2020 NLTAPA/NTTD Annual Conference Announced

The NLTAPA/NTTD Annual Conference will be virtual to you (V2Y) this year from July 28-30, 2020.  See the registration and draft agenda at-a-glance link below. This year we will meet from 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM (Central Time) each of these three days. Among other things, we will have general sessions, technical sessions, state sharing, and hot topics.  A special thanks goes to the NLTAPA and NTTD working groups that helped plan this event.  Yes, we will also still have a poster competition.  The link will be added below when it is finalized.

Registration now available

Current At-a-Glance Agenda (6/3/2020)

 Conference Poster Session Coming Soon!

Click the image for examples of past submissions!

State Sharing Flyer Coming Soon!

Choosing Transportation Summit

Register Today to Reserve Your Spot for the 2020 Summit!

March 4, 2020
– Professional Conference held at the FedEx Institute of Technology (FIT)
– Blue Pump Gala at the Memphis Botanic Gardens
March 5, 2020
– Student Sessions held at the FIT
Regular Registration Register here for the Conference and/or Gala.
College Student and Faculty Registration (FREE!  Thank you Vaco!!!)
This year’s two-day summit will include opportunities to:
  • Learn about innovative workforce practices, exciting industry trends and technology advances,
  • Contribute your insight and ideas for addressing workforce challenges,
  • Network with transportation professionals from across the US, and
  • Share your passion for the industry with the workforce of the future!

Download the Summit Briefing for more information.

Check out the agenda here!

Road Safety Champion Program

What is the Road Safety Champion Program?

The Road Safety Champion Program is a certificate program designed to improve the safety training of those responsible for operating, maintaining, designing, and enforcing local roads. The long-term goal is to build a knowledgeable workforce that is motivated to implement safety improvements that reduce injuries and fatalities on rural and local roadways.

Training participants will complete a series of courses in core and specialized safety issues. When all requirements are met, participants will be awarded a Road Safety Champion Program Certificate. (Note: the certificate is not a degree or professional certification.)

Who can participate in the program?

The program is open to staff from transportation, public health and law enforcement agencies, who have an interest in or responsibility for roadway safety issues.  For example, at a transportation agency, this may include roadway construction, maintenance, design or traffic operations staff.  At a law enforcement agency, this may include incident management staff or patrol officers. At a public health agency, staff who manage car seat programs or impaired driving prevention programs may be interested.

Participants should have a working knowledge of roadway safety issues related to their agency and/or job responsibility. Field experience and other similar experience is encouraged.

How many courses are required?

For a Level 1 Certificate, participants will complete approximately 14 classes. Seven (7) courses will be in core safety issues such as “Anatomy of a Crash” and “Introduction to the Safety Analysis Process.” Participants will also complete up to 7 courses that correspond to their chosen career pathway (Note: the number of courses may vary per career pathway).  For example, if they are following the Construction and Maintenance Pathway, the courses will include topics like work zone safety, Traffic Incident Management (TIMs) Training, and flagger certification.

How many courses are required?

For a Level 1 Certificate, participants will complete approximately 14 classes. Seven (7) courses will be in core safety issues such as “Anatomy of a Crash” and “Introduction to the Safety Analysis Process.” Participants will also complete up to 7 courses that correspond to their chosen career pathway (Note: the number of courses may vary per career pathway).  For example, if they are following the Construction and Maintenance Pathway, the courses will include topics like work zone safety, Traffic Incident Management (TIMs) Training, and flagger certification.

Level 1 Core Courses (all pathways):

  • Introduction to Road Safety (CM#1)
  • Anatomy of a Crash – Understanding Human Factors (CM#2)
  • Introduction to Road Safety Culture (CM#3)
  • Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) Overview (CM#4)
  • Intersection of Transportation with Public Health and Law Enforcement (CM#5)
  • Reading the Road (CM#6)
  • Introduction to Safety Analysis Process (CM#7)

Level 1 Courses for Construction & Maintenance Career Pathway:

  • Take Action Now – Maintaining Safety (C&M#1)
  • Work Zones (C&M#2)
  • Worker Safety (C&M#3)
  • Traffic Incident Management (TIMs) Training (C&M#4)
  • Maintaining a Safer Roadway (C&M#5)
  • OSHA 10 (C&M#6)
  • Flagger Certification (C&M#7)

 Level 1 Courses for Planning & Engineering Career Pathway:

  • Design Countermeasures for Safety (P&E#1)
  • Work Zones (P&E#2)
  • Overview of Local Road Safety Plans (P&E#3)
  • Overview of Data and Tools for Safety (P&E#4)
  • Joint Training on Crash Reporting with Law Enforcement (P&E#5)
  • Systemic Safety Project Selection Tool (P&E#6)

 Level 1 Courses for Law Enforcement Career Pathway:

  • To be created in the future

 Level 1 Courses for Public Health Career Pathway:

  • To be created in the future

What if I’ve completed some of these courses already?

