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Increasing the Number of Applicants 29 Exhibit 4-1 (Continued) Snapshot of Chapter 4 Workforce Pipeline Target Area Target Career Stages Comm. 4 year Graduate Entry-Level Mid-Career Senior K-12 Retirees Colleges Colleges Schools Staff Staff Leaders TRANSPORTATION WORKFORCE PIPELINE Increasing the Number of Applicants Chapter 4 Target Area 4.1 Workforce Challenges. Programs related to "Increasing the Number of Applicants" are typically designed to address challenges associated with creating interest and awareness of career opportunities within the transportation industry. These challenges should be carefully considered before selecting the program that would best fit the needs of your agency. For example, these are common challenges agencies face: Geographic Challenges. Organizations struggle to fill vacancies in rural or remote geographical locations. Potential candidates in urban areas do not want to leave or commute to these locations. Adding to the difficulty in some places, large factories and plants located in these areas can provide competitive compensation for local applicants. National Disasters Creating Competitive Labor Market. Recent national disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, the flash floods in Iowa, and the Deep Water Horizon oil spill, have affected the supply and demand of transportation workers in different areas of the country. As a result of these disasters, there has been an increase in construction job opportunities in these areas, which has led to an exodus of unskilled transportation workers from other states. Unskilled laborers flock to disaster relief jobs because these types of jobs typically do not require training and provide steady work with high wages. As a result, unskilled laborers in these jobs have little incentive to switch to transportation jobs that eventually require training and certifications. This situation has evolved somewhat with the economy, but forecasts of climate change, rising temperatures, and increasing storms suggest that these patterns and issues could be a bigger issue again, in the future. Lack of Diversity. Organizations struggle to ensure a diverse workforce that mirrors the demographics of the local area. Women and minorities are the most difficult demographic groups to recruit. Although much of the unskilled industry is supported by minorities, little research has been done to determine what will attract these workers to skilled positions, what supports are needed to retain these workers, and what will motivate these workers to develop more skills. Aggressive Recruiting. Participants suggested that hiring managers do not have the authority, time, or budget to recruit as aggressively as their competition in private industry. They mentioned that competitors will cold-call employees on the job to offer them higher paying positions. Difficulty Finding Applicants with In-Demand Skills. Organizations are having difficulty identifying and attracting candidates with particular skill sets and technical experience (e.g., operations, maintenance,