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Training Programs, Processes, Policies, and Practices (2006)

Chapter: Chapter Three - Experiences of State Departments of Transportation

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter Three - Experiences of State Departments of Transportation." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Training Programs, Processes, Policies, and Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13964.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter Three - Experiences of State Departments of Transportation." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Training Programs, Processes, Policies, and Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13964.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter Three - Experiences of State Departments of Transportation." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Training Programs, Processes, Policies, and Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13964.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter Three - Experiences of State Departments of Transportation." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Training Programs, Processes, Policies, and Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13964.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter Three - Experiences of State Departments of Transportation." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Training Programs, Processes, Policies, and Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13964.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter Three - Experiences of State Departments of Transportation." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Training Programs, Processes, Policies, and Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13964.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter Three - Experiences of State Departments of Transportation." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Training Programs, Processes, Policies, and Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13964.
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21 INTRODUCTION State DOTs play an essential role in both the economy and the mobility of the United States and its citizens. Like many public organizations, state DOTs are facing an aging work- force, work that is changing quickly in both what is done and how it is done, a demand to make strategic and cost-effective investments in technology, and a workforce that both needs and demands the opportunity to keep their skills and compe- tencies at a level that allows successful job performance. The training programs of state DOTs are key to achieving this goal. For these training programs to be successful, they must have a robust infrastructure to support the planning, funding, and delivery of appropriate training programs. This chapter summarizes the information these organizations shared about their training program infrastructure. STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION PRACTICES Gathering information about the experiences of state DOTs was multi-faceted. It included extensive discussions with train- ing directors and members on the synthesis project committee, a survey distributed to the training directors of all 50 states, dis- cussions with a various training directors and their staffs, and in-depth conversations and the experiences shared with partic- ipants at the 2005 National Transportation Training Directors Conference held in August 2005. The topics in this chapter include strategic planning; training needs assessment; critical needs assessment; organization structure; delivery mecha- nisms; funding sources and methods; training evaluation; pro- fessional certification; partnerships, opportunities, challenges, and constraints; and sharing and integrating information. Sixteen states (32%) responded to the questionnaire, thus providing a snapshot of what is the current state of infrastruc- ture for state DOT training programs. Complete results from the questionnaire are found in Appendix A. Discussions with training directors and other members of the Synthesis Topic Panel, as well as the in-depth discussions and the information shared at the 2005 National Transportation Training Directors Conference enrich the questionnaire results. STRATEGIC PLANNING Strategic plans provide the anchor for 14 of the 16 respond- ing states (see Figure 1). The most common timeframe for a strategic plan was 5 years. The others were for a time period that varied from no specific time to 20 years. More than half of the states updated their plan annually; two updated on a bi- annual basis. Only one state did not have a specific timeframe for plan updates. All strategic plans had been in place between 2 and 20 years, with the majority in place between 4 and 8 years. The strategic plans for 10 of the 16 organiza- tions (62.5%) had a specific reference to workforce develop- ment and training or other references to employees as valued resources for the organization. As might be expected, most plans were both prepared and updated by the agency’s exec- utive staff, with input from business units and employees. Of those states responding to the survey only 37.5% (6; California, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Carolina) had a succession planning process. All who had succession planning programs included the identification of training needs related to succession planning. Of states responding, 50% (8) had some type of process that linked funding requests and allocations and organization and indi- vidual performance assessment to the strategic plan or simi- lar document. For example, the Ohio DOT reported that: All division, office, and individual employee annual work plans are derived from the goals of the agency business plan. All bud- get requests must be justified and all justifications are based on business plan and work plan goals. Likewise, all performance evaluations rate employees on completion of work plan items. The agency also continuously monitors and rates itself accord- ing to Organizational Performance Indices (OPI). OPI are a quantitative measure of agency performance and are tied directly to the agency business plan. At the Training Directors Conference, the Mississippi and Washington State DOTs presented their succession planning programs. Both programs have a rigorous selection process and a learning process that combines academic and experi- ential learning. Equally important, the programs have the active support and participation of key political and career executives, including sufficient funding. Case Study: Mississippi DOT’s LEAD Program Mississippi’s state DOT began its succession planning efforts in 2000 with a review of the workforce. The results showed that by 2006, 64% of the Mississippi DOT’s (MDOT’s) managers would be retirement eligible. To address this issue, MDOT engaged the ongoing support of upper management and developed its LEADS program. The program’s goal was “to provide a continuous pool CHAPTER THREE EXPERIENCES OF STATE DEPARTMENTS OF TRANSPORTATION

