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25 This state DOT experience is consistent with what other pub- ODOT's current Business Plan includes Organization Perfor- lic- and private-sector organizations report. Involving key mance Expectations for a number of areas. The expectation of Central Office and district quality and human resources operations decision makers and stakeholders is an essential ingredient for is to achieve the OPI [Ohio Performance Improvement] goals and securing funding for training and development programs. to sustain them through the biennium . . . Included in the OPI goal is a measure for completion of training programs. ODOT's cur- rent goal is 90%, a five percent increase over the pervious year's goal of 85%. TRAINING EVALUATION As was confirmed by the questionnaire results and the con- PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION AND RELATED versations and interviews with state DOT training officials, PROGRAMS all states have some type of course and participant evalua- tion. Eight of the 16 respondents use one or more of the All agencies responding to the survey require professional Kirkpatrick 4 Levels to evaluate their training offerings. certification, registration, continuing education, and certifica- (Kirkpatrick is still considered the "dean" of training evalu- tion programs. These programs are for engineers, certain ation methods; however, most public and private organiza- facilities occupations, and other technical occupations. Texas tions find the 4th level either too complex or too expensive appears to have the broadest set of requirements, including to use.) Both Arizona and Maryland use all four levels of the annual Continuing Education Unit (CEU) requirements for Kirkpatrick model to evaluate training. Ohio evaluates human resources professionals. Continuing Education Credit effectiveness through a post-course evaluation, which is is a nationally recognized method of quantifying time spent compiled by employees immediately after the course is com- in a classroom during professional development. Ten hours of pleted, and then uses a Likert 1-5 Customer Satisfaction classroom instruction equals 1.0 CEU. survey after 30 days for the employee. At the end of 90 days, a similar survey is sent to the supervisor for completion. State DOTs have well-established programs to track these special requirements. All provide some degree of support for Fifty percent of the agencies stated that the program and these requirements. The support includes providing study course evaluation results were either helpful or very helpful in materials, administrative time to prepare, reimbursement for securing management support for training programs and/or the cost of preparation courses and for taking the examina- funding levels. For example, Arizona, which has a funding tion itself, and providing state-supported training so that indi- level equivalent to 4.3% of the DOT's compensation budget, viduals can keep their certifications or licenses. North Dakota has found that the investment in a sophisticated evaluation provides a "one-time 1% monthly salary adjustment upon process has contributed significantly to its success in acquiring achieving certification." training funding. However, only four agencies noted that they had qualitative and quantitative metrics that provide insight "into which courses, activities, and events provide the best PARTNERSHIPS value for the time and money invested." Only two agencies, Texas and Washington State, were willing to share their met- All agencies have partnerships with colleges; universities; other rics at this time. Pennsylvania noted that its program was under- federal, state, or local agencies and organizations; professional going significant revision and therefore it could not participate organizations; and private-sector vendors. Many of these at this time. Both Ohio and Texas perform return on investment partnerships are with centers that specialize in supporting analyses as part of their training assessment process. As Ohio transportation-specific issues and requirements. The majority noted, "The agency is committed to data-based decision mak- of agencies have formal agreements with most partners. These ing. We constantly perform cost analyses of all of our training organizations may also have some information agreements. programs and have a variety of systems and tools in place by Four states classified all of their partnerships as informal. which we measure the value of our programs." The Arizona DOT has an entire office devoted to partner- All agencies have methods to use the evaluation informa- ing. Two states described their training advisory committee tion to revise training and education offerings. Texas uses as a successful partnering effort. Pennsylvania has what it optically scanned forms and puts the evaluation data into a calls its "Agility Program," which "has been a highly suc- database that is available to the training program administra- cessful partnering arrangement across the state with numer- tor. It also uses the biennial evaluation of subject matter ous organizations." WSDOT has an information agreement experts to keep course content accurate and up to date. Wash- with one of its labor organizations to "conduct Workzone ington State also uses the optically scanned forms to input Safety Supervisors training for vendors and contractors." data to their automated system. The TxDOT has formed a publicprivate partnership for Most states do not appear to link their evaluation results a 10-year, multi-billion dollar highway construction proj- with funding requests. Ohio, however, has a very structured ect. The DOT training program was given responsibility for process. providing the training for both public- and private-sector