don’t want to search based on your military experience—please visit the Job Finder.

Totally Trades! Conference Inspires Girls to Explore Nontraditional Careers

The Totally Trades! Conference at Northern Maine Community College allows 8th grade and high school girls to consider careers in fields that are traditionally dominated by men.

“We just want them to remove gender from the equation today, think more broadly about careers and exploration and activities just to spark their thinking,” said coordinator Suzanne Jandreau.

Rachel Drost has known for years that she wants to go into building construction. This event is right up her alley.

“Right now I’m the only girl in my class so it’s kind of hard sometimes, but you learn how to do it, you learn to use different muscles you probably haven’t used before,” said Drost.

Close to 140 girls participated- they came from 16 different schools from all over Aroostook County. They got hands on experience in trades like welding, plumbing and heating, and heavy equipment operation. Sally O’Neal was a truck driver for the Maine Department of transportation 28 years ago, now she’s a transportation crew technician.

“We don’t take no for an answer anymore. Can’t do it? We can do it,” she said.

She can, and now these young women know that they can too.

Check out the full video of this program on Wagmtv.com!

A Career Trucker Helps To Steer The Path For Self-Driving Trucks

When Jeff Runions started his trucking career nearly 40 years ago, he had high hopes for what the job might bring.

“I wanted the American dream.”

Since then he’s seen the industry from every step of the ladder — as an independent owner-operator, a full-time company driver, a parts manager, and finally a trucking depot manager.

In his latest job developing autonomous trucks, Runions, 58, has a front row seat to what many see as the future of the 700 billion dollar trucking industry. He’s found himself in the middle of a heated race between Silicon Valley juggernauts like Uber and Google to get their self-driving trucks out onto the road first.

“It’s like when they went to the moon,” Runions says. “We’re not going to the moon, but it feels kinda like a new technology’s coming up and how many people would think a semi would be driving itself?”

Jeff Runions, during his years as an owner-operator, with his truck.

Courtesy of Jeff Runions/Courtesy of Jeff Runions

Runions, who lives in Jacksonville, Fla., works a startup called Starsky Robotics — a company smaller than Uber or Google. Instead of trying to beat their competition to developing fully autonomous vehicles, Starsky’s strategy is to develop trucks that are fully autonomous on the highway — then let remote drivers take the wheel from offices filled with arcade-style consoles, when they hit city streets.

The strategy is still in its testing phase: Runions is a safety-driver. He sits in the driver’s seat of the truck cabin, ready to take control if there’s trouble. His test rides range from an hour and a half to eight hours-long.

“I come up with some suggestions once in a while and they do work. I’m not an engineer like these guys are, but sometimes they listen to me. So, that means I’m part of the team too,” he said.

Runions, after all, has nearly four decades of experience in the trucking industry under his belt.

In the mid-80s, he became an owner-operator, and purchasing a truck and leasing out his services on contract to freight companies.

For a while, Runions enjoyed the freedom that came with having his own truck and the camaraderie he found with fellow truckers he met while crisscrossing the country.

“We were like the cowboys of the old days, doing our own thing,” he said. “We were truckers, and we were young. We were having a good time.”

But as the years dragged on, life on the road began to lose its luster. Between regular sleep deprivation and a diet based on truck stop junk food, Runions started to feel that the trucker lifestyle was unhealthy. And the hectic schedule took a toll on his family life.

After fuel prices surged in the early 2000s, Runions decided that going it alone didn’t make financial sense for him anymore. After more than 20 years of contracting himself out, Runions sold his truck and took a job with a commercial trucking company.

But he soon found that the new gig had its own downsides.

“A normal driver that works for a company, they gotta stay out three weeks at a time, and they give them two days off when they get home,” he said. “Soon as they get home, after their two days, they gotta go right back out for 21 more days. That ain’t much of a life. Then you’re staying in that box again.”

Runions eventually worked his way up to management, but despite the position’s better pay, he found its hours and stress were even worse.

“I was always in there from 3 o’ clock in the morning to 3 o’ clock in the afternoon,” he said. “I was [worn] out, so I decided to try something that was different. And you can’t get more different than this.”

Runions came across an online ad for a technology company in search of experienced truck drivers. At first, he was unsure about getting behind the wheel of a self-driving truck, but he says he’s come to enjoy the work and its hours. “I’m home when I need to be,” he said. “I’m a happy person now.”

Runions says that since he began as a test-driver in early 2017, he’s heard pushback from people who doubt the safety of autonomous vehicles.

“People are scared of this technology because they don’t understand exactly what’s going on with it,” he said.

Read more about Jeff and the future of self-driving trucks at NPR.org

With our Shortage of Skilled Workers, Career and Technical Education is Ready to be Taken Seriously

This story is part of Map to the Middle Class, a Hechinger Report series that explores how schools can prepare young people for the good middle-class jobs of the future.

MANCHESTER, N.H. — It was tough to nail down a favorite: maybe the chicken cordon bleu with sweet potatoes. But the lasagna was also amazing, and it was hard to top the scalloped potatoes that came with the prime rib.

Delivered desk-side on Thursdays before last bell, still hot from the kitchen and packed takeout style in brown paper bags, the meals were a buzzy new collaboration between Manchester School of Technology (MST) business students and the school’s Culinary Arts program. Beyond providing a weeknight meal plus leftovers to the 30 teachers and administrators who bought $60 memberships to the plan, the effort was also born of urgent need.

Career and technical education (CTE) programs such as those offered at MST — which feature academically and professionally rigorous classes and send graduates off to postsecondary programs at high rates — may be uniquely positioned to prepare young adults for the future of work.

As traditional blue-collar industries decline across the country, the casualties of automation and offshoring, they are increasingly being replaced by skilled service jobs such as those in health care, information technology and finance, according to research by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. While good middle-class jobs are disappearing for people with only high-school diplomas, New Hampshire, with its workforce aging, is struggling to fill 17,000 jobs, many of them in skilled occupations.

And it’s only going to get worse. The state is losing its youth. Nearly 50 percent of New Hampshire’s college-going high school graduates are leaving the state. A significant factor is that college education in New Hampshire is the priciest in America. Those who leave seeking a more affordable education often do not return to the state to work, live and start families.

High-quality CTE, experts hope, will address many of these issues with retooled, up-to-date programs that help propel students to postsecondary education and, in the process, give them more in-state connections and prepare them not only for in-demand jobs but for the flexibility the future will require.

But career and technical education is in some ways still caught in the shadow of what experts call “grandpa’s vocational school.” Historically, such programs were limited to a handful of skilled trades that did not necessarily lead to well-paying jobs; students were separated into vocational and nonvocational categories early in their academic careers.

Like many career and technical schools, the Manchester School of Technology used to offer only a part-time program for juniors and seniors from nearby high schools, but MST gave itself a face-lift in 2012 when it launched its own full-time high school. Today, in the hope of getting young people excited about learning — and keeping them closer to home — the school is trying to cross-pollinate academic and technical instruction, which is how the chicken cordon bleu with sweet potatoes came about.

At MST, where students may study a wide range of sought-after careers, from game design and aeronautical engineering to HVAC and nursing, teachers and administrators are working overtime to innovate and prove the school’s worth, hoping to both increase and highlight the value of CTE in today’s job economy. Principal Karen Hannigan Machado travels annually to Washington to secure her school’s $650,000 allotment of Perkins funding (those funds are “just a drop in the bucket,” she said). Teachers and school counselors visit local middle schools to evangelize about MST’s college and career opportunities, and they organize open houses and special events to coax local businesses to provide internships for students.

To read the full story, visit PBS.com