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23 employees contribute to our vision and mission." The directly to the Director of Human Resources. Three of the methodology for identifying critical occupational needs reporting organizations had an articulated training and varied significantly among agencies, ranging from anecdo- development philosophy and mission statement. In one tal observation to those associated with the largest occupa- state, the philosophy and mission statement were currently tions or directly linked to requirements of the strategic plan. under revision. Nearly 70% of the agencies responding have identified the competencies needed for these mission-critical occupa- From the questionnaire responses and information gath- tions. More than half of those responding have identified ered through interviews and discussions, it appears that on the competency level of some or all of the employees in average the reporting relationships are fairly traditional in these positions. The methods of assessing employee com- terms of training and development reporting to the Director of petency range from required courses and formal testing Human Resources. In most states the delivery of managerial, required for certification to supervisory assessments as part professional, administrative and skills training resides with of the performance assessment process to assessment by the training function. However, there is greater divergence one state auditors office. The results of these analyses are with technical training. Those who have different arrange- used to identify training and development strategies to ments tend to have technical and sometimes other training, close any competency gaps identified. Agencies have a under the authority of the District Engineer or a similar posi- variety of ways for periodically reassessing the progress tion. These arrangements are not dissimilar from what is made in closing the competency gaps identified. MDOT found in federal organizations that have a similar workforce has a succession planning process that includes gap analy- mix and in private organizations. With the current debate that sis and periodic review of progress made to close gaps. is emerging about whether training should be centralized or Others will continue to rely on the performance appraisal decentralized, which is in large part being driven by technol- process and the certification process to handle these issues. ogy issues, state DOTs will want to review their organization structures and current reporting relationships to see if they are The process for linking the critical skills gap analysis to still appropriate for the first quarter of the 21st century. the training program is still a work in progress. More than 50% of those who responded to the questionnaire either did not respond to this question or do not have a process. Of DELIVERY MECHANISMS those who do link gap analysis and program elements it is done through annual work and annual business plans, per- There do not appear to be any strong or particular patterns in formance evaluations, or through the automated needs whether training is developed and provided through internal assessment process. The issue and methods of linkage got staff and that which is developed and provided externally. considerable discussion at the 2005 National Transportation The primary difference appears to be that external providers Training Directors Conference. A number of states are begin- include colleges, universities, the NHI, FHWA, and other ning to examine the need for linkage as they wrestle with the transportation industry-specific institutions. State DOTs issues of an aging workforce in the face of increased compe- appear to have a greater range of selection for external train- tition for scarce training resources. ing sources than is the case with most public organizations. All respondents to the survey questionnaire use a wide ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE variety of delivery and learning techniques, ranging from formal classroom, field instruction, and electronic learning to Eleven of the 16 respondents, or nearly 70%, reported that job assignments, coaching, and mentoring. All but three of the training function was a component of the human capital the respondents use web-based training, and one of those that management program. This result was further validated does not is currently exploring its use. Of those offering web- through the interviews with training directors and participa- based training, one-third offer their web-based courses on tion at the Training Directors conference. In Louisiana, the demand. training function is located in the Louisiana Transportation Research Center, which is a division reporting to the DOT's By 2006, nearly 70% of questionnaire respondents will Chief Engineer. In Pennsylvania, the Transportation Univer- use video conferencing to some degree. Thirteen of 16 sity was located in the Center for Performance Excellence; respondents (81%), blend a variety of delivery mechanisms however, as of July 1, 2005, it was "reconverted into a train- and techniques to deliver training to employees, including ing division and was relocated into the Bureau of Human web and classroom, video conference and classroom, video Resources." conferencing with the web-based for Professional Engineer- ing preparation courses, classroom with hands-on exercises The reporting relationships vary from a direct report to for maintenance academy courses, and web-based in a com- the DOT Chief of Staff or Deputy Administrator to report- puter class with an instructor. Participants work at his or her ing through several layers up to the Director of Human individual level, with occasional instructor-led sessions for Resources. The most frequent response was reporting the entire group. Most respondents use web and video to