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1-1 Chapter 1: Introduction to the Guidebook This Guidebook is intended to be a practical resource to support workforce capacity building for airport stakeholders including airport leaders, academics, consultants, and industry associations. To serve this audience, the Guidebook includes detailed strategy implementation steps, relevant research, resource tools, real airport examples, and measurement guidance to help users determine the optimal course for making important workforce investments that promote continuity of operations and enhanced performance. This Guidebook is the final product of a two-part study conducted under ACRP Project 06-04. The first phase of this ACRP study focused on identifying the workforce capacity needs anticipated for the airport industry over the next 5â10 years and the extent to which airports and national training and education providers can provide sufficient developmental opportunities to build a strong talent pipeline. This first phase of the study also identifies mission-critical occupations for airports. Mission-critical occupations are those that will be essential to executing the airportsâ mission and supporting long-term strategic goals. The results of the initial phase of research are published in ACRP Web-Only Document 28 (http://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/175503.aspx). Moving to Phase II of this ACRP project, the focus shifted to identifying best practices and outlining strategies that can help airports better prepare their workforce for anticipated industry changes. Identification of the strategies was largely informed by scientific research and industry expertise. These strategies are further discussed in this Guidebook. Contents of This Chapter This chapter serves to recap some of the Phase I results and present the overarching structure of the Guidebook. Because the Phase I results are publicly accessible via TRBâs website, this chapter only briefly touches upon the identified challenges and workforce capacity needs, mainly to set the context for why specific strategies and action plans are included herein. Thus, it may prove valuable for users of this Guidebook to become familiar with ACRP Web-Only Document 28 as it details job requirements and other key job information pertaining to airport mission-critical occupations. A review of the top eight mission-critical jobs could serve as a useful starting point when trying to identify, scale, and introduce initiatives to occupational groups within the airport. The specific components of this chapter include the following: Brief Recap of Phase I Results Framework for Workforce Capacity Building Strategies How to Use the Guidebook
1-2 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Recap of Phase I: Emerging Industry Challenges and Workforce Capacity Needs Phase I of this effort focused on emerging trends in the airport industry and their impact on workforce capacity needs, availability of future talent for critical airport jobs, current and future airport workforce requirements and skill needs, and the sufficiency of airport training and education (T&E) programs to address skill gaps. This information was collected through a literature review as well as surveys, interviews, and focus groups with over 750 airport leaders, industry stakeholders, and T&E providers. The findings of this research reinforce the necessity for innovative strategies that airport industry stakeholders can implement to meet impending workforce challenges brought on by rapidly evolving operational, regulatory, financial, technological, population, and political forces. Recap of Phase I: State of the Industry As discussed in ACRP Web-Only Document 28, there are a number of changes facing the airport industry, which are certain to impact workforce needs. These include the following: New Technologies â New technologies are rapidly emerging for two main purposes: to improve the customer service and passenger experience and to improve airport operations. Common technology changes include the increased use of social media, ticket kiosks, NextGen, computerized maintenance management systems, drones, and more. This increased reliance on technology and data comes with a greater need for technical expertise to utilize the systems effectively and make timely decisions. Financial and Commercial Pressures â Airports are experiencing greater pressure to focus on the bottom line and embrace more traditionally commercial practices to deliver services efficiently and responsively. However, overhead operational and maintenance costs as well as federal safety and regulatory requirements have not subsided. Therefore, airports must adapt and innovate, and staff must adopt an entrepreneurial mindset to help contribute to the overall airportâs success. Political Pressures â Although airports are moving toward greater self-sufficiency and more entrepreneurial business models, state and local government leaders continue to wield influence over airport management. Airport leaders must maintain relationships with community stakeholders and satisfy political leaders, while sustaining the airport financially. Requirements to use standard civil service staffing and human resources (HR) systems also impact airportsâ flexibility and responsiveness to staffing and workforce needs. Additionally, airports are often unable to increase compensation to be competitive with private industry due to municipal or budget restrictions. Regulatory Pressures â The highly-regulated nature of the airport industry means that airports face increasing operating costs and substantial risks for non-compliance. Airport Workforce capacity, as defined in the Phase I report, reflects the potential of U.S. airports to respond effectively and efficiently to emerging job demands in the face of industry changes and trends.