of potential leaders prepared to face the leadership challenges of today and tomorrow by assessing participants’ leadership com- petencies and providing training that enhances and develops these competencies.” Those selected participate in an 18–24 month experience, which includes individual assessment (360 degree assessment, career counseling, Myers Briggs), feedback delivered by professional external coaches, experiential learning, structured access to senior management, team projects and pre- sentations, Individual Accelerated Development Plans, in-depth presentation skills course, networking opportunities, formal men- toring, and exposure to the work of all divisions within MDOT. The LEADS program has become a model for other state agencies in Mississippi and in 2005 the National Association of Government Training and Development selected the LEADS program for its prestigious “Program of the Year” award. Strategic plans or similar documents are in place in state DOTs and appear to be an important management tool for determining agency priorities. The training function is linked to the strategic plan in a majority of agencies and is used as a point of departure for workforce development programs and activities. The missing ingredient for most agencies is a succession planning process. This result is consistent with that seen in the literature review. However, as the discussions at the Training Directors Conference made clear, many more state DOTs are beginning to think about succession planning as a tool to help mitigate the impact of an aging workforce. TRAINING NEEDS ASSESSMENT Fourteen of the 16 responding agencies, or more than 87%, conduct some type of training needs assessment (see Figure 2). Of those who do, 50% do the assessment annually. The states use a variety of methods to assess training needs, but all have as part of the process some way of con- sulting with supervisory staff, employees, and other impor- tant internal stakeholders. Forty-four percent also have some form of consultation with external stakeholders. These stake- holders, as might be expected, are primarily consultants and 22 institutions that provide training for the state DOTs. The Washington State DOT’s (WSDOT’s) training management system has a function that allows for a monthly update of the needs assessment based on input from student evaluations, from a panel of experts, and the agency training staff. The Texas DOT (TxDOT) has a two-part annual assessment—the formal annual solicitation supplemented by a mid-year review “to identify and schedule immediate critical needs training.” Seven of the agencies responding stated that the training needs were linked in some way with identified mission-critical competencies, thereby providing a basis for prioritizing training needs. The linkage between the results of the training needs assessment and funding requests was weaker than the linkage to mission-critical competencies. This may be an area that state DOTs want to consider giving some additional attention. Those states that do make some linkage include Arizona, North Dakota, Ohio, Texas, and Washington. The survey results were validated through discussions at the Training Directors conference and additional discussions with Synthesis committee members. Training needs assess- ment is an integrated component of most state DOT training programs. Case Study: Washington State DOT’s Automated Training Management System (ATMS) WSDOT’s training program “is intended to enhance the attain- ment of department goals and objectives through appropriately trained and informed employees. . . ATMS is a resource devel- oped to assist anyone in WSDOT who manages training, as well as the employees who require and receive training . . .” ATMS is a mainframe application in use in WSDOT since the early 1990s. Its five primary functions are: identify needs, schedule courses and classes, register employees and selected non-WSDOT employees, provide reports, and confirm classes. The system is used by managers, employees, and the training development staff. However, for the purposes of this study, its most intriguing feature is that it is constructed to provide continuous feedback on training needs and priorities. As described by WSDOT’s train- ing director: “WSDOT has a mainframe training management system that functions on a series of curriculum matrices that contain the recommended training determined by a panel of experts in each of our 13 curriculum areas. The system keeps track of how many employees have completed training, accord- ing to priority. The training staff reviews reports of the number of employees who have completed training. In general, our needs assessment procedures are automated. Training staff coordi- nates with the principal discipline leaders throughout the depart- ment to anticipate and document new and continuing needs.” CRITICAL NEEDS ASSESSMENT As might be anticipated, the majority of those responding to the questionnaire, as well as those whose views were elicited through interviews, cited engineers, engineering technicians, and maintenance staff as the most important occupations. Of those who did not identify these occupa- tions, one cited the agency leaders and another that “all 87% 13% Yes No FIGURE 1 Percentage of state DOTs with strategic plans. 87% 13% Yes No FIGURE 2 Percentage of respondents that conduct training needs assessments.

