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8 Tools to Aid State DOTs in Responding to Workforce Challenges NCHRP Project 20-24 (14), "Managing Change In State Departments of Transportation." NCHRP Synthesis 323: Recruiting and Retaining Individuals in State Transportation Agencies. NCHRP Synthesis 349: Developing Transportation Agency Leaders: A Synthesis of Highway Practice. NCHRP Synthesis 362: Training Programs, Policies, and Practices. In addition to these NCHRP/TRB resources, an extensive literature review was conducted on workforce issues from FHWA, AASHTO, the National Academy of Public Administration, the Government Accountability Office, CPS Human Resource Services, the National Association of State Personnel Executives, the International Public Management Association, the IBM Center for the Business of Government, the Partnership for Public Service and others. A full review of existing resources is available in Chapter 6. 1.3 Overview of Research Approach The initial 6-month phase of the research effort reviewed the literature and practices related to workforce challenges; identified, prioritized, and recommended a set of resources for inclusion in the Toolkit; and developed an organizing framework for the Toolkit. The specific tasks for this phase included: Task 1--Review of Literature and Practice. This task comprised a review of research and materials available from the transportation field, public sector, professional organizations and trade associations, academia, the military, the private sector and labor unions, and then identifying and applying those that can be utilized by DOTs to meet current and future workforce challenges. The review emphasized DOT-specific organizational and workforce research including NCHRP studies, DOT model programs such as those posted on the FHWA web site, and successful practices from organizations such as the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), and the Conference Board. Task 2--Existing Resources Evaluation and Assessment. The purpose of this task was to assess the adequacy and value of current resources to address current and likely future DOT workforce challenges. This allowed the research team to identify resources which were strong candidates for inclusion in the Toolkit. It also allowed for the identification of gaps or areas where there are unmet needs for resources. As part of this task, the team compiled a list of available resources organized by workforce need and type of resource. Additionally, they developed a list of key workforce needs to be addressed over the next 510 years. The list is based on an analysis of general issues and trends and how they impact workforce needs, as well as an analysis of the particular needs of specific DOT user groups. Task 3--Toolkit Framework. Developing a framework for the tool began with the recog- nition that it must be flexible and dynamic to meet the differing needs of state DOTs and the variable nature of those needs. Rather than creating a static guide, which would become quickly outdated, the research team focused their efforts on a Web-based tool that allowed varied approaches to searching resources, that streamlined the matching of needs to resources, and that could be easily expanded and updated. Task 4--Phase 1 Interim Report. In addition to drafting a report of progress to date, the research team met with the panel to discuss comments. In response to this feedback, the research team created a database to collect and keep resources and decided to continue adding relevant resources to the database throughout the duration of the project. This approach was used to enable the entity that ultimately becomes the Toolkit's steward to continue updating and populating the database with useful resource information. Once panel approval was obtained,

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Introduction 9 the team proceeded with Phase 2, a 17-month effort to develop the Toolkit. This phase focused on identification of additional resources to fill gaps identified in Phase 1, classifying the resources to be included in the Toolkit, building and testing the Toolkit, and documenting the research effort. Task 5--Workforce Resources Database. During this phase, the research team and research panel continued adding resources to the database. A set of standard resource descriptions was developed, including the following: Detailed descriptions oriented toward a DOT audience. Identification of the type of resource (methodology or model, measurement or assessment tool, case study, policy or procedure, organization, software application, consulting service). Identification of the source of the information (TRB/NCHRP/TCRP, journal or publisher, NAPA, USDOT, state DOT, other state agency, university research center, national association-- transportation, national association--public administration, national association--human resources). Identification of the intended audience for the resource (state DOT, transportation profes- sionals, public sector, private sector, human resources, training and development). Task 6--Develop Toolkit. The team designed and developed an electronic, hyperlinked site that includes a Web portal for easy access to documents or resources that will be of additional use in addressing workforce challenges within state DOTs. The Workforce Toolkit was built within the following parameters: Intended scope and audience: The Toolkit is intended to respond to workforce challenges faced by high-level and mid-level managers within a transportation agency. The Toolkit emphasizes basic, practical approaches to applying resources to different situations and to responding to unforeseen or changed circumstances. It is not meant to provide specific solutions to problems. The Toolkit is designed to account for basic differences in agency organizational and institutional settings and to provide alternate approaches for agencies to use where appropriate. It is intended to inform management decision making, not supersede it. To accommodate the skills and needs of different users in a variety of settings, the research team decided to make database information accessible through a variety of views. Five of these views--Top Ten DOT Needs, Frequently Asked Questions, Functional View, Faceted Search, and Text Search--are linked to the database containing resources summarized in Table 6.1. The other views contained in the Workforce Toolkit are explained in Chapter 2. Task 7--Final Report.