Introduction to the Guidebook 1-3 employees must be quick and effective in complying with both new and existing regulatory requirements, especially with simultaneous financial pressures demanding efficiency. Airports must also develop new and more efficient ways of monitoring and managing regulatory compliance to reduce both risk and cost. Impending Retirements â Airports are facing impending retirements, many of which include high-profile and long-tenured senior leaders. Proper succession planning and leadership development will be required to prevent major losses of institutional knowledge and skills and prepare remaining employees for advancement. Additionally, a shift in hiring practices and greater job flexibility may be required to align with expectations of the future workforce. For further details regarding the current state of the airport industry, view ACRP Web-Only Document 28. Recap of Phase I: Mission-Critical Occupations Airport mission-critical occupations are those that will be in high demand for airports, due to shrinking talent pools, and have a significant impact on operational continuity and business execution. Mission-critical occupations indicate where airports need to prioritize workforce development efforts over the next 5â10 years. Labor market analyses, interviews and focus groups with stakeholders, and an industry-wide survey of 746 airport leaders revealed the following eight occupations as mission-critical occupations for the next 5â10 years: â¢ Airport Development â¢ Airport Operations â¢ Airport Security â¢ Electrician â¢ Engineering (Civil, Electrical, Mechanical) â¢ Financial Analysis and Planning â¢ Information Technology (IT) â¢ Project Planning The specific job titles represented by each of these eight mission-critical occupations are presented in ACRP Web-Only Document 28. Nearly all eight MCOs are expected to increase in employment over the next 10 years, with the greatest projected increases for Electrician, IT, and Financial Analysis and Planning. However, demand for mission-critical occupations may vary by state and/or at the local level (e.g., particularly high demand for IT in the San Francisco Bay Area). Additionally, survey results revealed that airports have difficulty providing sufficient developmental opportunities and recruiting qualified employees into these mission-critical occupations due to the need for highly specialized skillsets. Finally, all mission-critical occupations except Airport Security were found to lack a solid career track within airports and to have high competition for talent across numerous industry sectors. In addition to these eight general workforce mission-critical occupations, a separate survey of airport stakeholders identified the following executive jobs as mission critical over the next 5â10 years: For each mission-critical occupation listed, over 60% of survey respondents reported that additional developmental opportunities are needed.
1-4 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity â¢ Airport Operations and Maintenance Executive â¢ Airport External Affairs/Government Relations Executive â¢ Airport Finance and Asset Management Executive â¢ Airport IT Executive â¢ Airport Marketing and Public Relations Executive While all airport jobs are important and necessary for effective operations and performance, the eight general mission-critical occupations and five executive-level mission-critical occupations revealed in Phase I are more directly related to the mission of airports and the ability to achieve strategic and performance goals than other airport occupations in light of expected industry changes. Therefore, the strategies for overcoming workforce challenges presented in the following section are intended primarily to improve the talent base for these mission-critical occupations; however, many of the strategies may also be effective for capacity building across other jobs needed in a particular airport. Recap of Phase I: Workforce Capacity Challenges and Specific Needs This section provides a high-level overview of the three overarching challenges and workforce capacity needs airports will face over the next 5â10 years, as displayed in Exhibit 1. The three workforce challenge areas are parent categories that group the workforce capacity needs, while the workforce capacity needs are more specific issues that the airport industry will need to confront to ensure continued success moving into the future. Exhibit 1. Overview of Challenge Areas and Workforce Capacity Needs Chapters 2 through 4 of this Guidebook are each dedicated to one of these challenge areas. As such, the challenge areas are described more fully in their respective chapters. Attracting New Talent â¢Workforce Capacity Need A: Increasing awareness of airport career opportunities â¢Workforce Capacity Need B: Investing in early development of the talent pipeline â¢Workforce Capacity Need C: Embracing a far-reaching strategy for new talent Building Internal Staff Capacity â¢Workforce Capacity Need D: Addressing new skill gaps from industry change â¢Workforce Capacity Need E: Increasing airport-specific knowledge Planning for Future Workforce Needs â¢Workforce Capacity Need F: Preparing employees for advancement â¢Workforce Capacity Need G: Engaging in workforce planning
Introduction to the Guidebook 1-5 Framework for Workforce Capacity Building Strategies There are several strategies that airports can implement to address the challenges noted in the previous section. These strategies were identified and refined based on a literature review encompassing 44 airport-related sources, data collection with over 50 stakeholders across multiple rounds of interviews and focus groups, and attendance at multiple professional industry conferences. First, stakeholders from trade organizations, consulting firms, and community organizations provided high-level information regarding workforce development strategies that could be valuable for airports and identified airports with promising programs. Next, airport leaders including directors, chief executive officers, vice presidents, or other employees with knowledge of the strategies provided detailed information regarding effective workforce development programs at their airports. Participants involved in these data collection efforts are listed in Exhibit 2.