23 employees contribute to our vision and mission.” The methodology for identifying critical occupational needs varied significantly among agencies, ranging from anecdo- tal observation to those associated with the largest occupa- tions or directly linked to requirements of the strategic plan. Nearly 70% of the agencies responding have identified the competencies needed for these mission-critical occupa- tions. More than half of those responding have identified the competency level of some or all of the employees in these positions. The methods of assessing employee com- petency range from required courses and formal testing required for certification to supervisory assessments as part of the performance assessment process to assessment by one state auditors office. The results of these analyses are used to identify training and development strategies to close any competency gaps identified. Agencies have a variety of ways for periodically reassessing the progress made in closing the competency gaps identified. MDOT has a succession planning process that includes gap analy- sis and periodic review of progress made to close gaps. Others will continue to rely on the performance appraisal process and the certification process to handle these issues. The process for linking the critical skills gap analysis to the training program is still a work in progress. More than 50% of those who responded to the questionnaire either did not respond to this question or do not have a process. Of those who do link gap analysis and program elements it is done through annual work and annual business plans, per- formance evaluations, or through the automated needs assessment process. The issue and methods of linkage got considerable discussion at the 2005 National Transportation Training Directors Conference. A number of states are begin- ning to examine the need for linkage as they wrestle with the issues of an aging workforce in the face of increased compe- tition for scarce training resources. ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE Eleven of the 16 respondents, or nearly 70%, reported that the training function was a component of the human capital management program. This result was further validated through the interviews with training directors and participa- tion at the Training Directors conference. In Louisiana, the training function is located in the Louisiana Transportation Research Center, which is a division reporting to the DOT’s Chief Engineer. In Pennsylvania, the Transportation Univer- sity was located in the Center for Performance Excellence; however, as of July 1, 2005, it was “reconverted into a train- ing division and was relocated into the Bureau of Human Resources.” The reporting relationships vary from a direct report to the DOT Chief of Staff or Deputy Administrator to report- ing through several layers up to the Director of Human Resources. The most frequent response was reporting directly to the Director of Human Resources. Three of the reporting organizations had an articulated training and development philosophy and mission statement. In one state, the philosophy and mission statement were currently under revision. From the questionnaire responses and information gath- ered through interviews and discussions, it appears that on average the reporting relationships are fairly traditional in terms of training and development reporting to the Director of Human Resources. In most states the delivery of managerial, professional, administrative and skills training resides with the training function. However, there is greater divergence with technical training. Those who have different arrange- ments tend to have technical and sometimes other training, under the authority of the District Engineer or a similar posi- tion. These arrangements are not dissimilar from what is found in federal organizations that have a similar workforce mix and in private organizations. With the current debate that is emerging about whether training should be centralized or decentralized, which is in large part being driven by technol- ogy issues, state DOTs will want to review their organization structures and current reporting relationships to see if they are still appropriate for the first quarter of the 21st century. DELIVERY MECHANISMS There do not appear to be any strong or particular patterns in whether training is developed and provided through internal staff and that which is developed and provided externally. The primary difference appears to be that external providers include colleges, universities, the NHI, FHWA, and other transportation industry-specific institutions. State DOTs appear to have a greater range of selection for external train- ing sources than is the case with most public organizations. All respondents to the survey questionnaire use a wide variety of delivery and learning techniques, ranging from formal classroom, field instruction, and electronic learning to job assignments, coaching, and mentoring. All but three of the respondents use web-based training, and one of those that does not is currently exploring its use. Of those offering web- based training, one-third offer their web-based courses on demand. By 2006, nearly 70% of questionnaire respondents will use video conferencing to some degree. Thirteen of 16 respondents (81%), blend a variety of delivery mechanisms and techniques to deliver training to employees, including web and classroom, video conference and classroom, video conferencing with the web-based for Professional Engineer- ing preparation courses, classroom with hands-on exercises for maintenance academy courses, and web-based in a com- puter class with an instructor. Participants work at his or her individual level, with occasional instructor-led sessions for the entire group. Most respondents use web and video to

