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5 For example, AASHTO's strategic plan Goal 4, Objective had to be broadly defined to include the changing nature of D4, states that it will public service, of work, and of working relationships, both within transportation organizations, as well as between and Develop tools to assist states in addressing issues of workforce among transportation organizations, other transportation- recruitment, retention, succession planning, and in-service train- related entities, and the private sector. The literature review ing. Provide state DOTs with expertise and resource materials to help them make effective decisions regarding a variety of per- also examined the more traditional components of training, sonnel recruitment and development issues. development, and education programs. An understanding of the critical importance of training The literature review is accompanied by a discussion and and development activities within state DOTs prompted this analysis of the information provided by the survey results synthesis study. This synthesis also focuses on the ability of from a questionnaire sent to the training directors of each of state DOTs to attract, retain, and manage the talents of the the 50 state DOTs. Initially, 16 responded. Ultimately, 24 workforce. In defining the project, the topic panel noted that states provided input either through the survey or by means "[a] well-trained, multi-disciplined workforce is necessary to of detailed interviews and discussions about the topics cov- ensure the effective and efficient development, delivery, and ered in the survey. The synthesis is further enriched by the management of the nation's transportation system. Efficient results of the annual Training Directors conference, held in and timely training and professional development efforts will Natchez, Mississippi, in October 2005. The majority of the allow agencies and their partners to take full advantage of 2005 conference topics were directly related to issues being technological innovation, maximize workforce productivity, examined in the survey specifically and the study more gen- and ensure the efficient use of limited resources. . . ." erally. In addition, interviews with a variety of public and private sector thought leaders in public administration, trans- This synthesis will focus on the processes, policies, and portation and training, development, and education were practices needed to ensure that agency training and devel- undertaken. Thought leaders are individuals recognized by opment programs have the infrastructure required to their peers as having creative and innovative ideas to solve deliver training and development programs that support a current, and possibly future, issues and problems. The in- high-performance organization. sights of these experts are integrated into the synthesis. The appendices provide additional information for training orga- This report was designed to focus not on specific training nizations in state DOTs. needs or courses or competencies, but on the program com- ponents required to have a sound set of policies, processes, and procedures for planning, developing, implementing, ORGANIZATION OF SYNTHESIS REPORT funding, and evaluating state DOT training, development, and education programs. Therefore, this synthesis examines The synthesis report has five chapters. the requirements for strategic planning, strategic human capital and workforce planning, the mechanisms to identify Chapter one provides background on the issues related to competencies needed in the workforce, and the degree to the need for robust training, education, and development which the workforce has those competencies, as well as the programs; the administrative infrastructure to sustain robust ability to fund and execute a viable training, development, programs; a discussion of the study scope and procedures; and education program that ultimately provides and pre- and the organization of the synthesis report. pares a workforce to accomplish the work of the organiza- tion successfully. It also reflects an understanding that the Chapter two presents the results of the literature review. It raison d'etre for training programs has changed. As with identifies both the more common viewpoints about conditions other human capital programs, training programs in state in the labor force, the public sector, and the private sector that DOTs have no intrinsic value in and of themselves. Their affect training and development programs generally and those value is in direct proportion to the program's ability to in state DOTs specifically. This chapter also discusses the lit- enhance the workforce capability to achieve the organiza- erature findings on infrastructure elements, including strate- tion's strategic goals and outcomes. Absent this impact, gic planning, needs assessment, competency identification training, development, and education programs make no and development, funding, partnerships, technology, evalua- "value added" contribution and are, therefore, unlikely to be tion, and other related topics. able to compete successfully for the shrinking pool of avail- able public dollars. Chapter three summarizes the results of the survey of state DOTs and the information shared at the 2005 Training Direc- tors Conference. STUDY PROCEDURES Chapter four contains a discussion of successful practices For this study, a review of the pertinent literature was under- from both industry and government, and insights acquired taken. It soon became apparent that the literature review from thought leader interviews.
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6 Chapter five summarizes the conclusions to be drawn Appendix A contains the survey questionnaire and from the literature review, the agency questionnaire results, detailed survey results. Appendix B lists the state DOTs that the 2005 Training Directors Conference, the thought leader participated in the survey and the 2005 Training Directors interviews, and industry practices. conference. These individuals are sources of expert advice and assistance to colleagues. Appendix C contains critical A bibliography provides a detailed list of references, excerpts from the ASTD's 2005 State of the Industry Report, including articles, books, and reports that will assist in which provides one of the definitive analyses about major keeping state DOT training organizations well informed for trends and issues in training and development. Appendix D years to come about the evaluation of critical components contains detailed information on the exhaustive competency of training program analysis, development, delivery, and study prepared by ASTD and Appendix E cites additional evaluation. resources provided by various organizations.