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96 Strategies to Attract and Retain a Capable Transportation Workforce 13.1 Workforce Challenges. Programs related to "Job Classification and Design" are typically designed to address challenges associated with differing levels of hiring expectations among this new generation of workers. 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: Aversion to Manual Outdoor Labor. When participants were surveyed about why they thought an individual might be deterred from taking a job in transportation, more than three-quarters of the DOT contractors suggested that it was due to the nature of the work and job description (Cronin et al., 2007). Specific responses from the contractors as to why the transportation jobs might appear unattractive to some include "long, hot working hours," "working outdoors," "working outside in elements, hard work," and "being outdoors, sun, insects, dirt, getting dirty." Asphalt work in particular, involves high temperatures, and repavings constitute the bulk of DOT construction work in the last decade and the foreseeable future, though such construction work is almost entirely contracted out. Organizations are struggling to find ways to make these positions more attractive beyond raising the salary. Lack of Flexibility and Autonomy. More than a one-quarter of participants in one of our studies suggested that the lack of flexibility (i.e., when and how work is done) or lack of autonomy (i.e., working independently) currently poses the greatest challenge to recruiting quality unskilled transportation workers (Cronin et al., 2007). Participants indicated that flexibility and autonomy are hard to achieve based on the demands of the work in transportation. For example, drivers often demand work that is conducted during off-peak hours and at night resulting in difficult work hours for entry transportation workers. Participants agreed that it may be difficult to design some transportation jobs to be flexible and autonomous yet some of the participants argued there may be some changes that would improve the attractiveness of the job. Organizations indicated that the next generation of workers is looking for these elements in a job (Cronin et al., 2007). Lack of Learning Opportunities. Organizations are challenged with providing enough learning opportunities in entry-level positions. Members of the younger workforce are looking for positions where they will be challenged and encouraged to increase their skill set. Unfortunately, this is not typical of many entry-level positions, where tasks are usually repetitive and do not require a lot of problem solving. 13.2 Industry Strategies. Attracting younger workers to transportation jobs may require job redesign. Researchers and program managers identify the following programmatic strategies when describing industry efforts in "Job Classification and Design" (see Exhibit 13-2). While these strategies represent the general direction of HR departments across the nation, it is important that the specific needs of your agency are used to guide the development and implementation of a program in your agency. Exhibit 13-2 Industry Strategies: Job Classification and Design Strategy Strategy Description Create Dual Career Organizations are exploring new ways to ensure that employees have more Tracks for Managers well-qualified supervisors and managers. Organizations have found that some and Technical Experts employees are not well suited, even with training, to manage other employees. As a result, organizations have begun to create dual career tracks with a more traditional path accentuating management skills and an alternative path emphasizing technical expertise. The alternative path allows employees to advance without employee management as a requirement. Essentially, if an employee is technically savvy but does not possess the skills to lead people,