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4 Citizens' demand for performance--Driven by tech- State DOTs are well aware of these issues. A review of nology, which makes instant and constant communica- recent TRB publications reveals a focus on a variety of human tions possible, U.S. citizens expect a quality, level, capital issues related to attracting and retaining a well-qualified ease, and speed of service that was unthinkable even 15 workforce. For example, its 2003 publication, The Workforce to 20 years ago. In addition, individuals, especially at Challenge: Recruiting, Training, and Retaining Qualified the state and local level, are demanding a greater voice Workers for Transportation and Transit Agencies stated: in governmental decisions and an ever greater return on their investment of tax dollars, which in turn requires The Committee on Future Surface Transportation Agency Human public organizations to examine their work processes, Resources Needs was convened by the Transportation Research Board to determine how these agencies can reorient their human assess their organizational and employee performance, resources efforts over the next two decades in order to respond to and measure that performance against publicly articu- future changes in roles and responsibilities within their organiza- lated qualitative and quantitative standards. The imme- tions. . . . The intent of this study . . . (is to) examine what is needed diacy of access substantially reduces the margin of error for transportation agencies to strategically alter key human resource activities--recruiting, training and retaining, and succes- that individuals are willing to accept. sion management-- . . . to enable these agencies to continue to meet emerging workforce challenges and adjust to labor market In its 2004 white paper, The Human Capital Challenge, the realities (The Workforce Challenge . . .2003, pp. 12). American Society for Training and Development's (ASTD) Public Policy Council Chair Vincent J. Serritella noted that, That same year, TRB published NCHRP Synthesis of Highway Practice 323: Recruiting and Retaining Individuals Now more than ever, the success of public and private organiza- in State Transportation Agencies. This report observed that: tions in the United States and throughout the world depends on the knowledge and capabilities of their employees. . . . The set Employees are the most valuable resource of any organization. of tasks formerly known as human resource services is now cast Correspondingly, the issues of recruitment and retention at the as a value chain of integrated processes and functions that are professional level have become two of the most challenging that strategically positioned to help the organization compete. . . . transportation professionals are facing in the 21st century. . . . It Responding to the human capital challenge means more than just is vital that these issues be addressed if state departments of figuring out how to recruit and retain top talent. Organizations transportation . . . are to deliver the transportation systems also need to address other obstacles to human capital develop- needed to sustain the economic and mobility needs of our nation ment and management, including . . . (the) failure to align human (Warne 2003, p. 1). performance practices, including compensation, work design, training, and performance management . . . with the organiza- tion's strategic goals, objectives, and outcomes. The report goes on to say that: State DOTs are affected by all of these trends. To meet the Workforce issues are at the forefront of discussions occurring in corporate America and within the ranks of public agencies. Pub- changing environment and the citizen demands for service, lic and private sector organizations are struggling to fill their ranks state DOTs must recruit a talented, knowledgeable workforce. with individuals who possess the right sets of skills to deliver the Of equal importance, they must retain this talent and ensure that products and services to their customers. . . . .There are probably their knowledge and competence is both maintained and very few industries where workforce concerns are more acute than in the transportation industry. Challenges cross all modes, encom- increased. Many of today's employees, and certainly those who pass virtually all skill sets, and appear to be more difficult to will be joining the workforce over the next 15 to 20 years, are address with each passing year (Warne 2003, p. 3). products of the knowledge economy, which can be defined as an economy characterized by the recognition of knowledge as Also, in 2003, TCRP Synthesis of Transit Practice 47: a source of competitiveness; the increasing importance of sci- Corporate Culture as the Driver of Transit Leadership Prac- ence, research, technology, and innovation in knowledge cre- tices was published, and concluded that: ation; and the use of computers and the Internet to generate, share, and apply knowledge (see www.innovation.sa.gov.au/ The transit industry is facing an ever changing work force, more sti/a8_publish/modules/publish/content.asp).] They understand sophisticated technology, a shifting economy, and the most the power of knowledge and the need to keep that knowledge diverse population to date. In this highly competitive work envi- ronment, it is essential to attract, develop, and retain strong current. This understanding is found in all sectors and in all leadership (Davis 2003, p. 1). levels of the workforce. The presence or absence of well- thought-out and executed employee training and development programs is a significant factor contributing to the success or PROJECT SCOPE AND OBJECTIVES failure of recruitment and retention programs in both the pub- lic and the private sector. In its most recent survey of college FHWA DOTs and a variety of other transportation organiza- graduates, published in May 2005, the National Association tions understand the value of a robust and flexible training of Colleges and Employers (NACE) identified appropriate and development program. AASHTO, the National Highway training and development opportunities as an important factor Institute (NHI), and other similar entities have identified influencing job choices of recent, current, and future college training and development as a significant tool to ensure that graduates (see http://www.naceweb.org/). state DOTs can attract and retain a well-qualified workforce.