APPENDIX A
Key Differences Between the Federal Highway Administration’s Program and Roles During the Interstate Era and the Early 21st Century

FHWA-Interstate Era

Possible FHWA-2010

Focus on fostering self-managed state organizations.

Focus on assisting states in maintaining and improving self-management abilities and sharing best practices with local units of government.

FHWA funding for “highways” and transportation planning activities.

Further merging of highway and transit funding with potential of full integration of funding in some areas.

Transportation planning addressed highway system needs and transit needs in developing a program of individual projects.

Transportation planning addresses intermodal system capital, safety, and operational needs of integrated system and the associated environmental consequences.

Implementation of local road programs done by state agency personnel or as pass-through of state organization.

Increased outreach to and sharing with county/city/other organizations to assist in the implementation of federal-aid program off and on the state system as well as extensive use of consultant/contract forces to deliver projects.

Focus was on capital program to construct Interstate and system planning to outline scope of program but implementation on a route-by-route, project-by-project basis.

Focus on management of transportation system (extending the life of the facilities and improving safety and operations) and integrated system planning and implementation. New systemwide solutions to age-old issues rather than project-by-project solutions. Focus on quality.



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The Workforce Challenge: Recruiting, Training, and Retaining Qualified Workers for Transportation and Transit agencies APPENDIX A Key Differences Between the Federal Highway Administration’s Program and Roles During the Interstate Era and the Early 21st Century FHWA-Interstate Era Possible FHWA-2010 Focus on fostering self-managed state organizations. Focus on assisting states in maintaining and improving self-management abilities and sharing best practices with local units of government. FHWA funding for “highways” and transportation planning activities. Further merging of highway and transit funding with potential of full integration of funding in some areas. Transportation planning addressed highway system needs and transit needs in developing a program of individual projects. Transportation planning addresses intermodal system capital, safety, and operational needs of integrated system and the associated environmental consequences. Implementation of local road programs done by state agency personnel or as pass-through of state organization. Increased outreach to and sharing with county/city/other organizations to assist in the implementation of federal-aid program off and on the state system as well as extensive use of consultant/contract forces to deliver projects. Focus was on capital program to construct Interstate and system planning to outline scope of program but implementation on a route-by-route, project-by-project basis. Focus on management of transportation system (extending the life of the facilities and improving safety and operations) and integrated system planning and implementation. New systemwide solutions to age-old issues rather than project-by-project solutions. Focus on quality.

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The Workforce Challenge: Recruiting, Training, and Retaining Qualified Workers for Transportation and Transit agencies FHWA-Interstate Era Possible FHWA-2010 Focus on effective use of funds (cost-efficiency). Focus will be travelers and local economies affected by system rehabilitation and reconstruction. Implementation will require materials that are quickly installed and have a longer functional life. More consideration given to user benefits. Partner was a state highway agency that was typically strongly hierarchical and centrally managed. Partners include state DOT, other modal administrations, federal agencies, tribal governments, counties, municipalities, and resource agencies. Increased involvement of special interest groups and public in every aspect of the program. Partner agencies and FHWA management styles are decentralized. Partners may include private companies as DOT functions and programs are outsourced. Transportation facilities are publicly owned and managed. Transportation facilities and access increasingly are provided through public and private partnerships, and some transportation is provided by private industry exclusively. Implementation of FHWA direction primarily by FHWA program/project approvals. Implementation of FHWA initiatives more through marketing and educating and influencing partners. Oversight based on compliance and quality control of projects and processes. Oversight based on promotion and attainment of common strategic work objectives. Regulatory actions where partnerships fail. FHWA organizational structure consists of state division offices; regional oversight offices; headquarters office; FHWA staff conducting research at Turner-Fairbank; Federal Lands Highways providing engineering services and products with other funds and with predominantly government staff. FHWA seen as having the ability to solve state problems, with personnel being available through chain-of-command organizational structure. Offices had similar skill groups with level of expertise varying with organizational unit. Transportation programs still implemented through FHWA offices in each state because of success of partnerships and customer satisfaction, but with increased program interaction with the Federal Transit Administration and other modes. Backup support in functional areas via shared resources among division offices; specialized technical assistance available through division, resource center, and headquarters staffs with those staffs leveraging consultant/industry expertise. Skill sets vary with organizational units in FHWA with divisions’ skills more closely matching state support needs and resource center/headquarters skill sets more closely aligned with goals, initiatives, and new technologies. Federal Lands Highways is one source for the development of some of the agency’s technical expertise.

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The Workforce Challenge: Recruiting, Training, and Retaining Qualified Workers for Transportation and Transit agencies FHWA-Interstate Era Possible FHWA-2010 Direct federal activities were conducted by staff in two regional offices and Region 15. Activities were funded by other agency appropriations. Federal Lands Highways Program is a funded program and a core business unit of the agency. Activities include administration of the program, rural transportation planning, innovation and technology transfer, and advocacy for tribes and federal land transportation issues in addition to the continued delivery of engineering services to federal and state agencies. Help develop tribal self-sufficiency. FHWA involved in reviews and approvals throughout program. Environmental document just one stage of the process. FHWA remains involved in reviews and approvals throughout program. Activity in environmental programs is increased. Emphasis is on a broader range of alternatives and balanced decision making. FHWA is recognized for its facilitation role between states/locals and resource agencies. Focus of FHWA program activities was obligating funds. Focus of FHWA program activities includes management and sharing of information, new ideas, and innovations (technology development and deployment). Reduced focus on obligation of funds as a daily routine. Division and regional organizations were uniform (respectively) based on the assumption that all like offices needed similar complement of skills. Division and resource center organizations will comprise core functions plus additional positions that reflect the unique needs of the partners those offices serve. Employees developed by assisting journeymen. Processes learned/applied. Technology transferred to states for implementation. Employees developed through special assignments, communities of practice, mentoring, networking, and outside training. Processes continually assessed and improved. Demonstration and implementation of new technologies through Federal Lands Highways, resource centers, and divisions. Internal technical assistance requested through management hierarchy (division to region, region to headquarters). Internal technical assistance provided by peer offices as well as resource centers, Federal-Aid, Federal Lands Highways, or headquarters, as determined by which office has most appropriate source of assistance and the ability to respond.

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The Workforce Challenge: Recruiting, Training, and Retaining Qualified Workers for Transportation and Transit agencies FHWA-Interstate Era Possible FHWA-2010 Strategic planning consisted of beginning the journey and categorizing existing activities under the appropriate objectives, but there was no change in the approach to or management of activities. The agency evolved from administering projects to reviewing processes but never took any work off its plate. Strategic and performance plans are the drivers to generating what activities are pursued. Measurement and evaluation systems give managers the ability to identify and focus on results and use resources where there is the biggest payoff. Information systems allow sharing of knowledge. FHWA staff conducted research at Turner-Fairbank facility. FHWA staff oversee national and international integration of research efforts. FHWA staff in direct federal activities performed all engineering services. Federal Lands Highways maintains internal technical ability to provide services as well as manage contract services to provide re- quested transportation services. SOURCE: Positioning FHWA for the Future, Task Force on Workforce Planning and Professional Development, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, D.C., Dec. 2000.