US trucking industry is short by a record 80,000 drivers amid the supply-chain crisis, association head says

Trucker truck driver

The US has a shortage of around 80,000 truck drivers, Chris Spear, President and CEO of the American Trucking Associations (ATA), told CNN Tuesday.

This is a record high, and an increase of roughly 30% from before the pandemic, Spear said.

Like other workers across the US, truckers are quitting their jobs in search of better wages, benefits, and working conditions. The industry has also struggled to hire new staff due to its long hours and prolonged periods away from home.

This has caused havoc in the US supply chain. Coupled with shipping problems and a surge in demand for goods, the lack of truck drivers is contributing to shortages, delays, and soaring prices, affecting products from freezers and computer chips to chicken wings and Coca-Cola.

Ports are also becoming backlogged because there aren’t enough truckers to move the cargo.

The Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are both moving towards 24/7 operations, aimed at easing the supply-chain chaos, but Spear warned that this wouldn’t completely solve the problems.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a port in LA or Long Beach, or the last mile of delivery from a train to a warehouse in Wichita,” he told CNN. “You’re going to have to have a driver and a truck move that freight.”

The ATA said that if nothing is done to address the trucker shortage, the industry could be down by 160,000 drivers by 2030, CNN reported.

Across the US, around 3.6 million truck drivers were employed in 2019, per data from the ATA. Almost two-thirds of the country’s total freight tonnage is transported by truck, it added.

Expanded Coverage Module: what-is-the-labor-shortage-and-how-long-will-it-last

Read the original article on Business Insider

WEBINAR: Challenges and Opportunities for Recruiting Native Americans to Transportation Careers

In the inaugural session of the 2021-2021 CUTC webinar series, a panel composed of Native American thought leaders from industry, government and academia, will discuss the challenges and opportunities of increasing the number of Native Americans pursuing careers in transportation.  The panel members will discuss their experiences and thoughts with attendees. This session will also aid in identifying topics for discussion in later webinars.

Join us, Friday, October 22, to add your thoughts to this very important conversation.

Register here

Workforce Development Needs of Transportation Sector Climate Adaptation Professionals

Early investments in climate change research, policy, and planning focused heavily on climate mitigation—efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As climate change impacts have increased in severity, this focus has broadened to include a greater emphasis on climate change adaptation—efforts to minimize the adverse impacts of climate change through hardening or relocating infrastructure, changing design standards, improving redundancy, and other measures. Building climate adaptation capacity within transportation agencies is not straightforward, however, because the knowledge base for climate adaptation is changing rapidly and because the process itself is inherently complex. Moreover, climate change impacts and, therefore, adaptation strategies vary regionally as agencies must manage stressors as varied as sea level rise, increased precipitation, extreme temperatures, reduced slope stability, and thawing permafrost. The growing emphasis on climate adaptation has created a demand for professionals with a new, interdisciplinary skillset. Since climate adaptation is an emerging field, the pathways for developing the skills and competencies for adaptation careers and their broad integration into transportation agencies are not well established.

This white paper assesses the workforce development needs and current training opportunities related to transportation-sector climate adaptation. To understand the climate adaptation workforce development environment, we examine training needs and opportunities identified by state and regional transportation agencies; catalog the training needs of aspiring and early career climate adaptation professionals; and scan the educational opportunities in climate adaptation currently offered by U.S. universities. Training needs and opportunities identified by transportation agencies were collected through an online survey developed by the authors. The experience of aspiring adaptation professionals was captured in a unique survey conducted by the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP) as part of their mentorship program. Current graduate educational programs related to climate adaptation were identified during this project through a web-search. These diverse datasets, combined with lessons learned from existing adaptation initiatives, provide unique insights into the competencies needed for climate adaptation as well as the current capacity for training adaptation professionals.

Check out the latest white paper from the National Center for Sustainable Transportation for the full report.

Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Minnesota’s Transportation Workforce

Across the transportation industry, public and private employers are experiencing workforce shortages and an uncertain future. As older employees retire and younger workers fill their roles, organizations must naturally adjust to accommodate their changing workforce. In the transportation industry, shifting demographics have also brought new attitudes regarding technical jobs. The result is that fewer engineers and other highly skilled professionals are entering the field, and keeping those who do is becoming increasingly difficult. To address this changing landscape, transportation agencies of all sizes must be prepared to meet the challenges ahead or risk falling behind.

Serving communities of varying sizes and needs, Minnesota’s transportation agencies rely on a qualified workforce to deliver a range of projects and services. Without a reliable pipeline of dedicated staff, these agencies could experience disruptions in the important work they provide.

What Was Our Goal?

The Minnesota Local Road Research Board commissioned a study to investigate the growing workforce shortage in Minnesota’s transportation industry, identify the possible causes and determine strategies to improve how agencies across the state find and keep workers.

What Did We Do?

Researchers began by reviewing published literature to better understand the changing labor market as well as current trends and best practices in human resources strategies.

A survey of an anonymous sample of 149 workers currently employed in both the public and private sectors of Minnesota’s transportation industry gauged this population’s perceptions on a variety of job-related topics, such as workplace satisfaction, loyalty and career support. The research team conducted one-on-one follow-up interviews with 14 employees to explore these issues in more depth.

What Did We Learn?

With fewer qualified applicants entering the workforce and a limited talent pool to draw from, employers in both the public and private sectors are constantly competing to fill vacancies. Transportation jobs in the public sector offer several enticing advantages over their private counterparts, including more competitive benefits, a perception of greater stability during economic downturns, flexible hours, greater work-life balance and variety of work. Conversely, the benefits of private sector jobs are thought to be higher salaries, more advancement opportunities, better-defined expectations and less bureaucratic red tape.

In both the public and private sectors, jobs in rural areas tend to be harder to fill and attract less diverse applicants than those in urban areas. Respondents in this study suggested that more targeted recruitment strategies and clearly worded job descriptions could improve these efforts.

“For some organizations, the workplace culture is deeply rooted and can be challenging to change. I commend the agencies for their willingness to take this journey and make sure they are a place where the most talented people want to work,” said Kenneth Bartlett, professor, University of Minnesota Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development.

Acknowledging that workforce-related challenges will be different for agencies across the state and that systemic change is never easy, researchers developed a list of recommendations to help public transportation agencies recruit and retain a top-notch workforce:

  • Promote the assets. Make sure that the benefits of working at Minnesota’s public transportation agencies are conveyed and promoted to all hiring managers so they can be relayed to applicants.
  • Increase awareness of transportation careers. Create a marketing strategy that exposes younger people to the transportation industry. Aim to reach and excite students about transportation-related employment options early in their education, possibly while they are still in middle school.
  • Describe jobs realistically. Detailing the job’s expectations from the outset will go a long way toward reducing potential frustrations.
  • Reduce red tape. When possible, allow for exceptions in hiring, compensation and advancement practices. Protocols such as paperwork and budget requests that require a substantial time commitment or advanced planning can be barriers to filling positions quickly or in response to a sudden need.
  • Offer mentorships. Provide formal opportunities for employees to learn from each other, with the expectation that these could lead to job promotion.
  • Plan for succession. Ensure that retirements and other vacancies will be filled quickly and possibly with internal candidates. Relying on existing employees to absorb a departing co-worker’s work can lead to burnout and resentment.
  • Document workplace practices. Invest in knowledge management systems so that key information can be retained as employees retire.

What’s Next?

These recommendations can provide hiring managers with more immediate strategies that, if implemented, can help transportation agencies become more competitive in their efforts to attract and retain a qualified workforce for years to come.

Related Links

Check out the full article at https://mntransportationresearch.org/2021/04/08/strategies-for-recruiting-and-retaining-minnesotas-transportation-workforce/?fbclid=IwAR1yUXtyE6yr4f9CnKcJtmFk461SULlmr0gI1FTia3TekUEfChzXCUpyLrs

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.

 

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.