Organizations Strive To Erase Racism And Bias In The Workforce And Society

The Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) and The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote careers for women and minorities in transportation.

“COMTO and IBTTA look forward to working together. IBTTA is eager for our members to engage and collaborate with COMTO members to foster increased representation resulting in a more equitable transportation system providing greater mobility for all users,” said Pat Jones, Executive Director and CEO, IBTTA.

“The partnership between COMTO and IBTTA is a step in the right direction to increase opportunities for women and minorities in the toll facilities industry. Both organizations are leaders in their respective fields and the partnership will certainly have an impact regarding diversity and equity,” said A. Bradley Mims, President and CEO, COMTO.

The MOU will:

  • Promote the transportation infrastructure sector as a rewarding career choice for women and minorities;
    Further the participation, advancement and recognition of women and minorities in the transportation infrastructure sector, both public and private;
    Provide professional development opportunities to help them advance their skill sets and careers to ensure the sector’s future success;
    Encourage their participation in organizational leadership activities at the national, state and local levels; and
    Cooperate with others who share these objectives to achieve them.

Recognizing the benefits of establishing an institutional arrangement to achieve the following:

  • Increase member access to information, including business and career opportunities, in the respective fields of both organizations;
    Facilitate and expand the dissemination of that information to each other’s members;
    Collaborate on topics of common interest and support diversity objectives that ensure a level playing field for training, education, employment and contract opportunities for minorities in the field of transportation; and
    Provide regular consultation among the leadership to review and assess programs and identify opportunities for coordinated efforts.

COMTO and IBTTA will work together to:

  • Support each other in the development of programmatic content for their meetings and conferences, including identifying candidate speakers;
    Identify opportunities for jointly sponsored convening activities, such as conferences, workshops, webinars, meetings, and local chapter activities;
    Publicize each other’s major conferences and meetings in their e-newsletters;
    Provide recognition as an allied organization at each other’s annual meetings; and
    Exchange two complimentary registrations for leaders of each organization to participate in the other’s annual meetings.

For more information, please contact Gatwiri Muthara at gmuthara@comto.org or Bill Cramer at bcramer@ibtta.org.

Providing Training and Education During the Pandemic: Challenges and Solutions at State DOTs

This webinar shares the experiences and problem-solving approaches to maintaining effective training programs that meet the needs of employees and their agencies, with a look at:

  • How TDOT is adapting class activities to a virtual environment and deciding which programs to move forward, all while dealing with technical issues and pandemic restrictions.
  • How Vermont’s Strategic Workforce Committees are connecting with employees across the state regarding Learning & Development, Manager & Supervisor Resources, Employee Retention & Recognition, and Talent Acquisition.
  • CDOT’s process of problem ID and solution, course/program prioritization, program reinvention and rollout as a response to COVID restrictions, and highlighting some of the tools used to register, track, and report on training completions.

The recorded web session is at: https://youtu.be/ci2novD3F7M

You can find a copy of each presenter’s slides below

The entire NNTW Fall 2020 Webinar Series: Empowering the New Mobility Workforce, including links to recordings can be found at: https://www.nntw.org/nntw-fall-2020-webinar-series-empowering-the-new-mobility-workforce/

If you have ideas for future webinars please contact Glenn McRae (glenn.mcrae@uvm.edu) as we will be planning a series for the winter-spring.

 

NNTW Fall 2020 Webinar Series: Empowering the New Mobility Workforce

Join the NNTW Regional Transportation Workforce Centers on this 4-part webinar journey that explores how to achieve effective student career engagement and priority workforce development during the pandemic and the long road to recovery ahead.

Download a flyer of the complete series here.


October 7th, 2020: 11am – 12pm Mountain

Engaging Multidisciplinary Student Talent to Meet Agency Needs

With a shrinking tax base, fewer resources, and the urgency of meeting public needs during the COVID crisis, many local agencies are overwhelmed. And while efforts to attract and develop the future workforce may be set aside for now, they don’t have to be. This webinar showcases a model for university/public agency partnerships that can both augment agency capacity and provide opportunities for student professional development and career exposure.

