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Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies (2019)

Chapter: Chapter 2 - Literature Review

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25624.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25624.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25624.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25624.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25624.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25624.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25624.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25624.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25624.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25624.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25624.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25624.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25624.
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6 This chapter summarizes and presents a literature-based review of transportation workforce planning and development programs. Overall, this information demonstrates the existing work- force programs in transportation, but also suggests that there is no clear consensus about how to handle many workforce challenges. This chapter is organized to help the reader understand the scope of how workforce planning and development is defined in the transportation industry. It also describes the challenges and trends facing the transportation workforce, particularly among state transportation agencies. The literature review addressed the following questions: • Definition and understanding. What do we mean by workforce planning and development? • Macro concerns and issues. What are the opportunities and challenges facing the transporta- tion workforce? • State of the practice. How are workforce planning and development programs addressing the transportation workforce’s future needs? The literature was collected through an Internet search of workforce planning and develop- ment definitions across all industries in the United States and practices specific to the transpor- tation industry. The research team used the Transport Research International Documentation database as well as other trade and academic recourses to find previous studies and syntheses on transportation workforce planning and development. In addition, the synthesis panel pro- vided recommendations on relevant previous studies. In this way, the literature we reviewed was obtained from a mix of traditional peer-review journals and publications as well as documents such as federal and state agency reports, internal guidebooks, and others. 2.1 Defining and Understanding Workforce Planning and Development The transportation workforce faces an uphill battle in the coming years due to the impending retirement of the Baby Boom generation—generally defined as people born between 1946 and 1964—and separations from the industry for other reasons, including employees leaving to work in the private sector. At the same time, there is a shortage of job seekers possessing the skills needed to fill current and upcoming available roles. This confluence of conditions will challenge the transportation industry’s ability to maintain a robust and flexible workforce that represents the nation’s demographic makeup. The transportation industry is not alone in facing the challenge of preparing for drastic shifts in its workforce. Workforce planning has been described by the U.S. Office of Personnel Man- agement as “a systematic process for identifying and addressing the gaps between the workforce C H A P T E R 2 Literature Review

Literature Review 7 of today and the human capital needs of tomorrow” (Office of Personnel Management n.d.). The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 was enacted to “help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy” (Employment and Training Administration n.d.). Workforce planning and development are related but distinct components of an industry’s efforts to predict, respond to, and manage workforce needs. Planning refers to the strategic steps taken by an organization to plan for impending changes to the entire workforce. In the report, Guide to Workforce Planning, the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) lists strategic alignment, obtaining a profile of both the current and future workforce, performing gap analyses, and making recommendations as typical elements constituting a workforce plan (U.S. DOT 2008). The U.S. DOT report distinguishes workforce planning from succession plans, which allow organizations to plan for organizational changes regarding specific positions and talent pools. Succession plans incorporate inventories of key positions and talent, and recommendations for a path forward (U.S. DOT 2008). In this sense, succession planning encompasses workforce development initiatives, which are strategies aimed at developing competencies and skills for specific positions and individuals. Figure 1 offers a general framework depicting the distinctions between these workforce concepts. The scope of this report is to evaluate workforce planning and development initiatives broadly. Where we mean to isolate one or the other in the following discussion, we will refer to it specifi- cally as “workforce planning” or “workforce development.” Workforce plans were described in Alan Schweyer’s book Talent Management Systems: Best Practices in Technology Solutions for Recruitment, Retention, and Workforce Planning as instruments that “map available and potential talent to broad and precise business objec- tives” (Schweyer 2004, p. 22). These tools vary from organization to organization, and are composed of skill and position recruitment forecasting, training, redeployment, develop- mental assignments, succession plans and promotions, and position elimination. In the book Transforming U.S. Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century, thought leaders and practitioners spanning a variety of fields explore how workforce development efforts can be revised to mirror national economic and social trends. The book covers topics such as the strengths and limitations in current U.S. workforce policies like post-secondary education Figure 1. Workforce planning and development framework.