Participants can obtain course credit for comparable training obtained from another source, which will count toward completion of the program. Course equivalency shall be determined by the credentialing host organization.

Who will be administering the program?

The program was set-up with the intention of having multiple host organizations across the country. The National Center for Rural Road Safety is currently providing “Train the Trainer” workshops for potential host organizations. If you are interested in being a host organization, find out more here.

When and where will the program be available?

The program is scheduled to be piloted in Spring 2020 by the National Center for Rural Road Safety in conjunction with the MT and ID Local Technical Assistance (LTAP) Programs. If you live in MT or ID and are interested in becoming a Road Safety Champion and attending the pilots, click here.

Reminder: Deadline for Students to Register for the 2020 Transportation Technology Tournament (TTT) is February 14!

The National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Professional Capacity Building (PCB) Program will host the third annual TTT from February to August 2020. Teams of students from universities, community colleges, and technical schools will work directly with state and local DOTs or transit agencies to solve real-world ITS problems either provided on the competition website or identified on their own. The deadline to register is February 14, 2020.

The finalists will present their solutions live at the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Annual Meeting on August 10, 2020, in New Orleans, LA.

Examples of previous problem statements, participating agencies, and solution documents are also provided on the competition website.

IT for KM: Using Technology to Enhance Knowledge Management Recording Available

Effective use of institutional knowledge has become a crucial factor to an organization’s success and survival for years. Whether it is speeding up access to information, improving decision making processes, or enhancing the the responsiveness of key employees, Knowledge Management has become a critical goal for any organization. However as the amount of information available grows exponentially, properly utilizing that information is a key first step towards developing a comprehensive knoweldge management plan. In this webinar, our two speakers will show effective ways in which their organizations collected information and created extensive management plans.

Jezmynne Dene Arroway, MLIS, CIP
Information Manager, Idaho Transportation Department

Information Management: Setting the Stage for Knowledge Management

Jez began developing the Information Management program at the Idaho Transportation Department in July of 2017.  Her team is working to organize the Information in ITD’s systems, and prioritizes education and outreach in order to help ITD employees understand the goals of Information Management, and the value effective Information Management provides.  Jez comes to ITD with 19 years of experience in libraries, having been a Science and Engineering Librarian at the Claremont Colleges, in Claremont, California and the Director of the Portneuf Library, in Chubbuck, Idaho.  Currently, Jez is researching the applications for Artificial Intelligence for Information and Knowledge Management, and thinking strategically about bringing greater governance and accessibility of knowledge, information, data, and records to ITD.

Jennifer Hawkins
Program Manager for Knowledge, Learning, and Collaboration at Peace Corps

Review, Reset, & Revive

Jennifer Hawkins is a Knowledge Management professional with 15 years of experience in policy development, program outreach, and information technology. Her driving force is to use technology to promote access to information, knowledge, and opportunity for all. She is currently the Program Manager for Knowledge, Learning, and Collaboration at Peace Corps. Jennifer is a featured speaker at digital training events around the globe. She has spoken to audiences on five continents on the importance and merits of capturing institutional knowledge and becoming a digital workplace in the 21st Century.  She graduated with honors with a degree in Economics from Harvard University. She also holds a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center and a Master’s Degree in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University.


Transportation is a People-Centered Issue


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.

Environmental Career Path Profiles

Many environmental fields contribute to planning, building, and operating a sustainable transportation network. The people who bring these skills and their passion to work in transportation organizations help to mitigate the environmental impacts of our expansive mobility, and identify, design and operate new mobility systems for the future. Below you will find links to 14 profiles of people working across 11 different environmental fields in transportation-related work.