West Region Transportation Workforce CenterEvent Host: The West Region Transportation Workforce Center, Montana State University

Featured Speakers:

Susan Gallagher, Director, West Region Transportation Workforce Center
Susanne Cowan, Professor, Montana State University School of Architecture
Larissa Morales, Grad Student, Montana State University School of Architecture
Danielle Hess, City of Bozeman Neighborhoods Coordinator

Register online now at: https://tinyurl.com/y4dq4e29


October 27th, 2020: 10am – 11am Pacific

State of the Transportation and Mobility Workforce: Highlights from the 2020 Report

Supplementing traditional labor market data with strategic workforce research and action planning, the 2020 State of the Transportation and Mobility Workforce report outlines a series of practical initiatives designed to address the transportation workforce needs of the southwest region. This webinar highlights these initiatives and offers guidance on how to move the transportation industry into the future—particularly during the long road to recovery ahead.

Event Host: The Southwest Transportation Workforce Center, Cal State University Long Beach

Southwest Transportation Workforce CenterFeatured Speakers:

Tom O’Brien, Director, Southwest Transportation Workforce Center
Tyler Reeb, Associate Director, Southwest Transportation Workforce Center
Special guest presenters from Pima Community College, AZ

Register online now at: https://tinyurl.com/yyncvccd


November 18th, 2020: 3pm – 4pm Central

The Role of Industry-Academia Partnerships in Preparing K-12 Students for Transportation Careers

Building engagement and creating positive impact on a future workforce requires strategic, collaborative efforts between K-12, higher education, and industry. This webinar features the T-STEM Academy at East High School in Memphis, TN. Now in its 4th year, this program demonstrates how a successful model of transformative partnerships can lead to a unique, industry-engaged, STEM-for-all student experience. Join us as we explore this innovative model, driving factors behind the program’s success, and lessons learned along the way.

The University of Memphis Southeast Transportation Workforce CenterEvent Host: The Southeast Transportation Workforce Center, University of Memphis

Featured Speakers:

Stephanie Ivey, Director, Southeast Transportation Workforce Center
Lischa Brooks, Executive Principal, T-STEM Academy at East High School
Keith Booker, CCTE/STEM Lead, T-STEM Academy at East High School
Special guest student presenter from the T-STEM Academy at East High School
Special guest industry speaker

Register online now at: https://tinyurl.com/yxbto3hk


December 3rd, 2020: 1pm – 2pm Eastern

Providing Training and Education During the Pandemic: Challenges and Solutions at State DOTs

This webinar shares the experiences and problem-solving approaches to maintaining effective training programs that meet the needs of employees and their agencies, with a look at:

    • How TDOT is adapting class activities to a virtual environment and deciding which programs to move forward, all while dealing with technical issues and pandemic restrictions.
    • How Vermont’s Strategic Workforce Committees are connecting with employees across the state regarding Learning & Development, Manager & Supervisor Resources, Employee Retention & Recognition, and Talent Acquisition.
    • CDOT’s process of problem ID and solution, course/program prioritization, program reinvention and rollout as a response to COVID restrictions, and highlighting some of the tools used to register, track, and report on training completions.

Event Host: The Northeast Transportation Workforce Center, University of Vermont Transportation Research Center & Rutgers University Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation

Northeast Transportation Workforce Center at the Vermont Transportation Research CenterFeatured Speakers:

Glenn McRae, Director, Northeast Transportation Workforce Center
Elena L. Knaffl, Training Specialist, Tennessee Department of Transportation
Colleen Montague, Learning Development & Support Manager, VT AOT
Kevin MacVittie, Maintenance & Operations Training Manager, CDOT

Register online now at: https://tinyurl.com/yy9cpd39

Creative Leadership:  Building a Culture of Innovation

His focus, now, is doing this during difficult times.  You are all welcome to register through the NY LTAP (they use Zoom) and attend this event.