8 Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies and reemployment programs, possible strategies to reform workforce development like improv- ing career information and delivering online training and education, and improving workforce programs through systematic data collection and analysis (Van Horn et al. 2015). Despite the need for workforce planning and development efforts, a report by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, The State of the U.S. Workforce System: A Time for Incremental Realignment or Serious Reform?, indicates that funding for workforce planning and development initiatives was hit during the 2008 Great Recession and has yet to rebound due to budget deficits and discretionary spending constraints (Krepcio and Martin 2012). Prioritizing the funding of workforce planning and development initiatives will help agencies to attract and retain capable workers. This report focuses on efforts at the state level, and thus evaluates workforce planning and development practices housed at state DOTs and LTAPs/TTAPs. The two entities are closely linked, but do have different roles in supporting each state’s transportation workforce. State DOTs build, maintain, and operate state transportation systems across all modes. LTAPs/TTAPs provide information and training aimed at building capacity of local, state, and private transportation providers. The LTAP Centers (present in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and tribal regions) are generally on university and technical college campuses. Through training programs, an information clearinghouse, technology updates and assistance, and newsletters, these centers provide transpor- tation providers with in-person and online training services, technology transfer services, resources to enhance safety, and environmental, congestion, and capacity solutions (FHWA 2018a). In the compendium for a 2009 summit on transportation workforce planning and develop- ment, 21st Century Workforce Development Summit, Wittwer et al. declared that as the trans- portation industry looks to keep pace with societal, economic, and technological changes, its workforce must be equipped with a broader set of skills and new partnerships must form across transportation agencies, educators, and the private sector to help develop those skills (Wittwer et al. 2009). These two concentrations—skill capture and development, and partnership formation—will frame our discussion of priorities that transportation agencies emphasize in determining their future workforce needs. 2.1.1 Skill Capture and Development To attract and prepare a new cohort of workers, the transportation industry’s workforce planning and development initiatives will need to ensure that employees keep pace with larger shifts in the economy as a whole and the transportation industry. New technologies, shifts in work–life balance priorities, demands for accountability, data availability and analysis, the rise in labor outsourcing, and the growth in financing options will require that employees be trained in critical skills like communications, management, teamwork, and leadership in addition to quantitative and technical skills (Wittwer et al. 2009). For maximum efficacy, skills training can happen along the educational pipeline, from pri- mary education to on-the-job training. The decline in younger generations choosing to enter into technical skill-based fields may be due in part to the lack of exposure to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines during primary and secondary education (Grossman et al. 2015). In the K-12 years, the transportation industry can work with educators to promote an awareness of the field to current students and to provide STEM training. Figure 2 shows a model of engagement for the future transportation workforce at various stages in education and employment. The Council of University Transportation Centers conducted a National Transportation Workforce Summit in 2012. The report published after the summit, National Transportation

Literature Review 9 Workforce Summit: Summary of Results, stated that the transportation sector’s challenge in attracting a skilled workforce during primary education stems from the absence of transportation-related career awareness in primary curriculum, which leads many students to pursue other fields in college (Council of University Transportation Centers 2014). In part, this is because U.S. students do not have access to a diverse enough array of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses prior to college and thus, are less proficient in these fields; for example, only 16% of high school seniors in the United States are proficient in math and interested in a STEM career (U.S. Department of Education n.d.). There are opportunities to integrate transportation into education beyond the primary and secondary education levels by developing community college and university programs aimed at training skilled individuals for the transportation workforce through credit and non-credit programs, degrees, certificates, and continuing education programs, as described in a 2003 TRB Special Report, Recruiting, Training, and Retaining Qualified Workers for Transportation and Transit Agencies (Committee on Future Surface Transportation Agency Human Resource Needs 2003). Fellowship programs and grants can lower the financial barriers to pursuing an educa- tion, and internship programs can provide on-the-job experience to current college students. Among those students who do pursue STEM degrees for their post-secondary education, many lose interest before completing the degree (Malcom and Feder 2016). A 2017 survey by the Pew Research Center further explored this topic; in response to one survey question asking why more young people do not pursue STEM degrees, half of U.S. adults indicated that the difficulty of STEM subjects is an inhibiting factor. While slightly less than half of those with some college education or less indicated subject difficulty as the main reason young people do not pursue STEM degrees, the same respondents were more inclined to say that STEM subjects were not useful for their careers (Kennedy et al. 2018). STEM training has been criticized for failing to prepare students properly for the work- force. In some cases, students acquire the technical skills required of jobs, but lack the broader “employability skills”: attitudes, behaviors, and motivation required to succeed in the workplace Figure 2. Transportation workforce engagement.