  1. Fish, Wildlife & Rare Species
  2. Transit & TDM
  3. Bicycle & Pedestrian Initiative
  4. Planning &Modeling
  5. Water Quality
  6. Noise Abatement
  7. Hydrological Studies
  8. Community Impact Assessment
  9. Cultural Resources
  10. Waste Management and Remediation
  11. Hazardous Materials

These profiles were developed to provide guidance and inspiration to students and young professionals looking to identify future career choices in environmental fields in the transportation sector. (The information is current as of June 2019. If we receive updates they will be noted by an * next to the name, and new information will be posted at the bottom of the page.)

Environmental Work in the Transportation Sector – Career Profiles
Name Title Organization Undergraduate Degree Graduate Degree Field(s)
Patti Kallfelz-Wertz Environmental Scientist VHB- Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. Ecology 1- Fish, Wildlife & Rare Species
James Brady Environmental Biologist Vermont Agency of Transportation Ecology 1- Fish, Wildlife & Rare Species
Lori Zeller Transportation Planner Foursquare ITP Planning, Geography City and Regional Planning, Transportation 2- Transit and TDM;

4- Planning & Modeling

Nicole Freeman Director of Transportation Planning City of Newton, MA Urban Planning, Economics 2- Transit and TDM;

3- Bicycle & Pedestrian Initiatives; 4- Planning & Modeling

David Sorrell Mobility Solutions Programs & Transportation Demand Administration University of California, Berkeley Parking and Transportation Department Public Administration Organizational Development and Leadership 2- Transit and TDM
Jeff Owen Strategic Planning Coordinator TriMet Landscape Architecture City and Regional Planning, Transportation 2- Transit and TDM;

3- Bicycle & Pedestrian Initiatives;

4- Planning & Modeling

Emma Chapman * Bike Train Operator Divvy Bicycle Share History of Art & Political Science, Architectural History & Urban Studies MBA, Finance & Public Accounting 2- Transit and TDM;

3- Bicycle & Pedestrian Initiatives; 4- Planning & Modeling

Eleni Churchill Transportation Program Manager Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission Civil Engineering Civil Engineering 4- Planning & Modeling
Emily Nosse-Leirer Planner Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission Urban Geography Urban Geography 4- Planning & Modeling
Robert Widley Water Resources Engineer VHB- Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. Environmental Studies Water Resources Engineering 5- Water Quality;

7-Hydrological Studies

Scott Edwards Senior Associate Cross-Spectrum Acoustics Acoustical Engineering & Music 6- Noise Abatement,

8- Community Impact Assessment

Kaitlin O’Shea Preservation Planner VHB- Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. Historic Preservation Historic Preservation 9- Cultural Resources
Paige Cornell Environmental Scientist VHB- Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. Environmental Science, Geology, Geospatial Technologies 10- Waste Management & Remediation;

11- Hazardous Materials

Charlie Farmer Environmental Engineer VHB- Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. Environmental Science Environmental Engineering

5- Water Quality;

10- Waste Management & Remediation



* Emma Chapman  Emma has started a new job in July 2019 as an Associate with Cambridge Systematics helping midwestern transportation clients work through financial planning challenges in their Transit Planning & Policy group.
The design and collection of profiles for this page was conducted by Marissa McFadden, a UVM Graduate student working as a research assistant at the Transportation Research Center

with funding from the National Center for Sustainable Transportation at UC Davis. Disclaimer: The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the information presented herein. This document is disseminated in the interest of information exchange. The report is funded, partially or entirely, by a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s University Transportation Centers Program. However, the U.S. Government assumes no liability for the contents or use thereof.

Utah DOT ‘Field Trip’ Entices Students To Explore Transportation Careers

With teams of secondary school students flocking to Park City, UT, to compete in the final round of the 2019 American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials National Bridge Challenge competition – an event that is part of the organization’s annual spring meeting – the Utah Department of Transportation engaged in a “future workforce recruiting” effort.

On May 20, the day before the bridge competition finals, the Utah DOT organized a tour of its Traffic Operations Center in Salt Lake City, busing the students, their parents, and teachers to the facility for a day-long tour, complete with a buffet lunch.

The tour included a detailed overview of the TOC’s traffic camera control room and its weather center, where up 12 meteorologists work to analyze statewide weather patterns that could impact roadway conditions.

The students also visited with one of Utah DOT’s incident management teams parked in front of the building and attended presentations on structural engineering, traffic signal design and development, drone operation, and autonomous vehicles.