1-6 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Exhibit 2. ACRP 06-04 Phase 2 Data Collection Participants Participant Name Title (at time of data collection) Organization Industry Stakeholder Interviews Michael Audino Senior Research Associate University of Florida, CUTR Airport Leadership Development Program Randy Berg, AAE Airport Director King County Airport Division Mike DeVoy, PE SVP, Aviation Market CHA Consulting, Inc. Linda Frankl, AAE Vice President ADK Consulting & Executive Search Angela Gittens Director General ACI World Chris Oswald Vice President, Safety and Regulatory Affairs ACI-NA Greg Principato President and CEO National Aeronautic Association Jesse Romo President Kansas Association of Airports Nancy Zimini SVP, Administration and Operations; Secretary, ACI-NA HR Committee ACI-NA Airport Leader Interviews Paula Adams Personnel Director Los Angeles International Airport Rosa Beckett Chief Administrative Officer Jacksonville Aviation Authority Chappelle Broome Director of HR & Diversity Columbia Metropolitan Airport Rick Busch Former Director of Planning Denver International Airport (former) Kelly Campbell Executive Director of Aviation Lubbock International Airport Jeff Fegan Former CEO Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (former) Alberto Galue Assistant VP of Talent, Acquisition, and Development Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Kurt Gering Director, Talent, Culture, and Capability San Diego International Airport Tara Harl, Ph.D., ATP (Interview Participant) Shelli Swanson (Reviewer) Airport Management Program Lead Director of Finance Kansas State Polytechnic Salina Regional Airport Kelly Johnson Airport Director Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport Authority Mitchell Kilian Airport Director Minneapolis-St. Paul Intl Airport, Metropolitan Airports Commission Becky Kratt HR Senior Manager Southwest Florida International Airport Juan Lopez-Rios Deputy Director Long Beach Airport Joe Medici Deputy Airport Director Bishop International Airport
Introduction to the Guidebook 1-7 Participant Name Title (at time of data collection) Organization Dale Murphy Chair Austin Airport Advisory Commission, Dept. of Aviation Sharon Stone, J.D. HR Manager St. Louis Lambert International Airport Zachary Sundquist, AAE Assistant Airport Director Portland International Jetport Airports@Work Conference Workshop Wayne Anaka President AVCON WW, Inc. Warren Askew, CM Director, Operations Hamilton International Airport Limited Scott Ayers, AAE Aviation Safety Management System Manager City of Atlanta Department of Aviation, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Tom Ecklund, PE Engineering & Facilities Director Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority Vanessa Hickman, CM Vice President, Chief Information Officer Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority Fred McCosby, AAE Director of Operations Savannah Airport Commission Eddie Ragauskas Manager, Online Learning Center ACI World Michael Stephens Operations and Public Safety Director Dane County Regional Airport Business of Airports Conference Workshop ACI-NA Human Resources Steering Committee AAAE Focus Groups Rosa Beckett Chief Administrative Officer Jacksonville International Airport Dave Byers, AICP, CM President Quadrex Aviation Daniel Elsea, AAE Deputy Director Lafayette Regional Airport Alberto Galue, PhD Assistant Vice President, Talent Acquisition and Development Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Harleen Hines Smith Chief Human Resources Officer Houston Airport System Jeff Horton Director of Airside Operations and Communication Tucson International Airport Gina Jacobs, MBA HR Business Partner San Diego International Airport Gale LaRoche President; Chief Human Resources Officer ADK Consulting (formerly of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport) Bill O'Reilly Chief Financial Officer Albany County Airport Authority Kurt Stanich Airport Director Waukesha County Airport Rob Sullivan Senior Culture & OD Analyst San Diego International Airport
1-8 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Synthesis of expert input and literature sources led to identification of the 21 strategies listed in Exhibits 3 and 4. Of the identified strategies, those that are the most scalable, feasible, and applicable for airports of different sizes and locations were developed into detailed action plans outlining implementation steps, necessary resources, considerations, and more. Exhibit 3 displays the strategies that were developed into full action plans and serve as the primary focus of the Guidebook. Exhibit 3 also presents the alignment of each strategy to the workforce capacity needs and encompassing challenge areas that emerged during Phase I of the research. Still, some of these strategies can address multiple workforce challenges and capacity needs in addition to those that are presented in this Guidebook. Exhibit 3. Strategies Selected to Address Airport Workforce Capacity Needs Overarching Capacity Challenge Area Workforce Capacity Need Strategies Attracting New Talent Action Plans (Chapter 2) A. Increasing awareness of airport career opportunities 1. Develop an Employer Brand B. Investing in early development of the talent pipeline 2. Develop Internships and Apprenticeships 3. Recruit Nontraditional Candidates C. Embracing a far-reaching strategy for new talent 4. Recruit Airport Employees from Other Industries Building Internal Staff Capacity Action Plans (Chapter 3) D. Addressing new skill gaps from industry change 5. Conduct Gap Analysis to Identify Skill Needs E. Increasing airport-specific knowledge 6. Establish Formal Mentoring Program 7. Establish Communities of Practice for Employees 8. Provide Job Shadowing or Job Rotation Opportunities to Expose Employees to Different Jobs Planning for Future Workforce Needs Action Plans (Chapter 4) F. Preparing employees for advancement 9. Create Career Pathways 10. Leverage Expertise of Retirement- Eligible Employees G. Engaging in workforce planning 11. Support Economic Development via Workforce Planning 12. Implement Strategic Succession Planning Supplemental best practices and approaches referenced by industry stakeholders are listed in Exhibit 4 and presented in Chapter 5. This supplemental content in Chapter 5 provides concepts that can be built out as standalone strategies or used alongside the strategies presented in Chapter 4 to enhance the workforce impact and engage in more robust transformation.
