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Action Plan for Recommendation #6 Develop Employees and Maintain Employee Career Pathways Hyperlink to Exhibit 28: Overview of Strategic SOM Workforce Recommendations by Career Stage 115

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RECOMMENDATION #6 Develop Employees and Maintain Employee Career Pathways Description: DOTs should consider making in-house Recommendation Highlights recruiting a priority to promote from within and ensure Target Career Stage: Entry-level, mid- that growth opportunities are available to employees career staff, and senior leaders (KFH Group, Inc., 2008). Results of a recent study Will help with Retention and indicate that career pathways improve job satisfaction, Development employee motivation, and employee commitment Estimated Time to Implement: 36 (Griffin, Kalnbach, Lantz, and Rodriguez, 2000). months Furthermore, results from analyses of 21 turnover Provides guidance to employees to help studies indicate that receiving promotions is directly them to plan for future and advance related to less employee turnover (Carson et al., 1994). within the agency To prepare employees for advancement, agencies need Career pathways may increase job to implement structured employee development satisfaction, employee motivation, and practices. Career lattices demonstrate the possible ways commitment to the agency that a career can progress and the different jobs an employee might consider as their career develops. The pathway is usually represented as a diagram showing the relationships between various roles in an industry and the possible paths for moving between them, both linearly and laterally. A career pathway serves as a strategic planning tool as the employee identifies long-term goals for his/her professional life. Rationale for Recommendation: Our research results indicated that there is uncertainty in the transportation industry about how individuals should advance in an SOM career. This can inhibit DOT staff from cross-training to enter the field and can deter potential new, skilled employees from entering SOM jobs. We discovered that the biggest challenge or impediment to pursuing a career in SOM is that there are no clear or standard career paths for personnel. Thus, it is difficult for potential and existing staff to navigate the array of jobs. Further, each of SOM's five core functions does not represent all levels of SOM positions. For example, the Policy and Strategic Considerations function has no Transportation Management Center (TMC) technicians or field personnel and few mid-level or project-related personnel because of the high level of the work. On the other hand, the Real-Time Operations function has many TMC technicians and field personnel, but few senior managers. This also makes it difficult to describe where junior- or mid-level employees might progress across SOM functions. Yet, because SOM personnel often have knowledge of multiple disciplines and an understanding of how SOM interacts with transportation modes, the public, and other transportation functions (e.g., emergency management, public safety), their skills are highly transferable across core functions so advancement within and across core functions is certainly attainable. Thus, DOTs should work to develop and maintain clear career pathways for SOM employees that communicate when and how employees may be or become qualified to advance. 116

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RELEVANT POSITIONS TARGET AUDIENCES Source of Initiation Return on Investment Targeted Audience(s) Industry 0-2 years Primary: Staff who are seeking career guidance. Career paths will Agency 3-5 years assist them in making training and 6+ years skill development decisions and Primary Human Resource Focus allow these staff to plan for likely Estimated Time to future jobs. Attraction Implement Recruitment 0-3 months Retention 3-6 months Development 7 months-1 year More than 1 year Implementation Level National Action Lead(s) Regional Agency HR Director/Personnel State Manager 117

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IMPLEMENTATION PLAN Steps to Implement 1. Assemble Project Team. 2. Define the Job Group. Define the purpose the job group performs within the organization, key tasks, products, and objectives. 3. Consult with Stakeholders. Consult with stakeholders by collecting input from managers and workers, subject matter experts (SMEs), and professional and educational organizations in the field to create a competency model that identifies the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are needed to successfully perform the job and its purposes previously described. This will become the basis of your job pathway. (Career OneStop, provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, offers a tool for building competency models as well as pre-defined model frameworks for various industries.) 4. Divide the Competencies into Tiers from Entry to Management Level. The lower tiers will include applicable foundational skills, abilities, and behaviors. Middle and upper tiers will build on the competencies for the tiers below, adding specialized knowledge and technical competencies as well as leadership skills and behaviors. 5. Create and Refine Specific Job Titles and Descriptions for Each Level. Descriptions will include the tasks and responsibilities of the position, reporting relationships, competencies, and educational and experience requirements. Consider differences between responsibilities and qualifications for each tier and how an employee might move between jobs. 6. Create a Visual. Create a visual representation that describes your structure, showing each job and possible paths to and from it. 7. Assign Salary Ranges and Obtain Final Approval from Management. 8. Communicate with Users. Communicate with users by publishing the job pathway information along with guidelines for employees about the critical development experiences needed to progress to the next tier. 9. Validate and Refine. Collect data on the paths via which staff are promoted to various positions. Improve the job pathway over time by observing how effectively employees are able to progress from one tier to the next by acquiring and demonstrating the competencies you have included in the pathway. 118