“You can’t stop learning in transportation,” emphasized Blaine Leonard, Utah DOT’s technology and innovation engineer, during his presentation to the students.

Blaine Leonard

Leonard – a key architect of the agency’s “first-in-the-nation” connected and autonomous vehicle or CAV system that uses Designated Short Range Communications or DSRC radios to help Utah Transit Authority buses “talk” to traffic signals so they arrive at their stops on time – stressed that “everything I work with now in transportation was invented after I graduated from college. And the day may come when we potentially won’t need to drive. And you – and your children – will be at the forefront of that.”

Matt Dunn, assistant district engineer of maintenance with the Mississippi Department of Transportation – who served as the announcer for the event – noted that all of the students participating in the competition represented “the future” of the transportation industry.

“We need young minds like theirs to think outside the box and help strengthen our transportation system,” he explained. “We need young people to be interested in transportation and pursue these jobs so they can provide the future workforce for the state DOTs. And its events like these are what attracts middle and high school students to the field of transportation engineering.”

“The students of the future presenting here are unbelievable,” added Carlos Braceras, Utah DOT’s executive director and AASHTO’s 2018-2019 president, during the event. “We hope to help them design their future through such competitions, for we never have enough engineers in transportation.”



Read the full article on the AASHTO Journal

New Flyer and Robotic Research to Partner on Development of Autonomous Bus Technology

New Flyer of America Inc. (“New Flyer”), a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc. (“NFI”), has entered into a partnership with Robotic Research, LLC (“Robotic Research”) to advance autonomous bus technology through developing and deploying advanced driver-assistance systems (“ADAS”) in heavy-duty transit bus applications.

New Flyer invested over two years assessing world-leading technology providers for sophisticated autonomous vehicle development. New Flyer ultimately selected Robotic Research based on the company’s proven, industry-leading, artificial intelligence-based technology, coupled with its extensive experience delivering successful Level 5 autonomous vehicle applications for customers within the defense and intelligence community, including the U.S. Department of Defense.

“New Flyer has a proud history of leading innovation, industry firsts, and technology advancement in public transportation,” said Chris Stoddart, president, New Flyer. “Our ADAS vision supports the mobility needs of all Americans relying on public transit for safe and reliable transportation every day. Partnering with Robotic Research furthers our commitment to utilize the best expertise and technology available, while reaffirming our responsibility to work with regulators and stakeholders on standards and test protocols that integrate automated vehicles safely into the existing transportation system.”

The partnership between New Flyer and Robotic Research will pursue development of an Xcelsior CHARGE™ battery-electric bus equipped with Society of Automotive Engineers (“SAE”) Standard J3016 Level 4 ADAS technology. SAE J3016 Level 4 is defined as high automation where the vehicle performs all driving tasks autonomously while actively monitoring the driving environment. The technology will be tested at Robotic Research facilities in late 2019, with closed course operation anticipated for 2020. To simulate realistic public transit applications, a trained onboard safety attendant will be utilized for evaluation and demonstration.

“We are extremely excited to be partnering with New Flyer to help usher in a new future for public transportation that offers greater safety for the public and reduced carbon emissions for our environment,” said Edward Mottern, vice president of Robotic Research. “’New Flyer’s clear commitment to investing in both of these outcomes by harnessing the power of the latest technologies available, together with their leadership in public transportation, make them an outstanding partner of choice.”

In March 2019, New Flyer was invited by U.S. Secretary of Transportation (“USDOT”) Elaine Chao to participate alongside transportation industry leaders in critical discussions regarding automation adoption and workforce development, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Commerce, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

New Flyer remains focused on supporting industry dialogue, workforce development and advancement toward technology standards that deliver safe, clean, sustainable, connected mobility options to transit agencies, operators, passengers and communities across North America.

Read the whole article at Mass Transit Magazine!

How Effective is Your Career Pathways Advisory Board?

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 described how they have successfully used new and innovative ways to start and maintain advisory boards while addressing the concerns and suggestions identified by participants. This discussion focused on how to maximize the effectiveness of an advisory board to advance a transportation, or other, career path program. We heard from educators who have engaged, nurtured and maintained board involvement in the design, development and delivery of their program.

The webinar covered 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 watch a recording of this webinar, please click below.