10 Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies (Committee on Improving Higher Education’s Responsiveness to STEM Workforce Needs et al. 2016). Additionally, introductory transportation courses often focus on traditional transporta- tion engineering concepts at the expense of exposing students to the multimodal applicability of STEM skills. This may turn away those engineering students who have expressed interest in the non-technical aspects of transportation careers, including providing benefits to society and the environment (Hernandez and Ritchie 2015). An NCHRP report, In-Service Training Needs for State DOTs, noted that transportation agen- cies increasingly require skills other than those associated with the traditional construction, maintenance, and operation missions of agencies (Tom Warne and Associates 2005). Today, many transportation employees are required to undertake project and program management tasks that require financial and administrative skills, and public and stakeholder relations tasks that require public outreach and consensus building skills. Additionally, leadership skills can be taught to prepare workers for senior management positions. On-the-job training for those already in the transportation industry is an important tool for helping employees to renew and expand their existing skills in order to retain a skilled work- force and keep pace with industry advancements. National Transportation Workforce Summit: Summary of Results described how transportation agencies and employers can provide train- ing aimed at keeping pace with the newest technologies in the industry and at helping workers advance in their careers by helping them to acquire additional skills through in-person and web-based trainings (Council of University Transportation Centers 2014). 2.1.2 Forming New Partnerships to Develop Necessary Skills According to National Transportation Workforce Summit: Summary of Results, the follow- ing stakeholders are involved in transportation workforce planning and development efforts (Council of University Transportation Centers 2014): • Industry and labor (i.e., employers across all transportation modes; trade and professional organizations; labor organizations; and state workforce organizations) • Government officials (i.e., local, state, and federal personnel in Transportation, Labor, and Education departments) • Education partners (i.e., researchers; accrediting and member organizations; universities, community colleges, and technical colleges; LTAP; public K-12 institutions; high school career and technical education centers) Transportation workforce planning and development historically has been fragmented among transportation agencies, academic institutions, organized labor, and the private sector. Furthermore, there has been little coordination among the various entities (Glitman 2010). Partnerships among them can lead to better efficiency in training, resulting from a reduction in effort duplication, a wider breadth in experience for the trainees, improved understanding of organizational constraints, and more communication regarding desired outcomes (Wittwer et al. 2009). The case examples described later in this synthesis include examples of different models for collaborations among universities, state DOTs, LTAPs and outside contractors. One of the main takeaways discussed in Region V Transportation Workforce Assessment and Summit, the report from the 2015 Midwest Transportation Workforce Summit that convened transportation, education, labor, and economic stakeholders, was that stronger commitments to regional industry-sector partnerships would help to deliver tangible outcomes aimed at addressing workforce challenges (Adams and Hart 2017). In particular, the report authors high- lighted partnerships with outside educational partners, stating that: “Transportation agencies that work with educational partners to identify career pathways into and within the organization will retain their workforce longer.” The report includes specific examples, as well as a summit

Literature Review 11 participant survey with results showing positive correlations between self-reported partnership establishment and self-reported participation and value in experiences (Adams and Hart 2017). Increasingly, partnerships between the public and private sectors also play a role in the pro- curement, delivery, and maintenance of transportation services. A report by TransitCenter and the Eno Center for Transportation, A Bid for Better Transit: Improving Service with Contracted Operations, describes a range of options encompassing the delivery of government-managed and -funded services by private-sector contractors (Lotshaw et al. 2017). The authors report that competitive contracting of transportation services can improve service quality for riders and help public agencies to keep up with dynamic industry shifts, and that these partnerships can also provide agencies with opportunities to restructure in an effort to keep pace with external shifts. However, they caution that competitive contracting bids must navigate the complexities of contracts that set wage and benefit levels and of negotiating with organized labor unions. The report goes on to explain that competitive contracting can benefit the workforce by allowing agencies to add services, staff positions, and benefits. Labor unions can contribute to workforce initiatives by serving as leaders of collaborative efforts, despite organized labor’s relatively small role in public workforce planning and development. According to a National Fund for Workforce Solutions report, Unions as Partners: Expanding the Role of Organized Labor in Workforce Development, this requires a redefinition of old paradigms; unions and employers often share goals (e.g., the desire to see their workplace succeed), and these goals can be aligned by sharing effective practices, determining mutual desired outcomes and ways to achieve them, and advancing the agendas of visionary leaders (Wagner 2010). Collaboration between labor and management can promote workplace efficiency, improve performance, and resolve workplace issues. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 17.3% of private-sector workers in the transportation and warehousing sector were members of unions in 2017, which is among the higher unionization rates across all sectors (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2017b). Unions can influence an agency’s decisions to reorganize, including having individual employees make decisions (Committee on Future Surface Transportation Agency Human Resources Needs 2003). In addition, a 2002 Transit Cooperative Research Program report, Managing Transit’s Workforce in the New Millennium, describes how unions can play a role in transit agencies’ efforts on growth, continued learning, rewards for skills development, and encouragement of advancements based on skill attainment rather than seniority (McGlothin Davis Inc. 2002). 2.2 Macro Concerns and Issues The number of jobs in the transportation sector is growing and so are wages (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018a). A robust, diverse, and qualified transportation workforce can promote overall U.S. economic growth through the efficient movement of goods and services. Transportation agencies and their workers can design and deliver services that adapt to future social and eco- nomic trends. However, with increasing automation and job separations facing the transporta- tion workforce, it is not clear how many jobs, what kinds of jobs, or what level of pay for doing those jobs will become available over the next few decades. Organizational staffing strategic plans can help agencies grapple with the uncertainties of planning for the future workforce. While the roles and responsibilities of human resource man- agers is outside of the scope of this report, the concerns described in this section are among those that may be addressed in an agency’s strategic plan, and thus are important considerations for human resource officials. TRB’s Special Report, The Workforce Challenge: Recruiting, Training, and Retaining Qualified Workers for Transportation and Transit Agencies, highlights the impor- tance of incorporating human resource personnel into strategic plans: “A benchmarking study