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Graphic Depiction These exhibits provide a summary of how individuals might advance in SOM careers within and across each of the five core functions of SOM. These are example pathways for each core function; however, they can be tailored for individual agency needs. 119

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Exhibit 3 Systems Development Core Function: Career Paths Senior Transportation Management Management Mid-Level or Project Related Center Technician/Field Personnel Electronics Electronics Supervisor Mechanic Implementation Support Traffic Traffic Technician System System Technician Technician I Civil ITS Section Engineer Leader Project Development Director of Engineer Traffic Engineering Engineering Engineering Engineering Engineering and Safety Technician Technician Technician Technician Technician Safety V IV III II I Specialist Exhibit 4 Project Management Core Function: Career Paths Senior Management Mid-Level or Project Related ITS Project Manager Senior Transportation Operations Traffic Project Manager Manager Operations Engineer Transportation Transportation Engineer Engineer Supervisor/Manager 120

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Exhibit 5 Real-Time Operations Core Function: Career Paths Senior Management Mid-Level or Project Related Transportation Management Center Technician/Field Personnel Communications Communications Operator Communications Operator Trainee Officer Communications Systems Transportation Assistant District Technician Engineer I Traffic Engineer Assistant Engineer Signal & Lighting Junior Engineer Senior Traffic Technician State Traffic Signals Technician Engineer Traffic Systems Traffic Operations Engineer Technician Traffic Operator Incident Response Center Manager Coordinator Traffic Incident Traffic Operator Manager Assistant District Traffic Incident Maintenance Technician Engineer Maintenance Highway Supervisor Maintenance State Maintenance Worker Transportation Engineer Work Zone Maintenance Manager Technician COMMUNICATIONS PLAN Communication/Outreach Strategies Develop orientation training to provide employees with overview of career pathways and benefits. Utilize all internal communication channels to inform about HR's efforts in defining career paths: Send inter-office mail memos. Post information clearly on the agency intranet regarding the different tracks and upcoming orientation sessions. Develop a career pathway chart where employees can track their progress and remind employees and supervisors to review the career pathway chart during mid-year and annual evaluations. Process for Obtaining Buy-In Provide data that highlight the impact of career pathways and tie them to specific strategic goals the industry has regarding development targets. Show projected results on attrition reduction and savings on recruitment efforts. Obtain case studies indicating success of other industries and/or transportation fields in similar career pathway efforts. 121

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USEFUL INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL RESOURCES To Implement Practice Develop support from agency leadership. Create job descriptions to identify job tasks and knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform the job. Involve HR managers and personnel managers who are engaged and invested in the development of the new career pathways. To Sustain Practice Enlist commitment from personnel managers and HR managers to assist employees in progressing up career pathways. Ensure support for revisions to the tool every few years or as needed so that it is tailored to best meet development and retention targets and needs, as well as the current labor pool and economic conditions. Record evidence where and how the career pathway is providing a return on investment. For example, the agency may calculate: turnover data before and after implementing the career pathways, money saved due to reduction in turnover, any increases that may be discerned in applications received, retention numbers over specific periods of time, and increases in new hire performance. EXAMPLES OF EFFECTIVE PROGRAMS Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Joint Workforce Investment (JWI) Program. Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority's (VTA's) Joint Workforce Investment (JWI) program, established in 2006, is a joint labor-management partnership between the VTA and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 265 (ATU). Both organizations operate together as one "JWI" team. The three primary programs that were brought together under the JWI initiative are described in detail below. The first program is called the Maintenance Career Pathways Training Project (MCPTP). This 1- year project ended in 2008. During that time, it established the Mechanic Helper program. The Maintenance division has three positions: (1) service worker, (2) service mechanic, and (3) full transit mechanic. First, the program involved utilizing funding that was meant to support the salaries of vacant full transit mechanic positions and reallocating that funding to create vacancies at the mechanic helper (mechanic trainee) level. The program then provided training to mechanic trainees to allow them to be eligible for promotional opportunities. The external Mechanic Helper training involved enrolling employees in an 18-month Associate's Degree program at local community colleges. Once employees at the Mechanic Helper level had completed the required training, they were promoted into the service mechanic positions. In doing this, VTA addressed 122