provide participants with access to subject matter experts who may be geographically removed or whose schedules do not permit their personal presence in the classroom. Several states noted that their use of blended strategies was particu- larly important for technical training. When compared with other local, state, and federal func- tions, state DOTs appear to have a wider range of choice for training delivery because of the strong support provided by federal funding through a network of funding to colleges and universities, and the very strong support for training and development provided by FHWA. FUNDING SOURCES AND METHODS Funding for training comes from a variety of sources, including directly through federal dollars or through classes provided by NHI and other federally supported entities. For example, the Texas and Washington State DOTs have dedicated training budgets managed by the training divisions with funding sources including both state and federal monies. In Arizona, funding comes from the operating divisions. Several states, including Arkansas and Idaho, reported that funding for technical training had its own budget, whereas other training needs were met through allocations that were components of a larger bud- get, such as that of the Human Resources Division. Mary- land and North Dakota fund their training primarily or wholly with state funds. One state noted that training fund- ing for engineering, maintenance, and equipment employ- ees was dedicated. Others noted that some training funds came through federal reimbursement of the training expen- diture. At the 2005 Training Directors Conference, the West Virginia DOT described their success in switching funding sources from “100 percent state funds to 100 per- cent federal funds through the SAFTEA-LU mechanism.” This switch has allowed the West Virginia DOT to have a secure, predictable funding source, which had not histori- cally been the case. Training as a percentage of the compensation budget is a commonly accepted way to judge the level of investment in training. The responses of percentage allocated ranged from 0.0043% to 4.3%. The most frequent response was approx- imately 1%. Training Magazine’s “Top One Hundred Com- panies for 2004” (which includes technology companies) and the American Society for Training and Development’s 2003 “State of the Industry Report” indicated that leading private-sector companies have training budgets that average 4.1% of payroll. Public-sector organizations, on average, tend to fund training and development at the level of 1% and 2% of the compensation budget. Three DOTs, Arizona (4.3%), Texas (3.5%), and West Virginia (3%), are models with whom other DOTs may want to consult to learn how they were able to acquire funding levels that are substan- tially above average. 24 DOTs in Arizona, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia responded that “training, education, and development funds are considered essential human resource investments.” These organizations have used a variety of ways to secure funds and convince funding sources that training is a value added investment. One of those responding positively noted that although the number of courses and the funds allotted were not touched, staff to provide these courses had been reduced. The one state that responded that training funds were not considered an essen- tial investment noted that the state was currently exploring outsourcing “for budgetary reasons.” The decision makers for increasing or decreasing training funds were all reported to be at the highest levels within the state DOTs. The TxDOT noted that it has a Standing Com- mittee on Training that made funding recommendations and decisions, and that this was a successful strategy for building program support and funding of training. California, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia have multi-year funding for training; all others are subject to the annual appropriations process, including those who receive federal funding. Because multi-year funding pro- vides some greater stability and can improve both planning and delivery of training (and then presumably increase the return on investment), other state DOTs may want to explore this funding option. As might be expected, the responses to “What are your most difficult funding issues for training, education, and devel- opment” (Question 37) were quite varied. Responses included: affording and deciding on new technology, insufficient dollars and/or staff to meet the growing training requirements of the organization, and supervisors being unwilling to allow employees time away from the job to attend training. Two respondents mentioned the difficulty in educating decision makers, or “getting a seat at the table,” about the importance of funding training. One state was fortunate enough to report that it has not experienced funding shortfalls. Successful funding strategies were equally varied. Two states reported that they always get sufficient funds to meet the identified needs. Several states mentioned that they had train- ing advisory committees whose participation in the training decisions results in greater support than might normally be the case. Another agency mentioned that federal reimbursement provided a successful funding strategy. Yet a third agency mentioned that it pooled funds with others states in the region to provide training over the Training Learning Network. What is clear from the responses to this question, as well as from oth- ers in the survey, and from the discussions at the National Transportation Training Directors Conference, is that those training departments that are able to engage key political and career executives and other influential stakeholders systemat- ically—and then able to deliver quality training products—are more successful than those who do not in acquiring funding.