Introduction to the Guidebook 1-9 Exhibit 4. Supplemental Best Practices and Strategies to Address Workforce Capacity Challenges Overarching Capacity Challenge Supplemental Strategies/Best Practices Attracting New Talent Additional Strategies (Chapter 5) 1. Improve Community Relations/Partnerships and Develop Positive Press 2. Hold Career Days/Airport Days 3. Conduct Outreach to K-12 Educators with Curriculum Supplements 4. Partner with Local Community Colleges and Universities to Identify Talent 5. Engage in Strategic Outreach at Conferences Building Internal Staff Capacity Additional Strategies (Chapter 5) 6. Send Employees to ACI/AAAE Training and/or Conferences 7. Provide Opportunities for Employees to Develop Personal Effectiveness Skills Planning for Future Workforce Needs Additional Strategies (Chapter 5) 8. Implement Leadership Development Programs 9. Create Individual Development Plans (IDPs) How to Use the Guidebook While airport leaders and industry stakeholders would likely benefit from reviewing this Guidebook in its entirety, it is structured such that individual strategies and topics can be pulled out for use individually or in combination with other strategies. A description of the content contained within the Guidebook chapters is provided in this section. The strategies in this Guidebook are organized by chapter, according to which of the three challenge areas they are intended to address. Thus, the chapters are organized as follows: Chapter 2: Attracting New Talent Chapter 3: Building Internal Staff Capacity Chapter 4: Planning for Future Workforce Needs
1-10 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Chapter 5: Additional Practices and Strategies for Consideration Chapter 6: Recommendations for Continuous Airport Workforce Capacity Building Structure of Chapters 2 through 4 Chapters 2 through 4 each focus on one challenge area and contain action plans for strategies that are aligned with the associated workforce capacity needs contained within that challenge area. The detailed action plans in these chapters are intended to serve as step-by-step guidance for airports interested in implementing the various strategies. Each action plan includes information regarding relevant airport types and stakeholders represented by various icons, as displayed in the key below. The relevant airport types and stakeholders will be highlighted accordingly for each action plan. Small airports Academic institutions Medium-sized airports Community partners Large airports Local government stakeholders Training providers Each action plan also contains a key that indicates more specific characteristics of target audience groups to which the strategy applies within the airport industry and labor market. For example, the key identifies the relevance of the strategy based on the following target audience characteristics: â¢ Target Career Stage: The group (based on career phase) that is best targeted for building the future talent pipeline using the particular strategy presented (both the internal and external talent pipeline). â¢ Mission-Critical Airport Occupations: The mission-critical occupational groups (from Phase I) for which the strategy may be applicable. Information about each occupational group can be found in ACRP Web-Only Document 28. â¢ Target Workforce Levels: The levels or types of current jobs within the airport for which the strategies are most applicable. Chapters 2â4 Highlights â¢ Full detailed action plans â¢ Airport case studies â¢ Practical tools and resources Organizations/ stakeholders highlighted in action plans to indicate applicability of the strategy to this stakeholder group
Introduction to the Guidebook 1-11 Additionally, the action plans include detailed information and steps to support strategy implementation, as displayed in the following example. Strategy title Bulleted information for quick reference and easy understanding Detailed implementation steps Relevant target career stage: In this example, the strategy is effective for building the internal talent pipeline as it addresses early-retiree career phases. Relevant mission-critical occupations and targeted workforce types: In this example, the strategy is applicable to all mission-critical occupations but works most effectively with those in technical, managerial, or supervisory roles.