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the bus mechanic shortages and provided members of the community with living-wage-level employment. The second program is the New Operator/Mentor Pilot Project. This one-year pilot project, now complete, paired 26 new operators who graduated in January 2008 with 17 veteran exemplary operators who acted as mentors. The program provided best practice customer service and job stress coping skills through on-the-job mentoring and classroom training. At the beginning of the mentoring relationship, the new operators would spend 8-hour days on the veteran's bus and then later the veteran would spend a similar amount of time on the new operator's bus. This early intervention prevents new operators from developing bad habits and attitudes that amplify stress. The third program is the Health and Wellness Project. This mentor-led, "operator to operator" project conducts various informal activities at the three bus operating divisions to promote the JWI approach to health, wellness, and professional development. Activities emphasize mastering the "human element" of driving a bus and applying stress management/health and wellness techniques. During the project, new operators are brought into a classroom to debrief after completing some initial driving time. They discuss their experiences and whether or not they were able to release the stress that some situations may have caused them. As a result of JWI, the level of skill and organizational commitment across the VTA increased. Specifically, ten mechanic helpers graduated from their training programs and were promoted into the ten service mechanic vacancies. Retention of new bus drivers rose from 80% to 100% for participants of the program. Anecdotal conversations between the management team and employees have indicated that employee morale has also increased due to the program. Contact Information: Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, 408-321-2300 or 800-894- 9908 PennDOT's Position Analysis Workbooks Program. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) once implemented a practice called Position Analysis Workbooks (PAWs) to address recruitment and retention efforts and support career paths and succession planning. A PAW described the roles, responsibilities, and tasks that are performed in a given position in PennDOT and the competencies and training necessary for an individual to be successful in the position. To develop a PAW for a position, PennDOT convened a focus group consisting of exemplary employees currently serving in the position or those supervising employees in the position. The focus groups were moderated by someone who served as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) and helped the group to devise a strategy or a series of steps for PennDOT employees to succeed in the position described in the PAW. PennDOT works to assign a PAW to each major position in the organization. Contact Information: PA Department of Transportation, 717-787-7894 San Francisco Transit Career Ladder Partnership. Rapidly changing transit technologies, related skills shortages, and job vacancies pose critical challenges to public transportation systems across the country and in San Francisco in particular. The San Francisco Transit Career Ladder Partnership resolves these skills shortages by means of a collaborative approach to training for incumbent workers to move up industry career ladders targeted to areas of skills shortage. The goal of these programs is to strengthen promotional opportunities for incumbent San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni) employees, fill chronic vacancies, prepare incumbent workers for jobs that will require new technological and human relations skills, and permit Muni 123

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to more effectively meet new service delivery guidelines. The principal partners are Muni, Transport Workers Local 250-A (TWU), City College of San Francisco (CCSF), and the Community Transportation Development Center, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation to help develop regional skills partnerships in mass transit. The San Francisco Municipal Railway Improvement Fund (MIF), a joint labor-management project established by Muni and TWU in 1996, facilitates this partnership. As the fiscal agent, MIF ensures effective partnership coordination and delivery of the career ladder training. Contact Information: San Francisco Transit Career Ladder Partnership, sftclp@ccsf.edu Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Career Pathways. The Career Pathways to Highways project is a collaborative venture between the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, and the Lincoln Trail Workforce Investment Board to address workforce shortages identified by the Federal Highway Administration. The Career Pathways to Highways project is designed to meet the needs for qualified individuals to work in the transportation career cluster. The scope of the project is to train eligible participants to varying skill levels within the transportation industry within a 2-year timeframe. Contact Information: Doug Hogan, Executive Director, Office of Public Affairs, 502-564- 3419 ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES Alternative Approach 1 Develop detailed agency job descriptions for all SOM positions. While job descriptions may not detail the relationships between the positions and the development experiences needed to progress within the organization, the job descriptions will provide incumbents with an accurate description of the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed in each job. Thus, the job descriptions will provide a target for incumbents as they are planning career growth. IMPACT Positive Outcomes of the Practice Decreased turnover. Better prepared staff for leadership positions. Increased job satisfaction and organizational commitment among mid-career staff. Increased organizational ability to properly target training and developmental experience. 124

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CAUTIONARY CONSIDERATIONS Significant Dedication of Resources--Time and labor commitment from stakeholders and subject matter experts (SMEs) can be substantial for a 6-month to 1-year period while career pathways are being developed. This has the potential to be expedited through use and modification of more generic career pathways, such as those developed in this project. The latter can serve as a starting point. Project leaders should work with agency and/or state leadership to secure resources in advance. This will decrease the chance of delays during the development and implementation process. Long-Term Commitment--To realize the greatest ROI, agencies must commit to the development, implementation, and maintenance of career pathways. Career pathways must be updated and refined as jobs evolve. In addition, the agency must be willing to assist employees in their development so they can achieve career pathway goals. 125