To register and for more information please go to the following link:

https://cornell.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7QwmmVUiTSGigKY6XFyRYA

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Presentation Description

Innovation and creativity are absolutely necessary to thrive in business, hiring, motivating, marketing, parenting, educating, coaching… Are you and your organization becoming more – or less – creative? Jonathan’s TED Talk on this topic won the best speaker of the conference. Participants will learn 5 core strategies to build a culture of creativity. Lessons and memorable anecdotes come from some of the most creative people and organizations in history, as well as Jonathan’s personal experience implementing these lessons as an entrepreneur, parent, educator, and with clients large and small. What Jonathan calls the “innovator’s equation” has been a game-changer for leaders across the country. This was a favorite for a global entrepreneurship summit in Sydney, Australia.

Learning Objectives:
1. How can you intentionally foster the traits of the world’s most creative people?
2. What questions, stories, and models will get you and your team “unstuck”?
3. What is the “Innovator’s Equation”? – Jeff Hyatt (Hyatt Hotels) called this the greatest leadership lesson of the decade.

Future Transportation Workforce Video Awarded Gold in Telly’s General Recruitment Category

WASHINGTON – A video created as part of the Transportation Research Board’s centennial celebration has been named the winner of three 2020 Telly Awards, which annually showcase the best work created within television and across all types of video production.

The video, Your Future in Transportation, highlights the excitement, challenges, and fulfillment that those who select transportation as their career can expect to enjoy.

“This is an exciting time of transformation in the transportation industry, and this award-winning video puts a spotlight on how young people have the opportunity to make a difference in the world by choosing transportation as a career path,” said Sandra Larson, transportation innovation strategies leader, Stanley Consultants Inc.; and chair, Centennial Task Force.

The video was produced as a partnership between the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) and the Transportation Research Board (TRB), a division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

“TTI and its transportation research experts have been active TRB volunteers for six decades, and we are pleased to have had the opportunity for our video production team to work with our partners at TRB on this award-winning production about the future of transportation and transportation careers,” said Greg Winfree, TTI agency director.

“I recommend that anyone who cares about the future of transportation, and the important role it can play in providing an equitable quality of life for all our citizens, view this video and then pass it along to their local school system with the request that it become part of their community’s STEM curriculum.” added Neil Pedersen, executive director, TRB.

“In addition to research and technology transfer, t

Online Job Board Connects Workers to Transportation Construction Openings

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) –A new job board aims to connect Virginians with available jobs in the transportation industry.

The Virginia Department of Transportation worked with its industry partners, including the Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance and the Virginia Asphalt Association, to create the Virginia Transportation Construction Job Board. According to a release, this online board provides information and links to jobs across Virginia with a wide range of skills sought, including positions that require little or no prior experience.
It was designed to target the transportation construction industry, which is a sector where workers are critically needed during the peak construction season. The release says there are already more than 200 available positions posted and more are being added every week.  “The Virginia Office of Transportation Innovation and Research coordinated with industry and VDOT to identify a more direct way to communicate job availability within the transportation sector,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “The Construction Job Board is a smart investment that supports infrastructure, workforce and economic recovery.”

Chief Workforce Development Advisor Megan Healy adds that this will be a valuable took for connecting people to jobs as well as having opening accessible through the Virginia Workforce Connection online service.

“No industry can be completely free from the impacts of COVID-19,” said Jeff Southard, Executive Vice President of VTCA. “But, our members are focused on ensuring that the health and safety of the transportation construction workforce remains strong while we deliver the economic benefits of a robust transportation program to the Commonwealth.”

For more information, click here.

