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24 provide participants with access to subject matter experts DOTs in Arizona, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, who may be geographically removed or whose schedules do Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia responded that "training, not permit their personal presence in the classroom. Several education, and development funds are considered essential states noted that their use of blended strategies was particu- human resource investments." These organizations have larly important for technical training. used a variety of ways to secure funds and convince funding sources that training is a value added investment. One of When compared with other local, state, and federal func- those responding positively noted that although the number tions, state DOTs appear to have a wider range of choice for of courses and the funds allotted were not touched, staff to training delivery because of the strong support provided by provide these courses had been reduced. The one state that federal funding through a network of funding to colleges and responded that training funds were not considered an essen- universities, and the very strong support for training and tial investment noted that the state was currently exploring development provided by FHWA. outsourcing "for budgetary reasons." The decision makers for increasing or decreasing training FUNDING SOURCES AND METHODS funds were all reported to be at the highest levels within the state DOTs. The TxDOT noted that it has a Standing Com- Funding for training comes from a variety of sources, mittee on Training that made funding recommendations and including directly through federal dollars or through decisions, and that this was a successful strategy for building classes provided by NHI and other federally supported program support and funding of training. entities. For example, the Texas and Washington State DOTs have dedicated training budgets managed by the California, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia have training divisions with funding sources including both multi-year funding for training; all others are subject to state and federal monies. In Arizona, funding comes from the annual appropriations process, including those who the operating divisions. Several states, including Arkansas receive federal funding. Because multi-year funding pro- and Idaho, reported that funding for technical training had vides some greater stability and can improve both planning its own budget, whereas other training needs were met and delivery of training (and then presumably increase the through allocations that were components of a larger bud- return on investment), other state DOTs may want to explore get, such as that of the Human Resources Division. Mary- this funding option. land and North Dakota fund their training primarily or wholly with state funds. One state noted that training fund- As might be expected, the responses to "What are your ing for engineering, maintenance, and equipment employ- most difficult funding issues for training, education, and devel- ees was dedicated. Others noted that some training funds opment" (Question 37) were quite varied. Responses included: came through federal reimbursement of the training expen- affording and deciding on new technology, insufficient dollars diture. At the 2005 Training Directors Conference, the and/or staff to meet the growing training requirements of the West Virginia DOT described their success in switching organization, and supervisors being unwilling to allow funding sources from "100 percent state funds to 100 per- employees time away from the job to attend training. Two cent federal funds through the SAFTEA-LU mechanism." respondents mentioned the difficulty in educating decision This switch has allowed the West Virginia DOT to have a makers, or "getting a seat at the table," about the importance secure, predictable funding source, which had not histori- of funding training. One state was fortunate enough to report cally been the case. that it has not experienced funding shortfalls. Training as a percentage of the compensation budget is a Successful funding strategies were equally varied. Two commonly accepted way to judge the level of investment in states reported that they always get sufficient funds to meet the training. The responses of percentage allocated ranged from identified needs. Several states mentioned that they had train- 0.0043% to 4.3%. The most frequent response was approx- ing advisory committees whose participation in the training imately 1%. Training Magazine's "Top One Hundred Com- decisions results in greater support than might normally be the panies for 2004" (which includes technology companies) case. Another agency mentioned that federal reimbursement and the American Society for Training and Development's provided a successful funding strategy. Yet a third agency 2003 "State of the Industry Report" indicated that leading mentioned that it pooled funds with others states in the region private-sector companies have training budgets that average to provide training over the Training Learning Network. What 4.1% of payroll. Public-sector organizations, on average, is clear from the responses to this question, as well as from oth- tend to fund training and development at the level of 1% and ers in the survey, and from the discussions at the National 2% of the compensation budget. Three DOTs, Arizona Transportation Training Directors Conference, is that those (4.3%), Texas (3.5%), and West Virginia (3%), are models training departments that are able to engage key political and with whom other DOTs may want to consult to learn how career executives and other influential stakeholders systemat- they were able to acquire funding levels that are substan- ically--and then able to deliver quality training products--are tially above average. more successful than those who do not in acquiring funding.