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NOCoE News: January 23, 2020: NOCoE's Taking on the Workforce Issue. What it Means for You.

January 23, 2020

NOCoE's Taking on the Workforce Issue. What it Means for You.

by: Patrick Son, Managing Director, NOCoE
When I talk with TSMO leaders there is universal excitement surrounding the implications and benefits of TSMO. But there’s one, almost unanimous concern. Will there be an appropriately trained and skilled workforce to manage the transportation systems of the future? Many TSMO leaders I talk to are identifying it as a 'keep me up at night’ issue.

That’s why we’ve been working hard to develop resources to elevate TSMO workforce to the next level.

After the work done at the NOCoE TSMO Workforce Summit, NOCoE has been working hard with our industry partners and TSMO leaders to build resources to both support and grow  the TSMO workforce. As America’s transportation systems relies less on a build, build, build mentality and more on technology to increase traffic capacity, our industry will create thousands of new jobs requiring specific skills. NOCoE's workforce effort is here to address those needs.

The TSMO workforce initiative starts with our new dedicated NOCoE TSMO Workforce Development website that offers a resource library organized into categories including student education, workforce trainings, industry assessments, HR resources with sample job descriptions, events, contests, and success stories.

Below you'll find an overview of these first of their kind  TSMO Workforce resources, including an overview of how they can benefit  both TSMO and human resource managers in the collective effort to improve our transportation workforce.

A major element of our workforce effort includes the delivery of 3-hour in-person workshops around the country. We’re already scheduled at events stretching from Baltimore to Hawaii, but if you’re interested in us presenting at your event or meeting, please email me at A workforce webinar series, coming this spring, will also provide an overview of these important tools.
I'm also excited to announce that we’re launching the NOCoE Fellowship program this coming March to provide opportunities for a select number of TSMO professionals to develop knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) to apply both now and in support of their long-term career growth.

All this will continue to complement our work with the next generation of TSMO leaders and practitioners by engaging with academic institutions and continuing our successful Transportation Technology Tournament and e-portfolio contest.

We need your support as the effort continues and we want to highlight your best practices and resources for advancing the TSMO workforce. Together, we can accomplish something important for the greater good of our industry and ultimately, the public we serve.

NOCoE Fellowship Program

The NOCoE Fellowship Program is Coming March 2020!

The NOCoE Fellowship Program will provide opportunities for a select number of TSMO professionals to develop knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) to apply on the job and in support of their long-term career growth. This includes NOCoE identifying opportunities available to help increase their professional knowledge, develop their interpersonal skills, and enhance their ability to carry out the job.

The Fellowship program will compliment professionals on-going work within their agency and most communications will done virtually. In the first year, the Center will support a small inaugural class, each from a different state DOT and hopes to grow the number of fellows in future years.

Start thinking about potential nominees for this unique new program and stay tuned for the official announcement and nomination details coming March 2020.

TSMO Workforce Website

Tools for Recruiting and Retaining TSMO Workforce

This collection of resources is aimed to help TSMO practitioners and human resource managers empower their workforce and grow their organizations.

The website is built around collaborative guidance developed by researchers to equip departments of transportation, educators and others with tools to evaluate their workforce needs. It covers the evolving new skills, training, positions, recruitment, retention and career development that will be the cornerstone of the future workforce. It also defines 19 sample positions such as Data Management Specialist and Cyber Security Engineer that will help agencies build the staff needed to address 21st century transportation challenges.

Growing and developing the TSMO workforce requires a variety of approaches and strategies, from educating students on TSMO careers to increasing the skills of the current workforce.

This series of webpages captures the growing number of resources available across the industry, from U.S. DOT and the National Network for the Transportation Workforce to formalized training programs.

The image of the menu on the right gives you a great idea of the wealth of resources available.

Visit the TSMO Workforce resources now.
TSMO Training Database
The NOCoE TSMO Training Database provides access to hundreds of online and in-person trainings for TSMO practiioners to improve their knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Categorized by cost, delivery method, category, and training organization, the database instantly connects users with the knowledge they need. Practitioners and managers alike can use the database to access the most recent resources and enable their agency to improve their TSMO program and to deploy TSMO strategies and practices.

The database is valuable for soon-to-be practitioners as well! Students will find real-world TSMO trainings to advance their education and assist them with their research. The Transportation Technology Tournament students will utilize many of these trainings to develop their solutions.

Transportation Technology Tournament Now Open

The National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Professional Capacity Building (PCB) Program will host the third annual Transportation Technology Tournament (TTT) from February to August 2020. Teams of students from community colleges, technical schools, and universities will work directly with state and local DOTs or transit agencies to use TSMO solutions to solve real-world transportation problems. The deadline for student teams to register is February 14, 2020.  

The finalists will present their solutions live at the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Annual Meeting on August 10th, 2020, in New Orleans, LA.

Student teams should sign-up today! Or if you are a transportation agency looking to challenge student teams with a real-world transportation problem, please contact Adam Hopps to participate in this great event to help grow the future TSMO workforce.

Pictured above: (L-R) NOCoE Managing Director, Patrick Son; 2019 TTT winners Alexander Sundt, Xiaotong Sun, and Yan Zhao from the University of Michigan; and ITE Executive Director and CEO, Jeffrey F. Paniati.