25 This state DOT experience is consistent with what other pub- lic- and private-sector organizations report. Involving key decision makers and stakeholders is an essential ingredient for securing funding for training and development programs. TRAINING EVALUATION As was confirmed by the questionnaire results and the con- versations and interviews with state DOT training officials, all states have some type of course and participant evalua- tion. Eight of the 16 respondents use one or more of the Kirkpatrick 4 Levels to evaluate their training offerings. (Kirkpatrick is still considered the “dean” of training evalu- ation methods; however, most public and private organiza- tions find the 4th level either too complex or too expensive to use.) Both Arizona and Maryland use all four levels of the Kirkpatrick model to evaluate training. Ohio evaluates effectiveness through a post-course evaluation, which is compiled by employees immediately after the course is com- pleted, and then uses a Likert 1-5 Customer Satisfaction survey after 30 days for the employee. At the end of 90 days, a similar survey is sent to the supervisor for completion. Fifty percent of the agencies stated that the program and course evaluation results were either helpful or very helpful in securing management support for training programs and/or funding levels. For example, Arizona, which has a funding level equivalent to 4.3% of the DOT’s compensation budget, has found that the investment in a sophisticated evaluation process has contributed significantly to its success in acquiring training funding. However, only four agencies noted that they had qualitative and quantitative metrics that provide insight “into which courses, activities, and events provide the best value for the time and money invested.” Only two agencies, Texas and Washington State, were willing to share their met- rics at this time. Pennsylvania noted that its program was under- going significant revision and therefore it could not participate at this time. Both Ohio and Texas perform return on investment analyses as part of their training assessment process. As Ohio noted, “The agency is committed to data-based decision mak- ing. We constantly perform cost analyses of all of our training programs and have a variety of systems and tools in place by which we measure the value of our programs.” All agencies have methods to use the evaluation informa- tion to revise training and education offerings. Texas uses optically scanned forms and puts the evaluation data into a database that is available to the training program administra- tor. It also uses the biennial evaluation of subject matter experts to keep course content accurate and up to date. Wash- ington State also uses the optically scanned forms to input data to their automated system. Most states do not appear to link their evaluation results with funding requests. Ohio, however, has a very structured process. ODOT’s current Business Plan includes Organization Perfor- mance Expectations for a number of areas. The expectation of Central Office and district quality and human resources operations is to achieve the OPI [Ohio Performance Improvement] goals and to sustain them through the biennium . . . Included in the OPI goal is a measure for completion of training programs. ODOT’s cur- rent goal is 90%, a five percent increase over the pervious year’s goal of 85%. PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION AND RELATED PROGRAMS All agencies responding to the survey require professional certification, registration, continuing education, and certifica- tion programs. These programs are for engineers, certain facilities occupations, and other technical occupations. Texas appears to have the broadest set of requirements, including annual Continuing Education Unit (CEU) requirements for human resources professionals. Continuing Education Credit is a nationally recognized method of quantifying time spent in a classroom during professional development. Ten hours of classroom instruction equals 1.0 CEU. State DOTs have well-established programs to track these special requirements. All provide some degree of support for these requirements. The support includes providing study materials, administrative time to prepare, reimbursement for the cost of preparation courses and for taking the examina- tion itself, and providing state-supported training so that indi- viduals can keep their certifications or licenses. North Dakota provides a “one-time 1% monthly salary adjustment upon achieving certification.” PARTNERSHIPS All agencies have partnerships with colleges; universities; other federal, state, or local agencies and organizations; professional organizations; and private-sector vendors. Many of these partnerships are with centers that specialize in supporting transportation-specific issues and requirements. The majority of agencies have formal agreements with most partners. These organizations may also have some information agreements. Four states classified all of their partnerships as informal. The Arizona DOT has an entire office devoted to partner- ing. Two states described their training advisory committee as a successful partnering effort. Pennsylvania has what it calls its “Agility Program,” which “has been a highly suc- cessful partnering arrangement across the state with numer- ous organizations.” WSDOT has an information agreement with one of its labor organizations to “conduct Workzone Safety Supervisors training for vendors and contractors.” The TxDOT has formed a public–private partnership for a 10-year, multi-billion dollar highway construction proj- ect. The DOT training program was given responsibility for providing the training for both public- and private-sector

employees, and is described as follows by TxDOT’s train- ing director: With the new advent of public/private ventures in the state with the $128 billion Trans Texas Corridor project, contractors in the private workforce are going to be looking at the Department to set the guidelines or provide the actual training for their employ- ees in numerous areas such as materials test and acceptance, inspection, DBE/HUB [Disadvantaged Business Enterprise/His- torically Underutilized Business] Title 6 reporting, environmen- tal issues, etc. TQD [Training, Quality, and Development] has already been requested to prepare a preliminary impact to the training operations and how we can accommodate increased training needs to the private sector. When comparing state DOTs’ training programs to those of other public organizations at the local, state, and federal level, state DOTs tend to be greater users of partnerships of all kinds. There is an extensive and complex network for relationships between state DOTs and professional organiza- tions such as AASHTO, FHWA, and NHI, with its extensive funding and training course support; between and among DOT training programs and local community colleges, state colleges and universities, and private colleges and universi- ties; and between state DOT training programs and a