1-12 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Specifically, each action plan in Chapters 2 to 4 contains the following sections: â¢ Overview of Strategic Recommendation â¢ Target Audience o Target Career Stages o Mission-Critical Airport Occupations o Targeted Workforce Types â¢ Planning Features o Action Plan Lead(s) o Other Key Stakeholders o Resources Needed o Process for Obtaining Buy-In â¢ Implementation Factors o Implementation Lead(s) o Key Stakeholder(s) o Estimated Time to Implement o Return on Investment o Implementation Steps o Key Success Factors o Obstacles & Considerations â¢ Sustain o Quantifiable Outcomes/Measures of Impact o Alternative Approaches o Adapting to Industry Change Callout boxes in the action plans feature highlights of the strategy. In addition, there are callout boxes throughout the remainder of the action plans that showcase real-world examples of airports facing the workforce challenges discussed in the chapter, as well as examples of airports that have successfully implemented strategies to tackle some of these challenges. The callout boxes may also include professional guidance (âpro-tipsâ) for more experienced HR or management teams that have resources to implement more robust practices. In contrast, the Alternative Approaches section within the action plans helps smaller airports or those with resource constraints that may not be able to implement the comprehensive approach detailed in the strategy action plan. The action plans are followed by various tools and resources that correspond to the strategies presented in the chapter. These tools and resources include materials such as checklists, inventories, protocols, templates, worksheets, and resource materials (e.g., websites and books) that airports can use in the development and implementation of the strategies. While the tools have been designed to align with specific strategies, they can also be used by airports to support less formalized initiatives. For example, an airport may not have a formalized mentoring program, but may still find it beneficial to utilize the mentoring checklist as a resource to promote positive and effective informal mentoring relationships. The following images demonstrate examples of two tools included in this Guidebook.
Introduction to the Guidebook 1-13 While the Guidebook will be most effective when used in its entirety, the various sections, particularly the action plans and tools, can be extracted to serve as standalone guides and templates. Depending on the challenges and needs at various airports, airport leaders can refer to sections that are most relevant to their own situation. For example, an airport with a particularly large number of retirement-eligible employees may find it most useful to begin with Chapter 4: Planning for Future Workforce Needs, while an airport working to close large skill gaps among current staff may begin with Chapter 3: Building Internal Staff Capacity. Finally, each chapter contains case studies of airports that are currently using an approach or practice that mirrors the strategies presented within the chapter. Throughout the Guidebook, case studies are provided for airports of varying sizes and locations to demonstrate how Action plans and tools can be used in conjunction with one another or pulled out separately as stand- alone guides and templates.
1-14 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity workforce capacity building strategies can be implemented by airports facing varying environments, industry demands, and resource constraints. However, given that the organizing structure and resource availability of airports vary, the case studies do not always directly replicate the action plans in each chapter. Instead, they may represent a single strategy, a modified strategy, or combination of strategies to overcome the challenge area presented in that chapter. Further, the case studies are not meant to serve as an evaluation of how well a practice is being implemented at the airport but rather as an illustration of how some airports are recognizing the challenges described in Phase I of this research and attempting to address those challenges in practical ways. For each case study, there is a narrative description of the strategies implemented and the outcomes that the airport has experienced or anticipates. The following image shows the types of information provided in each case study. Structure of Chapter 5 Chapter 5 contains brief summary overviews of the additional supplemental best practices and strategies that emerged from discussions with stakeholders but were not considered robust enough for full action plans. These supplemental practices can be used as standalone initiatives or in conjunction with the strategies mapped out in the action plans (see Chapters 2 to 4) to create a robust approach to workforce capacity building. The overviews Airport characteristics and features Brief overview of the strategy implemented and outcomes Brief summary of the airportâs use of relevant strategies Chapter 5 Highlights â¢ Summary overviews of additional strategies â¢ Real-world examples
Introduction to the Guidebook 1-15 provide insight into key elements of the strategy and include highlight boxes that feature real- world examples of the practices at actual airports. Structure of Chapter 6 Chapter 6 concludes this Guidebook with a review of the need for workforce capacity building in the airport industry. Additionally, Chapter 6 contains recommendations for continuous workforce capacity building, based around a change management framework. These general recommendations can be customized and applied to any one of the strategies included in the Guidebook to help facilitate smooth and effective implementation. Additionally, the recommendations remind industry leaders of the importance of constantly tracking and evaluating the effectiveness of capacity building strategies to ensure that they continue to sustain the positive outcomes intended and help the airport meet emerging workforce demands in the future. Chapter 6 Highlights â¢ Concluding remarks â¢ Recommendations for continuous airport workforce capacity building