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Region V Transportation Workforce Assessment and Summit
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    NEXTRANS Project No. 142UWY2.1, NEXTRANS Project No. 142UWY2.2
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  • Abstract:
    The transportation workforce is undergoing unprecedented change due to rapid retirement of baby boomers while at the same time information, communication, and automation technologies are rapidly changing the transportation of people and goods. The purpose of this project is to lay the groundwork for addressing the transportation workforce challenges in the region. Findings of this research are as follows: 1. The outcome of K-12 investments to promote transportation career awareness are unknown. A collective impact strategy is needed to bring stakeholders together around a common mission and common performance measures. The collective impact strategy has been successful in other sectors. 2. The transportation sector invests in training programs without fulfilling personal or organizational workforce development goals because most programs are not credentialed or stackable. One strategy for developing and retaining the transportation workforce is to create career pathways. Pathways are usually geared for a specific population in a certain geographic area. Transportation agencies that work with educational partners to identify career pathways into and within the organization, will retain their workforce longer. 3. Many participants of the Regional Summit expressed concerns over how difficult it is to market transportation jobs to younger generations who might think of the occupations as low tech or with limited advancement opportunity. The industry must reach out to schools, minorities, women, and returning citizens with targeted messages that promote the industry and remove the stigma and misconceptions about transportation jobs. Recommendations are as follows: 1. U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) partner with U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) to ensure that emerging occupations within the departments are reflected in the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. 2. Education, internship, and apprenticeship programs will be necessary to bring future transportation workers up to speed with new technological advances in their positions. Transportation agencies should take advantage of apprenticeship models to attract and retain skilled workers.

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