Environmental Career Paths Initiative

The environmental fields encompassed by Transportation are wide reaching and inherently interdisciplinary.  One can start with a single mode, Transit, and see that many occupations are defined a “green” jobs at the USDOL’s Career One Stop tool. Most occupational listings however tend to be situational and data on them is not transportation specific. For example, there are Civil Engineers, Environmental Engineers and Environmental Engineering Technicians employed in transportation organizations, but in reviewing the Bureau of Labor Statistic for jobs and growth in both fields in the Northeast United States, while we see good growth curves and demand, it is not clear how much transportation-specific occupations count here.

Occupations Employees in 2012 New Employees by 2022 Percent Change
17-2051 – Civil Engineers 55790 65160 16.8%
17-2081 – Environmental Engineers 14650 16390 11.9%
17-3025 – Environmental Engineering Techs 4150 4910 18.3%
BLS Long Term Projections
NETWC Job Needs and Priorities Report

For each of these areas we will be providing more in-depth information and specific draft of career pathways and competencies models. We will be inviting industry partnership, key employers, workforce development  specialists and educators to critique and provide guidance as we build out the pathways.

In determining a strategy to narrow the focus and provide a meaningful contribution, the research team began with an examination of FHWA’s Environment overview, and then examined emerging trends and investments that were most likely to address key environmental challenges and opportunities in the transportation industry:

In alignment with the goals of the National Transportation Career Pathways Initiative this project will document a series of environmental career pathways (a sequence of educational courses and training programs that align to an occupational career ladder) that engage and prepare students for key transportation occupations. Specifically, we will:

  • Identify Top 10-20 Occupations with Enviro Focus in Transportation, Next 5-15 Yrs.
  • Identify Knowledge, Skills, Abilities (KSA’s) Required by These Top Occupations
  • Identify Gaps in Post-K12 Training/Education Delivery, Currently & Over Next 5-15 Yrs.
  • Identify Innovative Approaches to Delivering KSA’s into Student/Worker Prep Pipeline
  • Describe a Series of Career Pathways that Lead to Top Occupations, Next 5-15 Yrs.
  • Identify Scope of Pathway Implementation to Address Workforce Needs, Next 5-15 Yrs.
  • Identify Barriers; Propose Recommendations

Career pathways are an integrated collection of programs and services intended to develop students’ core academic, technical and employability skills; provide them with continuous education, training; and place them in high-demand, high-opportunity jobs. As we build out these new and emerging pathways, aligning them with employer identified competencies, we will pursue:

  • Strategic Partnerships  Employers, Education & Training Providers, Community Based Organizations
  • Multiple Entry/Exit Points  Post K12 Pathways, Marketable Credentials at Each Step, Short-Term Certificates, Links Training to Credit/Transcripts
  • Employer Participation  Pathway Development, Worksite Training, Internships, Job Placements
  • Innovative Program Content/Delivery  Technical Certifications, Contextualized/Accelerated Basic Skills, Flexible Scheduling, Experiential Learning
  • Integrated Support Services  Career & Academic Coaching, Financial Aid, Access to Public Benefits

This work is guided by an Environmental Transportation Discipline Working Group. These professionals have volunteered to work with the Center to help develop and critique the project and its projects. The working group members are volunteers and their participation in no way represents an endorsement of the work or products of the Center by themselves or their organizations.

  • Dorothy Morrison, Director, Office of the Environment, Maryland DOT
  • Jenn A. Granger, Vice President, Asst. Office Manager, Johnson, Mirmiran &Thompson, Inc.
  • Jessica Alba, Transportation Policy Manager, Stanford University
  • Karina Ricks, Director, Pittsburgh Mobility and Infrastructure Department, City of Pittsburgh
  • Maureen Wiklund, Director, Human Resources, VHB
  • Michelle R. Oswald Beiler, Associate Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA (TRB Committee on Transportation and Sustainability)
  • Rachel Winkeller, Director of Strategic Management, Volpe
  • Sharon Feigon, Executive Director, Shared-Use Mobility Center
  • Shirley Vincent, Vincent Evaluation Consulting
  • Tom Phillips, Principle Executive, TL Phillips Consulting Services (Hartford, CT) (Active w/ US Conference of Mayors, Workforce Development Council)
  • Tom Reinauer, Transportation Director, Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission (member of the NADO transportation leadership group, RPO America)
  • Terri Bergman, Director of Research and Programs, National Association of Workforce Boards

The National Transportation Career Pathway Initiative

The Environmental Career Pathways Initiative is part of the work of the National Network for the Transportation Workforce. This demonstration program titled the National Transportation Career Pathways Initiative is funded by a grant from FHWA. Each of the participating centers, based in California, Montana, Wisconsin, Vermont, and Tennessee, is responsible for one broad discipline under the Career Pathways grant.

The abiding goal behind the career pathway demonstrations is to engage students in the post-secondary educational continuum to choose transportation career pathways. The demonstrations will leverage insights from employers to empower students to first learn about critical transportation occupations and then develop the skills to meet the related workforce challenges.

With multidisciplinary specialists, stakeholders from across the country, and extensive labor market analysis, the national network team is uniquely positioned to carry out the goals of the strategic initiative. The career pathway demonstration programs will prepare future transportation professionals to develop industry competencies and move beyond disciplinary silos to address transportation workforce challenges throughout the nation.

A summary flyer on the program is available. Please direct all inquiries for the National Transportation Career Pathway Initiative to Project Coordinator Scott Jakovich, scott.jakovich@csulb.edu  (949) 939-9365

This material is based upon work supported by the Federal Highway Administration under Agreement No. DTFH61-16RA00010. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website and any attached publications or products are those of the Author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Federal Highway Administration.

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