Environmental Career Paths Initiative


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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%




Workforce Development Needs of Transportation Sector Climate Adaptation Professionals

In 2016, FHWA engaged the National Network for the Transportation Workforce (NNTW), a university-based collaborative of regional transportation workforce centers that provide research and strategic partnerships for FHWA’s Office of Innovative Program Delivery, to establish the National Transportation Career Pathways Initiative, exploring in depth five disciplines. Over the course of its two-year lifespan, this strategic initiative sought to establish a set of five transportation discipline-focused career pathways that could be deployed within post-secondary education/training institutions nationwide, in order to begin the development of forward-looking, technology-infused workforce pipelines that would lead students and job seekers into critical occupations within the highway transportation sector.

The Northeast Center worked with a group of advisers to determine 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 documented 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. The Environmental Discipline Report detailed it findings focused on Smart City applications and occupations.

A summary presentation was made to the U.S. Conference of Mayors Workforce Development Board in January 2019, with an emphasis on how to take specific actions forward toward implementation.

Our thanks to the following individuals for their guidance and support over the course of the project:

  • 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

A full NTCPI project report, with resources, will be posted at http://nntw.org/career-pathways.

Please direct all inquiries for the National Transportation Career Pathway Initiative to Project Coordinator Scott Jakovich, [email protected]

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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