MIT forecast: autonomous vehicles won’t take truckers’ jobs

Truck drivers do more than just drive, and widespread self-driving tech is at least a decade away, researchers say.

truck driver generic

That prognosis isn’t stopping proponents from investing in the sector. In recent weeks alone, Alabama’s Auburn University said it is building an $800,000 addition to the autonomous vehicle research facility at the school’s National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT), allowing experts to run tests indoors. And the self-driving truck provider Plus.ai announced a plan to test its autonomous driving system with the Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC), an independent vehicle test facility that operates a proving ground track in Ohio.

MIT said investments like those have produced substantial recent progress by the industry, but concluded that fully automated driving systems that have no safety driver onboard will take at least a decade to deploy over large areas, even in regions with favorable weather and infrastructure. And areas with winter climates and rural areas will experience still longer transitions, as the technology’s expansion will likely be gradual and will happen region-by-region in specific categories of transportation, resulting in wide variations in availability across the country, researchers said.

That conclusion came from a brief titled “Autonomous Vehicles, Mobility, and Employment Policy: The Roads Ahead,” co-authored by John Leonard, Task Force member and MIT Professor of Mechanical and Ocean Engineering and Erik Stayton, an MIT Doctoral Candidate in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society. The study followed the school’s interim 2019 report, “Work of the Future: Shaping Technologies and Institutions,” where MIT researchers sought to analyze topics like manufacturing, health care, tax reform, skills/training, and emerging technologies such as collaborative robotics and additive manufacturing, also known as three-dimensional (3D) printing.

Another reason that autonomous trucks may not lead to a widespread loss of logistics jobs is that truck drivers do more than just drive, the MIT authors said. “While many believe that increased automation will bring greater impacts to trucking than to passenger carrying vehicles, the impact on truck-driving jobs is not expected to be widespread in the short term,” the study found. “Human presence within even highly automated trucks would remain valuable for other reasons such as loading, unloading, and maintenance.”

In the longer term, logistics transportation employers can preserve job prospects for drivers by following policy recommendations in the study, such as: strengthening career pathways for drivers, increasing labor standards and worker protections, advancing public safety, creating good jobs via human-led truck platooning, and promoting safe and electric trucks.

Read the full article on DC Velocity!

2020 NLTAPA/NTTD Annual Conference

The NLTAPA/NTTD Annual Conference was held on July 28-30, 2020.  The conference agenda and presentations are linked below, as well as a recording of the conference sessions.  A special thanks goes to the NLTAPA and NTTD working groups that helped plan this event.

Conference Recordings:

Day 1:  https://youtu.be/h4tThPOATTM

Day 2:  https://youtu.be/9POTXCl8Kn0

Day 3:  https://youtu.be/sMR6OjznUS4

At-a-Glance Agenda

Download Conference Presentations

2020 Conference Posters

Click the image for examples of past submissions!

Other Bonus Conference-Affiliated Sessions/Workshops Planned

October 21, 2020 (10:00 AM Central) – Effective Learning: A Critical Exploration of the 70-20-10 Learning and Development Model (brought to you by NTTD)
Presenter: Vivien Lattibeaudiere (AZDOT, Learning & Development)
The 70-20-10 Learning and Development model suggests a proportional breakdown of how employees learn most effectively through combining formal, social and hands-on learning. Learn practical ways that you can apply this model to your training and development programs to maximize employee engagement,
performance and retention.

To registers for this post-conference workshop please go to https://azgov.webex.com/azgov/k2/j.php?MTID=t84bb867eb67e1722494f95f2c5a8d109

Sep 30, 2020 11:00 AM in Eastern Time – Creative Leadership: Building a Culture of Innovation

Innovation and creativity are absolutely necessary to thrive in business, hiring, motivating, marketing, parenting, educating, coaching… Are you and your organization becoming more – or less – creative? Jonathan’s TED Talk on this topic won the best speaker of the conference. Participants will learn 5 core strategies to build a culture of creativity. Lessons and memorable anecdotes come from some of the most creative people and organizations in history, as well as Jonathan’s personal experience implementing these lessons as an entrepreneur, parent, educator, and with clients large and small. What Jonathan calls the “innovator’s equation” has been a game-changer for leaders across the country. This was a favorite for a global entrepreneurship summit in Sydney, Australia.