Award Winning Workforce Case Studies

ITS Heartland's TSMO University Educational Program

By ITS Heartland and HDR

Introduction and Background
In response to a U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) request for additional Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO) delivery methods that were innovative and provided greater impact, ITS Heartland created the TSMO University Educational Program to deliver monthly webinars and in-person trainings to broaden the implementation and integration of TSMO among ITS Heartland members. Through SHRP2 funding, ITS Heartland along with their consultant HDR Inc. facilitated two phases of the TSMO University Education Program. The program content is archived for self-paced training on the ITS Heartland website at PDH certificates were also offered for each webinar to encourage participation and completion in the TSMO University Education Program.

Visit the NOCoE website for the full case study.

A Workforce Shift Toward TSMO in Washington

By Washington State Department of Transportation

In This Case Study You Will Learn:

1. Why and how WSDOT shifted its workforce to align with the TSMO goals and delivery.

2. About tools for curriculum, outreach and strategy, and staff development to create a TSMO-focused workforce.

3. The impact the shift had on WSDOT operations and individual career development.

Visit the NOCoE website for the full case study.
NOCoE White Paper:
TSMO Paraprofessional Workforce
NOCoE's TSMO workforce development efforts have focused on management level resources, including a collection of resources dedicated to helping states build a diverse, skilled workforce capable of meeting changing organizational needs. And while the ongoing development of the workforce at this level of transportation organizations is essential, the next logical step is to look at TSMO professionals working outside management levels and on our roadways.

This white paper identifies a wide range of critical support positions, referred to as TSMO paraprofessionals, and defines how each may need to evolve to meet rapidly changing organizational needs. The document also discusses a variety of issues transportation agencies will likely face and potential paths forward for them to be better prepared to recruit, retain, and develop a TSMO paraprofessional workforce.

Read the full white paper here and be sure to let us know your thoughts!
Upcoming Webinars

Adventures in Crowdsourcing:
Data Management and Governance for Better Crowdsourced Data Applications (EDC-5 Webinar Series)

January 28, 2020 from 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm EST | Register

Crowdsourcing turns transportation system users into real-time sensors on system performance, providing low-cost, high-quality data on traffic operations, roadway conditions, travel patterns, and more. This webinar will highlight data governance strategies and data management techniques to help agencies understand the nature of crowdsourced data and how best to make it usable for current and future needs.

Crowdsourced data from real-time sources such as vehicle probe providers and free mobile-based applications (for example, Waze) require data management strategies that support both immediate operational uses and archives that provide great value for near-term and long term planning efforts. This webinar will include State and Local experiences in making use of new and “big” data and will also feature snippets of forthcoming NCHRP framework for managing data from emerging transportation technologies.


  • James Colyar, FHWA EDC-5 Crowdsourcing for Operations Program Lead, FHWA Office of Operations
  • Vaishali Shah, AEM Corporation


  • Subrat Mahapatra, Deputy Director, TSMO & CAV, Office of CHART & ITS Development, Maryland Department of Transportation
  • Michael Schnuerle, Data Officer Office of Civic Innovation and Technology (CIT), Louisville Metro Government
  • Benjamin Pecheux, Director of Information Research, AEM Corporation
 Register for this webinar and find more information here.

FHWA CARMA Draft ConOps for CAV Freeways Applications: Preview and Discussion

February 25, 2020 from 2:00pm - 3:30 pm – 3:00 pm EST | Register
The FHWA CARMASM program, which is building open source software for cooperative driving automation, is refining a Concept of Operations (ConOps) for Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) on freeways. The ConOps integrates three CAV applications for freeways – platooning, cooperative merging, and speed harmonization – into a single solution with the goal of mitigating recurring congestion. The webinar will present an overview of the draft ConOps and lead a facilitated dialogue with participants to collect feedback from stakeholders on priority needs and goals.  
Target Audience
  • Transportation agencies & Infrastructure Owner Operators
  • University researchers
  • Developers and deployers of CAV technology
Learning Objectives
Participants will learn about cooperative driving automation/CAV applications for freeways – including progress, challenges, and next steps in this area. Participants will have the opportunity to provide input on the FHWA CARMA program’s draft ConOps for freeway applications and to dialogue with peers on the challenges and opportunities of deploying CAVs on freeways.
  • Mohammed Yousuf, FHWA, Government Task Manager
  • Katie Blizzard, Leidos
  • Ed Leslie, Leidos
  • John Stark, Leidos
  • Amir Ghiasi, Leidos
  • Jiaqi Ma, University of Cincinnati
 Register for this webinar and find more information here.
Industry News
2020 ITS World Congress
Paper and Session Deadline is February 3rd
Paper and session submissions for the 2020 ITS World Congress are due February 3rd.

We encourage you to consider contributing to the technical program to ensure another successful ITSWC! Find out more and access the contributions portal here.

About the National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE)

The mission of NOCoE is to empower the transportation systems management and operations (TSMO) community to succeed by building its knowledge, skills and abilities and to connect them with best-practices and experts to save lives, time and money. Born of a partnership of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) with support from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), we serve those in state departments of transportation, regional planning organizations, municipalities, local agencies as well as private sector organizations.

For more information, please visit
Contact Us
National Operations Center of Excellence
444 North Capitol Street, NW Suite 226
Washington, DC 20001
Ph: 202.624.5478

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