Building an Educational Infrastructure for Smart City Transportation & Shared-Use Mobility Workers

The Northeast Transportation Workforce Center (NETWC), under contract with the Federal Highway Administration is part of the National Transportation Career Pathway Initiative, and has been focused on identifying workforce needs in areas associated with improving environmental quality related to transportation in rapidly emerging fields.  Deploying Smart City Technology and advancing Shared-Use Mobility systems represent breakthroughs in how the mobility needs of community members and businesses can be met. We are working to assess changing needs in workforce competencies and skills, what is needed to upskill current workers, and what new workers will need to bring to the job as new jobs emerge with the build out of new mobility and smart city systems.  This project seeks to document this trajectory, identify workforce needs, identify gaps in education and training infrastructure, and advance effective strategies to better connect in these efforts.

What is a Smart City – we are starting from the 78 applicants to the USDOT Smart Challenge

Smart Cities/Communities, emerged as significant focus of planning and investment, and correspondingly, as a source of growth in new and expanded occupations with competencies and skills that require investigation, because of USDOT’s Smart City Challenge. While only one city was selected as a “winner”, most of the participating communities have moved forward with the partnerships and plans that they created during the competition and are beginning significant investments in new technologies that will have significant impacts on meeting environmental, safety and mobility goals. New city departments are being created, new leadership positons created, and in both private and public organizations new skills and competencies are being sought in hires and among current staff.

What is Shared-use mobility –  As defined by the Shared-Use Mobility Center, it is a term used to describe “transportation services that are shared among users, including public transit; taxis and limos; bikesharing; carsharing (round-trip, one-way, and personal vehicle sharing);  ridesharing (car-pooling, van-pooling); ridesourcing/ride-splitting; scooter sharing; shuttle services; neighborhood jitneys; and commercial delivery vehicles providing flexible goods movement.”

The focus on shared transportation as one of the focal points for examining the growth in new emerging transportation occupations and career paths follows the considerable growth in recent years in the build out of shared use systems in cities and towns, on campuses and across regions, addressing increased interest in new urbanism and the need to address environmental, energy, and economic challenges.  Advances in “smart” technologies have increased our ability to share resources efficiently and create seamless linkages between multiple modes. As an area of growth in both investment and employment opportunity and growth, the project researchers determined that a deeper exploration of the field overall and the specific modes would yield information on emerging competencies and skills that inform multiple career pathways.

Why is this important to Workforce Development?

The new skills, competencies and certification required for positions required to manage the changing conditions and investment in new mobility systems, as well as the changing nature of current employees whose responsibilities will shift as new systems are designed and deployed require a deep look into how individuals are preparing themselves for new careers or to advance their professional development, as well as how employers in the public, private and nonprofit sectors are anticipating their workforce needs in the coming decade.

Help to identify needs and necessary actions to grow these fields.

If you are a member of a Smart City initiative in your city or region or a Sustainability manager or Transportation Planner, [Survey link is being developed]

If you are a member of a local or regional workforce board or workforce development organization, please fill out this survey.

If you would like to participate or get more information contact Glenn McRae [email protected]

Key Questions for Workforce Boards/ Organizations, and City HR Managers

  1. Local/regional initiatives have been established across the country to invest in and implement “Smart City” plans and Shared-Use Mobility systems, integrating new and transformative technologies into the operations and management of the city/region’s infrastructure and transportation operations systems.
    • Has the workforce board/organization received specific requests related to these initiatives from public or private employers to conduct job needs studies, organize partnership, identify specific education or training opportunities, or work with local education and training organizations?
    • Has the workforce board/organization taken action to
      • Conduct an assessment of the needs of both public and/or private employers?
      • Participate in local, regional, or national forums on education and training needs in the Smart City / Shared-Use Mobility fields?
      • Worked with local education and training organizations to develop or target certificate, course, or degree programs related to the Smart City / Shared-Use Mobility fields?
      • Other initiatives in the Smart City / Shared-Use Mobility fields ______
  1. Have you seen increased evidence and expressed need from employers for workers in specific occupations related to these fields (O*Net):
    • Computer and Information Systems Mgrs. (11-3021)
    • Operations Research Analysts (15-2031)
    • Geographic Information Systems Technicians (15-1199)
    • Civil Engineering Technicians (17-3022)
    • Environmental Engineering Technicians (17-3025)
    • Urban and Regional Planners (19-3051)
    • Traffic Technicians (53-6041)
    • Bicycle Repairers (49-3091)
    • Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists (49-3031)
    • Bus drivers, transit and intercity (53-3021)
    • Computer Network Architect (15-1143)
    • Electrical Engineers (17-2071)
    • Information Technology Project Managers (15-1199)


  1. Have you seen evidence of increased need among employers for positions in these fields?
Shared Mobility/ Bike Share Operations Smart City Projects ITS Sustainable Transportation Planning & Management
Project Manger Smart City Network Architect Traffic Technician

Signal Technician

New Mobility Manager / Planner
Bike Mechanic / E-Bike Mechanic / Technician Information Systems Specialists ITS Technician


Transportation Demand Management Specialist
Bike Share Operations Coordinator EV infrastructure & Charging manager ITS Engineer Urban Planners, specialists, technicians
Bike Share Operations Manager Operations Engineers Traffic Engineer Bicycle & Pedestrian Mobility Coordinator
Community Service Manager Project Management / Engineer Connected & Autonomous Systems Engineer Transit & Shared Mobility Coordinator / Planner
Data Analyst IT Specialists ITS Public Transportation Engineer Chief Sustainability Officer / Manager


  1. Have employers been looking for increased certifications and skills training, such as:
    • GIS
    • Project Management
    • Electrician license
    • AutoCAD Electrical
    • CISCO
    • IMSA Traffic Signal Certification
    • Fiber Optics Technician Certification
    • MPLS, network security
  2. How has your workforce board responded to the need?
  3. How have your education and training partners responded?
  4. How does the anticipated growth across these fields inform your planning?




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