12 Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies for the Georgia Department of Transportation revealed that without a strategic focus for human resources in state DOTs, sustained attention to workforce development is often lacking” (Com- mittee on Future Surface Transportation Agency Human Resource Needs 2003, p. 32). As transportation agencies develop strategic human resource strategies to plan for future workforce needs, an awareness of the inherent challenges related to replenishing the workforce, recruiting a talented new workforce, and retaining the current workforce will help them to understand their shifting needs better. Following are some of the most critical issues facing the transportation workforce. 2.2.1 Impacts of Technology Technological innovation will have a profound influence on the functions of the transporta- tion workforce. Emerging technologies like smartphone-enabled services (e.g., ride-hailing), electric vehicles, and automated vehicles will shift the demands placed on the services and infra- structure under the purview of state DOTs. There is much focus on machines replacing workers, but what is less emphasized is auto- mation’s ability to complement jobs. In some cases, new technologies may require retraining workers for new tasks. For example, the International Transport Workers’ Federation points to the potential for vehicle operators to step into supervisory or management roles as their traditional positions become automated (International Transport Workers’ Federation n.d.). More broadly, state DOTs will need to adapt by incorporating agility and innovation into their organizational plans (Fuchs and Shehadeh 2017). Departments of transportation can adapt by maintaining an awareness of impending technological advances and sharing knowledge within the industry (Council of University Transportation Centers 2014). Although it is impossible to predict the extent to which machines will substitute or complement transportation workers, general skills training for tasks that will not be taken over by machines anytime soon—critical thinking, problem solving, adaptability, and communication—may give students and workers an edge, according to economist Harry Holzer (Holzer 2017). Further- more, Holzer lists several positive outcomes of automation, including job creation because of automation as well as a shift toward sub-Bachelor of Arts or associate degree options that pre- pare workers for middle-wage jobs. Still, he states that “if and when displacements do occur, we should have more robust models of ‘lifelong learning’ available to such workers to provide them with better retraining options than now exist.” An NCHRP synthesis, Leveraging Technology for Transportation Agency Workforce Develop- ment and Training, describes how technology can also improve the training process through efficiencies created by the reduced need for physical training facilities, allowing employees to complete training at their desk, reducing the costs (both in time and money) associated with training courses and materials, and promoting consistency in content delivery (Laffey 2017). 2.2.2 Jobs and Wages Though the Great Recession led to significant job loss in the transportation sector, employ- ment has since far surpassed pre-recession levels and is projected to continue growing in the coming years (Kane and Puentes 2014, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2017a). According to a 2015 report by the U.S. Departments of Education, Transportation, and Labor, every $1 billion in transportation investments over the next 10 years is expected to create 13,000 infrastruc- ture jobs. The same report estimated 11 percent growth in transportation employment between 2012 and 2022, mirroring the expected 10.8% growth in employment for the entire economy. However, the percentage of American workers in transportation and transportation-related