Learning Objectives:
1. How can you intentionally foster the traits of the world’s most creative people?
2. What questions, stories, and models will get you and your team “unstuck”?
3. What is the “Innovator’s Equation”? – Jeff Hyatt (Hyatt Hotels) called this the greatest leadership lesson of the decade.

To register and for more information please go to the following link:

https://cornell.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7QwmmVUiTSGigKY6XFyRYA

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Transportation is a People-Centered Issue

JIM TYMON, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

There are several critical workforce challenges facing the U.S. transportation sector today and state departments of transportation are taking steps to “sound the alarm” about the situation.

Roger Millar, secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation, provided some stark numbers on his agency’s workforce recruiting and retention situation during a panel discussion in January at the 2019 Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

“Over 2,000 are engineering employees and 41 percent of them are eligible to retire; we have 2,000 maintenance workers and 31 percent of them are eligible to retire,” Millar said, noting that WSDOT employs 7,000 across Washington state.

“We have 2,000 employees in our ferry system and 75 percent of the ferry captains are eligible to retire, along with 30 percent of vessel workers and a quarter of the port facility staff.”

A lack of interest on the part of younger workers in transportation careers is one aspect of the recruitment challenge facing state DOTs at this juncture; a lack of interest that exists well beyond the ranks of traditional engineering disciplines, according to research by the Brookings Institution. “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,” noted Joseph Kane, Senior Research Associate and Associate Fellow of the group’s metropolitan policy program. “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.”

State governments, in particular, face acute difficulties in attracting, building, and retaining “critically important talent and workforce skills,” according to a report compiled by the National Association of State Chief Administrators, with help from global consulting company Accenture and human resources provider NEOGOV. Those difficulties include changes in workforce expectations, especially the reduced appeal of “lifetime employment” among younger generations; less-competitive salaries; rising competition from the private sector; and negative perceptions about working for the government.

How do we change such perceptions, especially of state DOTs? The first is to take a more “holistic approach” to workforce recruiting and retention compared to the past – one that includes building a more “diverse” workforce that includes more women and minorities to help provide new and different perspectives on transportation needs. It’s also about making careers in transportation, less about raw infrastructure, such as roads and rails, and more about how that infrastructure benefits people in their daily lives – whether they are shipping packages to loved ones, traveling to and from work, getting the kids to and from school, or going on vacation.

“At the end of the day, transportation represents freedom; the freedom to move where, when, and how we want. It gives us opportunities that would not exist otherwise,” Carlos Braceras, director of the Utah Department of Transportation and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials 2018-2019 president, explained recently.

He added that communicating the “positives” about transportation is also critically important in terms of attracting a new generation of workers into the transportation field.

“We have this bubble [among state DOTs] where a large group of people are starting to retire,” Braceras said. “So we see this constant need for new employees, but also for new skill sets because more and more of the technology [in transportation] is changing. Today it is almost more important how we operate our transportation system than how we built it because there is so much more data going into our decision-making processes today; helping us make better decisions faster and with better outcomes.”

That’s why transportation needs to be more “people-centered” today, both for its workforce and the citizens it serves. For the mobility that transportation provides is what sustains the economic vitality of our nation and the quality of life its citizens enjoy.

 

Jim Tymon is the Executive Director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), a non-profit, non-partisan association that supports and represents the interests and missions of state departments of transportation. His experience includes service in key Congressional and federal agency roles, as well as non-profit association management.
As AASHTO Executive Director, Tymon oversees a staff of 120 professionals who support their members in the development of transportation solutions that create economic prosperity, enhance quality of life, and improve transportation safety in U.S. communities, states, and the nation as a whole. AASHTO is now in its second century of service to state departments of transportation and their highly skilled employees.