variety of professional organizations, such as those for engineers and other technical transportation professions. OPPORTUNITIES, CHALLENGES, AND CONSTRAINTS Opportunities—A number of agencies identified the oppor- tunities to begin or expand e-learning, mentoring, and coaching programs, as well as blended learning for state DOT staff and expanding training offerings to meet new demands, offering training to both public and private employees based on the “advent of public/private ventures.” Two agencies identified developing a succession planning program. Challenges—The themes from this question are keeping up with technology (including transferring to a statewide learn- ing management system) and making sound technology investments, dealing with the impact and effects of large numbers of staff retiring, particularly when as individuals retire they cannot be replaced either at all or at least on a one- to-one basis. Another theme was addressing the conflicts that come with a multi-generational workforce and implementing within the DOT a statewide competency system. A third theme was linking the training function more closely to the agency or state strategic plan. Constraints—The most predominant theme was an imbalance between demands and either dollar and/or staff resources, particularly in the face of a rising demand for training prod- ucts and services. One response cited the need to convince management that not all performance problems could be solved through training. 26 These constraints are ones that are consistent with the issues facing public service organizations at every level of government, made both more difficult and more possible because most organizations are finally realizing the value of well-qualified employees—human capital—to the organiza- tion’s ability to meet its strategic goals and outcomes. However, many of these same organizations do not yet fully realize that for staff to have the skills and knowledge to achieve the strategic goals and objectives, the institution must be willing to make very significant training and devel- opment investments. This may be the most important of the cost–benefit or return on investment issues facing state DOTs and most other public institutions. SHARING AND INTEGRATING INFORMATION Software Tools The software tools identified by survey respondents include: • Pathlore Enterprise Learning Management System (Arizona, Maryland). • STARS Management Learning System (Arizona). • Training Partner 2003, a learning management system (Pennsylvania). • PeopleSoft 8.3 for training processes, course sessions, enrollments, course completion data, individual tran- scripts, etc. Automation links between the Department’s Learning Content Management System for on-line courses and updates to PS8.3 on Training Transcripts (Texas). • A new Learning Management System installed in 2005 to enhance the management and study of employee skills, and to what extent training meets those needs (California). • On-Track, a training management system (Michigan). • Training Records System—A propriety training data- base and learning management system (Ohio). • Human Resource Information System for tracking attendance and hours of training, PeopleSoft 8.3 (Montana). • ETRN is an internal mainframe tracking system used to track training completion and requirements. It is ac- cessible to managers, supervisors, and employees (Louisiana). • Meridian Software to develop web-based training (Idaho). • Training laboratory with 10 desktop PCs (North Dakota). • Mainframe Automated Training Management System (Washington State). Other Means of Program Support State DOTs use the full range of tools available in today’s world, including e-mail, electronic publications, electronic

27 calendars, websites, web casts, Internet discussion rooms to help link communities of practice, and listserv for the elec- tronic tools. The more traditional tools used by state DOTs include newsletters, magazines, meetings, conferences, sem- inars, and other group gatherings. At the 2005 National Transportation Training Directors Conference, Dr. Allison Rossett provided an extensive pre- sentation on the impact of technology on the development and delivery of training and development programs. She outlined the evolution of technology’s impact on training delivery. Currently, training delivery is still primarily instructor focused, with technology providing tools to assist in the learn- ing process. However, the more advanced public and private organizations are moving to “learner centered” training deliv- ery, including on-demand training with access through the web, in person and electronic discussion groups, and similar techniques to ensure a well-trained staff. The most advanced organizations have gone one step further and are integrating performance and learning. For example, if a manager has a performance management problem, he or she can go online to a resource center and have immediately at hand not only the organization’s policies and procedures, with successful prac- tices for handling a variety of performance issues, but the names and contact information of experts who are available electronically or in person to discuss the issues and the poten- tial solutions to the problem. An individual employee can access frequently asked questions and answers for issues that arise as part of getting work done. In some of the most sophis- ticated learning environments, the learner can select the type of training based on his or her personal style of learning; for example, visually, and auditory. Although there is not yet a significant longitudinal body of data about these new approaches to learning, the early results suggest that “just in time learning” and these more tailored learning approaches provide for significantly greater information retention than more traditional teaching methods. Additional information about this topic can be found on Rossett’s website: http:// edweb. sdsu.edu/people/ARossett/Arossett.html. SUMMARY The survey responses have provided a useful overview of both the training program infrastructure of individual DOTs and the patterns of similarity and difference between and among state DOTs. Supplemented by the information gath- ered through detailed discussions with training directors and their staff members, and through participation at the 2005 Training Directors Conference, a real sense of the practices, issues, and challenges facing state DOTs as they work to pro- vide an appropriate administrative infrastructure to support training and development activities in their organizations can be provided.

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TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis 362: Training Programs, Processes, Policies, and Practices examines program components required to have a sound set of policies, processes, and procedures for planning, developing, implementing, funding, and evaluating state department of transportation training, development, and education programs.

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