Literature Review 13 industries has declined continuously from 11.3% in 1990 to 9.0% in 2016 (Bureau of Trans- portation Statistics 2017). Average hourly earnings for all transportation and warehousing employees have steadily increased since 2008 to just above $24 per hour this year (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018b). The 2017 median annual wage for transportation occupations was $31,600, which is less than the U.S. median annual wage across all occupations of $37,690 (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2017c). Distribution of pay in the transportation sector is not flat. The five lowest paid transportation- related occupations (e.g., parking lot attendants) account for 1 million workers, while the top five occupations (e.g., airline pilots) comprise 294,660 jobs (Bureau of Transportation Statistics 2017). Though the median pay falls below the national level, wages in the transportation indus- try vary widely depending on the specific occupation and season. However, at the lower ends of the income scale (10th and 25th percentiles), transportation jobs tend to pay higher wages com- pared with all occupations nationwide (Kane and Puentes 2014). All Bureau of Labor Statistics pay data reflected in this section are standardized as straight-time, gross hourly/annual wages. Pay differences can also vary depending on geographic region and even within a state. Often state DOTs pay less than their local or private-sector counterparts, which was demonstrated in the Washington State Department of Transportation Recruitment and Retention Study focused on preliminary engineering roles. The report authors showed a variance of up to -33% between the state DOT and select regions or cities within the state, and recommended that the state agency consider determining pay based on regional cost of living, rather than on job classification (The PFM Group 2016). Although headlines tend to focus on job growth as the primary metric for the overall health of the U.S. workforce, occupational separations—the projected number of workers permanently leaving occupations due to either retirement or career changes—are another important consid- eration (Kane 2017). The NCHRP report, Strategies to Attract and Retain a Capable Transporta- tion Workforce, points to a competitive labor market and higher wages in the private sector as a noteworthy factor leading state DOT employees to leave their positions (Cronin et al. 2011). In Texas, the state transportation agency noted water systems, oil and gas, and renewable energy industries as the main external competitors for specialized workers, particularly those involved with civil engineering (Texas Transportation Commission 2018). The Illinois DOT names other public agencies and the private sector as its direct competition for top talent in a wider array of fields, including logistics, information technology, and urban planning (Illinois Department of Transportation 2014). 2.2.3 Replenishing the Current Workforce Among the key challenges facing the transportation industry is the need to predict and match future U.S. employment, demographic, and education trends. As the Baby Boomer generation retires, it will be important for the industry to replace these workers with a new workforce that reflects the nation’s broader trends related to birth and immigration rates, educational attain- ment, and competition within the labor market. As of 2014, 53% of workers in six subsectors within the transportation industry were 45 years or older, which was 9% higher than the U.S. average of overall employees in this age range. Transit and rail had the highest percentages of workers over age 55: 35% and 29%, respectively, leading to a particular challenge among these subspecialties (U.S. Departments of Education, Transportation, and Labor 2015). These older, experienced workers are eligible to retire within the next 10 to 15 years, and they will need to be replaced. Senior employees often possess specialized institutional knowledge related to their positions, which new employees must build over time. The 2011 NCHRP report, Strategies to Attract and

14 Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies Retain a Capable Transportation Workforce, describes knowledge management systems as prac- tices that can help organizations to better manage the sharing and documentation of critical knowledge that is often lost during transitions (Cronin et al. 2011). The report suggests two strategies for developing knowledge management systems: creating data and information portals through which employees can share industry and job information and development of “communities of practice,” where employees who perform specific roles share information with their counterparts in other regions. As openings become available for the next cohort of transportation workers, workplace practices will need to reflect larger societal demographic trends. The future labor market will be more ethnically and racially diverse than the current makeup of the transportation industry. The U.S. population is trending toward the aging and decline of the white population, counter- balanced by an increase among young non-whites (Frey 2018). Yet, the current breakdown in the transportation industry indicates that African Americans and Hispanics are underrepresented in jobs that require more advanced skills, pay better wages, and offer more career ladder oppor- tunities (U.S. Departments of Education, Transportation, and Labor 2015). The transportation industry must consider how it can better appeal to a new, more diverse candidate pool. Additionally, women composed only 20% of the transportation sector in 2014, although they are roughly half of the overall U.S. population (U.S. Departments of Education, Transporta- tion, and Labor 2015). Women are especially underrepresented in the trucking, highway, rail, and maritime subsectors. People with disabilities are also underrepresented in jobs across many sectors and are disproportionally out of work. Nearly a third of people in the United States looking for work are people with disabilities (Yin and Shaewitz 2015). Harnessing the talents of disadvantaged and underrepresented groups can help build a strong future workforce. Accord- ing to the 2015 McKinsey & Company report, Diversity Matters, diversity helps an organization to attract a wider talent pool, strengthen customer orientation, increase employee satisfaction, improve decision making, and enhance the company’s image (Hunt et al. 2015). Strategies to Attract and Retain a Capable Transportation Workforce describes work–life bal- ance as an important consideration in attracting and retaining such a workforce. The report authors state that today’s workers are increasingly interested in a balance between their work and personal life and flexible work arrangements (Cronin et al. 2011, p. 122). Unless there are complementary shifts in management styles to attract and retain younger workers, these new workplace preferences may produce gaps in the transportation workforce as younger genera- tions instead pursue other jobs offering more desirable workplace environments. Replenishing the workforce involves planning to incorporate future cohorts that are new to the industry and facilitating the career advancement of those already in the industry. However, for some transportation agencies, hiring freezes and downsizing due to agency restructuring have created a deficiency in the quantity of mid-level managers available to replace retiring senior-level managers (Committee on Future Surface Transportation Agency Human Resource Needs 2003). 2.2.4 Recruiting, Training, and Promoting a Talented Workforce Strategic recruitment and preparation for the next cohort of workers as well as training and promoting current staff can help employers to replenish a retiring workforce. Recruiting and training efforts entail building an awareness of transportation jobs early in children’s educa- tional timelines, raising interest in the field for these children as potential employees, and pro- moting inclusive and robust education efforts to attract a skilled and diverse workforce. To improve workforce retention, agencies can continually train their workforce to meet the evolving needs of the industry. Structural shifts in how transportation agencies are organized

