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Promoting Existing Staff 49 6.3 Workforce Practices. Three workforce practices that were designed to assist in making the process of "Promoting Existing Staff" within transportation agencies efficient and effective were reviewed, and we identified one workforce practice that was the most noteworthy within this context: North Carolina DOT Supervisor Academy For this practice, we conducted a case study. A summary of the case study is presented below. The full case study can be found on the TRB website at http://trb.org/Main/Blurbs/164747.aspx as part of Volume II: Supplemental Materials. The full case study description details each practice's background, implementation, maintenance, evaluation, and transferability.
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50 Strategies to Attract and Retain a Capable Transportation Workforce North Carolina DOT Supervisor Academy. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) employs roughly 13,000 people, of which 7,500 work within the Division of Highways. In 2000, NCDOT conducted needs assessment focus groups to identify reasons for employee morale North Carolina DOT Supervisor Academy issues. One thing NCDOT discovered is that Job Type: All employees did not feel supervisors were adequate ROI: Short-term in their roles due to many of the supervisors transitioning from a technical, worker role to an Generation: All oversight position with little to no training. Thus, Key Program Highlights: in 2002 NCDOT conducted the first pilot of the o Two-level progressive program, Supervisor Academy with transportation consisting of Fundamentals of supervisors from all the divisions. For the initial Supervision and Advanced Supervisory pilot, 24 transportation supervisors from across Technique the agency were hand picked based on their o Both courses are 2 weeks long, for a aptitude, attitude, and willingness to provide total of 4 weeks feedback about the program. o Participants and immediate supervisors The list of Professional Attributes addressed in the complete a Pre- and Post-Academy Supervisor Academy include leadership, people Survey to assess improvement skills, job competency, organizational knowledge, personal growth, group dynamics, delivering services to the public, managing diversity, communication techniques, organizational skills, managing conflicts, changing roles of supervisors, personnel action, hiring/interview process, stress management, contract supervision, and dealing with on-the-job adversity. The Supervisory Academy is a two-level progressive program where participants have to go through Fundamentals of Supervision first and some, depending on their supervisory level, move to the advanced course. The first class, Fundamentals of Supervision, is for all supervisors. The next level is called Advanced Supervisory Technique. The second course goes into the agency's administrative role for supervisors in greater detail and is only open for the agency's "journey supervisor" and "advanced supervisor." The fundamentals course is 2 weeks, and the advanced is 2 weeks for a total of 4 weeks. To prevent employees from being away from their work for too long, NCDOT has structured the Academy so that Week 1 includes the first session, Week 2 is off, which lets the supervisor go back to the field, and then the final session is held in Week 3. The majority of costs are design and implementation costs, which were charged by the trainer, a retired NCDOT employee. These costs were approximately $180,000. The average cost per person has been $843 since 2002. Costs include the travel; coordinating facilities; administrative cost for materials, printing, and text books; trainer-retired employee; meals; and lodging. To assess improvement of participants, the participants and their immediate supervisors complete a pre- Academy survey and post-Academy survey. On both surveys, supervisors who participate in the Supervisor Academy provide self ratings on a scale of 1 to 10 on items such as efficiency, effectiveness, and relationships with employees. The agency has seen improvements for supervisors on these measures. While perceptions of the Supervisor Academy or other quantitative measures have not been collected, the agency reports that supervisors and employees have shown improved morale and improved responsiveness to safety and emergency concerns as a result of the program.
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Promoting Existing Staff 51 Other Example Practices To serve as an additional resource for agencies interested in "Promoting Existing Staff," we have included a list of other practices that transportation agencies have implemented for this purpose. Additional information on each of the following practices can be found in one- to two-page summaries within the supplemental materials. Keystone Transit Career Ladder Partnership SonicPerform The practice summaries include information, such as the lead organization, practice description, practice purpose, targeted participants, return on investment (ROI) timeline, influence of the economy, innovativeness, and resources to find out more information on the individual practices.