NOCoE 2nd Workforce Summit Proceedings Report

National Operations Center of Excellence

Highlights

When and Who

On September 20 and 23, 2021, the 2nd Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO) Workforce Development Summit was held virtually. Participation included a broad range of over fifty state DOT, city, county, planning organization, academic, association and industry representatives. This included a blend of TSMO practitioners and human resource (HR) professionals. As Martin Knopp, Associate Administer for Operations, FHWA, said, NOCoE gathered the “hall of fame of TSMO practitioners.”

Structure and Methodology

Figure 1 illustrates the process used during the summit. The first day of the summit identified workforce development issues at professional and paraprofessional levels. The second day of the summit focused on developing and prioritizing ideas, understanding the importance and feasibility of high priority ideas, and identifying potential champions and resources. The information developed during the summit served as the basis for identifying the actions identified below. A full implementation plan will be published in 2022.

Major Themes

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Is Essential to a Strong TSMO Workforce: Dr. Shawn Wilson, Secretary of Louisiana DOTD, and incoming AASHTO President, led the summit’s day 2 discussion by emphasizing the need to intentionally expand opportunities within the transportation community by creating a culture that identifies, trains, and empowers individuals in under-represented populations covering age, gender, ethnicity, and race. Attendees worked to identify major actions that could attract, develop, and expand the workforce, including strengthening of recruitment pipelines, increasing apprenticeship opportunities, and developing resources highlighting TSMO as a career of choice.

Pre-Employment Education: Breakout discussion focused heavily on strengthening pre-employment education, including adding a focus on TSMO. Potential actions include: developing a business case for academia to focus more on TSMO, creating a new university program for TSMO, and leveraging existing technical education programs to include TSMO.

The TSMO Guidebook is Being Used: Commissioner Sheehan, NH DOT and outgoing AASHTO President led off the summit discussion by highlighting the usefulness of the TSMO Workforce Guidebook and attendees responded positively when asked about the usefulness of the guidebook’s contents. However, gaps were also identified in where adoption of the guidebooks content and substance could be applied inside organizations.

What’s Next?

As one of its three strategic goals, NOCoE plans to incorporate the summit content and action items into its long-term strategic planning process. NOCoE’s approach is to develop workforce goals that 1) attract, develop, 3) sustain, and 4) expand the TSMO workforce. The potential summit actions items are iden- tified below within these four strategic areas.

NOCoE is working with its partner organizations, including AASHTO, ITE, ITS America, and FHWA, on implementing summit action items and will release a strategic implementation framework in early 2022. The implementation approach will seek to both leverage the ongoing leadership of these partners and the other organizations represented during the summit, but will also include seeking partnerships with non-transportation specific organizations to expand awareness and leverage differing perspectives.

Potential Action Items

Attract

Develop

Sustain

Expand

Provide ongoing awareness of TSMO workforce issues

and resources

Develop resources highlighting TSMO as career of choice

X

X

Develop business care for academia to focus more on

TSMO

X

X

Leverage existing programs with additional funding and

promotion

X

Develop best practices guide for TSMO technical training

X

X

Strengthen pipelines (military, tech. colleges, 1st re- sponders, HBCU, etc.

X

X

Perform research on non-traditional workers

X

Increase TSMO apprenticeship and co-op opportunities

X

X

X

Develop guidance on succession planning, retention, and young workers

X

X

Create a new university program for TSMO

X

X

X

X

Leverage existing technical education programs to include TSMO

X

X


Organizational Capability Element

  • Leadership/Championship
  • Education, Training & Professional Activities
  • Organizational Structure/Staffing
  • Program Status
  • Recruitment and Retention
  • Staff Development

Publishing Organization

  • NOCoE

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Issue Date
December 2nd, 2021
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