Literature Review 15 and operated, technological advances, and demographic changes are among the challenges facing transportation agencies as they look to retain current skilled employees. Yet, compared with other sectors, there is an indication that the transportation sector has taken fewer steps to anticipate staffing needs, competency of the current workforce, anticipated future skills needed, and the demographic makeup of the sector (Sweet and Pitt-Catsouphes 2010). Agencies have witnessed structural shifts in their organization and operations over time. State agencies were initially established to construct highways, but many have since expanded their missions to include multimodal efforts and to consider an array of issues beyond engineer- ing, such as infrastructure planning, resiliency (e.g., security, environmental sustainability), and innovation (Committee on Future Surface Transportation Agency Human Resources Needs 2003, p. 3). To keep pace with shifting trends and expanding scope, these organizational devel- opments prompt agencies to broaden their employees’ range of technical and non-technical skills consistently. Creating a modern work environment where employees feel engaged and valued is important for retaining the current workforce. Although a survey from the Sloan Center on Aging and Work indicated that 9 out of 10 workers in the transportation and warehousing sector were at least somewhat satisfied with their jobs, which is comparable to other sectors, the same survey also pointed to a significantly higher likelihood that workers in the transportation sector indicate experiencing work–family conflict and job interference with family life, compared with other sectors (Sweet and Pitt-Catsouphes 2010). To retain employees, transportation employers can develop an awareness of employees’ work style preferences and shift organizational cultures to meet these preferences where appropriate. For instance, employers sometimes consider offering employees flextime or telecommute options. 2.3 State of the Practice Throughout the literature, examples demonstrate how (even though there is more work to be done) practices are changing to address challenges facing the transportation industry, such as recruiting a more diverse and capable workforce and retaining and retraining the current skilled workforce. Several examples of the industry’s efforts to address these challenges and meet future needs are described in the next subsection. 2.3.1 Recruiting the Future Workforce: Examples of Preparing a Diverse Cohort of Future Workers for Transportation Careers Strategies focused on broadening the appeal of transportation jobs to younger and more diverse generations can help to grow a robust workforce. Women and minorities may have dif- ferent motivations for pursuing degrees that prepare them for careers in transportation; a 2015 study, Motivating Students to Pursue Transportation Careers: Implementation of Service-Learning Project on Transit, found that female students indicated community impact as a strong motivat- ing factor for choosing to pursue a degree in engineering (Hernandez and Ritchie 2015). Such considerations are important for workplaces to consider as they create more open organizations that meet the needs of new worker cohorts. Transportation industry careers represent a broad range of education levels, competencies, and skills. Community and technical colleges and traditional 4-year universities alike play a role in forming career pathways for future employees, and educational institutions can work with transportation agencies to determine future workforce needs. Internships, mentorships, and apprenticeships can help students translate their classroom education into job-specific skills, especially among disadvantaged groups (Glitman 2010;

16 Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies U.S. Departments of Education, Transportation, and Labor 2015). Often, transportation intern- ship programs are incorporated into curricula enabling students to receive course credit for real-world work experience. These efforts can be focused on developing career awareness and expanding education and training opportunities beginning as early as primary school and extending all the way through the existing workforce. Existing Initiatives • Some cities are beginning to experiment with transportation-specific career technical educa- tion (CTE) schools and academies. For example, Transit Tech High School is a Brooklyn, NY- based vocational high school focused on training students for jobs in rapid transit. Students have access to an on-site lab where they can practice performing maintenance tasks on trains, and they have the opportunity to intern with the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Other cities, such as Washington DC and Los Angeles, are beginning to explore CTE and vocational school programs aimed at educating the next cohort of transportation workers (Kim 2018). • The FHWA’s Center for Transportation Workforce Development uses federal assistance funds to deliver program support, technical assistance, and workforce development activities for state transportation agencies. Programs range from early education through workplace profes- sional development. Available programs include the National Summer Transportation Insti- tute Program, which is designed to increase awareness of transportation careers among junior and senior high school students, especially minorities, females, and disadvantaged youth; the Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups, which provides underrepre- sented undergraduate, graduate, and law students (i.e., women, students with disabilities, and racial and ethnic minorities) with on-the-job training experience; and the National Network for Transportation Workforce Development, which is composed of five regional transportation workforce centers and facilitates workforce activity and program partnerships with public and private organizations (Federal Highway Administration n.d.). • Advance CTE: State Leaders Connecting Learning to Work is a nonprofit that represents state and community leaders responsible for career technical education across the United States (Advance CTE 2018). The organization helps to deliver high-quality CTE programs through its National Career Clusters Institute professional development program. This program pro- vides state leaders and educators with a framework for delivering programs of study related to 16 Career Clusters representing a variety of career pathways. Of the 16 Clusters, the Trans- portation, Distribution, and Logistics Cluster focuses on improving education related to the transportation industry. Its career pathways include various specific roles within the industry, including operations; logistics planning and management services; warehousing and distri- bution center operations; facility and mobile equipment maintenance; transportation sys- tems and infrastructure planning; management; regulation, health, safety, and environmental management; and sales and service. • The U.S. DOT’s University Transportation Centers (UTCs) program awards grants to colleges and universities with the goal of advancing transportation research, education, and technol- ogy (Federal Highway Administration n.d.). UTCs also serve workforce development needs by providing students with training, skill enhancement, workshops, seminars, conferences, summer employment and internships, and transportation career awareness. UTCs bring edu- cational institutions together on specific research topics, including Improving Mobility of People and Goods; Reducing Congestion; Promoting Safety; Improving the Durability and Extending the Life of Transportation Infrastructure; Preserving the Environment; and Pre- serving the Existing Transportation System. • The American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA’s) Transit Virtual Career Network (VCN) is a resource that provides those seeking jobs in public transportation with information

Literature Review 17 about where to find training opportunities, financial aid opportunities, and job openings (U.S. Department of Transportation 2018). The VCN is a partnership among the Federal Transit Administration, the Rutgers Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, APTA, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, and XPAND Corporation, with support from the U.S. Department of Labor and the American Association of Community Colleges. The VCN refers to itself as an “open source, open content” workforce services and online learning delivery platform aimed at assisting job seekers and unemployed and underemployed individuals with their transition to high-paying, high-growth careers. Services provided to users include videos and “day-in-the-life” stories to answer common questions, online assess- ments to determine the necessary academic preparation needed for careers, financial aid information, and Career Management Accounts to store and manage all of this information. 2.3.2 Retaining the Current Workforce: Examples of How Continuing Education Can Increase Employee Retention In addition to attracting a new cohort of workers to transportation careers, transportation employers are also grappling with retaining current employees. Among the reasons employees may leave their current positions are that they were not properly trained to meet the expectations of their positions, and that better opportunities exist elsewhere, typically in the private sector. TRB’s Special Report 275, The Workforce Challenge: Recruiting, Training, and Retaining Quali- fied Workers for Transportation and Transit Agencies, points to replacement and turnover as costly and common challenges that employers face. The “onboarding” or introductory training period is when employees are most vulnerable to voluntary turnover because they have not yet been acclimated to company cultures. The report indicates that training, mentoring, and coaching programs can help to retain workers early in their employment (Committee on Future Surface Transportation Agency Human Resource Needs 2003). Beyond the early stages of employment, training employees to perform new and evolving skills can be an effective method of retention. TRB Synthesis 323, Recruiting and Retaining Indi- viduals in State Transportation Agencies, reported on results from a survey of state transportation officials. According to the survey, 83% of state DOTs listed training as a strategy for retention (Tom Warne and Associates 2005). Existing Initiatives • The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) oversees a technical service program, Transportation Curriculum Coordination Council (TC3), which develops training products for construction, maintenance, and materials workers (AASHTO n.d.). Among the training resources available to managers through this program are core cur- riculum matrices that map skill-level competencies to training resources, 120+ online courses, and a State Sharing Program that allows states to access other states’ online courses. • The National Network for the Transportation Workforce, which is funded by the FHWA, is made up of five regional transportation workforce centers that focus on developing the transportation workforce and specific disciplines unique to the region. For example, the West Region Transportation Workforce Center has a particular focus on issues such as rural transportation and safety, tribal transportation, and federal lands (National Network for the Transportation Workforce 2018). • The National Highway Institute (NHI) is a training and education program that was estab- lished in 1970 by the FHWA. The program offers trainings in 18 transportation industry- related program areas, including Structures, Construction and Maintenance, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Environment, and Communications. Many of the trainings can be

18 Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies used toward obtaining continuing education units, certification maintenance credits, and professional development hours. The courses are offered in a variety of types (e.g., instructor- led training and online learning) and lengths and provide students with access to national experts (Federal Highway Administration 2018b). • The National Transit Institute (NTI) at Rutgers University was established under the Intermo- dal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 with the goal of developing, promoting, and administering training and education programs for the public transportation industry. Cur- rently, the program is funded by Title 49 U.S.C. Section 5315(d) MAP-21 and Section 5314(c) of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The program offers courses in locations throughout the country and educational resources in five areas: Advanced Tech- nologies, Management Development, Multimodal Transportation Planning, Transit Program Management and Compliance, and Workplace Safety (NTI n.d.). 2.4 Conclusions from the Literature This chapter summarizes existing literature on workforce planning and development prac- tices in the transportation industry. The literature highlights effective existing workforce pro- grams across state transportation agencies, but also demonstrates the numerous challenges and opportunities and the diverse approaches to addressing them. A host of connected activities are involved in building and maintaining the workforce. Work- force development, workforce planning, succession planning, and forecasting are all closely related. However, these terms are often conflated in the literature. Future research can focus on further distinguishing among workforce development, workforce planning, and succession planning. The transportation workforce is facing many of the same challenges as the larger U.S. work- force in general. As industry needs shift and technologies evolve, transportation employers will increasingly need to focus on recruiting, developing, and retaining skilled workers. Programs have been developed to address these challenges. Whereas the literature describes these various programs, it fails to address their longitudinal effects, cross-geographical implica- tions, or funding constraints. Future evaluations should assess the effectiveness of workforce planning and development programs, for example, whether students who take part in early childhood programs are in fact more likely to enter into transportation careers, whether certain programs work in some states but not others, and how states can fund workforce efforts. In the review of the literature, the research team uncovered two previous surveys on the subject of transportation workforce planning and development, including the 2002 NCHRP Synthesis 323, which surveyed 27 U.S. state DOT and Canadian province officials, and the 2009 Wisconsin DOT survey of state and university authorities. These surveys provided guidance on the challenges facing the transportation workforce, but their findings may be less relevant in today’s economic landscape. The themes uncovered in this literature review informed the development of a survey to cap- ture a more current picture of the challenges and opportunities facing state DOTs as they plan for future workforce needs. Conducting interviews of the future and current workforce, such as the employee interview conducted in the NCHRP’s Recruiting and Retaining Individuals in State Transportation Agen- cies 2003 report, can help state DOTs identify which elements of transportation jobs and work settings are stated as important to the workforce that they are trying to recruit and retain. This can help DOTs better match their recruitment and workplace practices and policies to meet workforce planning and development goals.

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Estimates indicate that more than 14 million jobs—about 11% of civilian jobs in the United States—are related to infrastructure. Transportation has the potential to be a major U.S. job creator with projections to add 417,000 net jobs from 2012 to 2022. An additional 4.2 million workers will need to be hired to fill vacancies created by people leaving the transportation workforce.

Transportation workforce strategies are highly decentralized with no national standards for operations, planning, or programming. This is not necessarily a criticism because there is tremendous variation in the transportation workforce needs from state to state. However, it means there is little documentation of best practices, making it difficult to know what innovation can be transferred from state to state.

The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program's NCHRP Synthesis 543: Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies is a synthesis of the current state of practice associated with the implementation of transportation workforce planning and development strategies at state departments of transportation (DOTs) and associated local and tribal technical assistance programs (LTAPs/TTAPs).

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