UTC Program Initiates National Transportation Workforce Development Strategy
As new and innovative technologies and practices are introduced into our nation's transportation systems, the need to assure a well-trained and highly skilled workforce that can use these advances to their maximum potential becomes increasingly important. And as the sophistication of these innovations grows, the skills needed transcend the traditional engineering categories to incorporate such disciplines as financing and economics, operations research, project management, sustainability, livability and communications.
To help prepare for this dynamic future, RITA's University Transportation Centers (UTC) Program is putting together a cross-organizational team to develop and help implement a national transportation workforce development strategy that can meet these demands for creativity and innovation in transportation. Along with the Volpe Center and UTC Program, initial partners include the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, Maritime Administration, RITA's Bureau of Transportation Statistics, and the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC), which represents more than 85 universities participating in the UTC Program. Over the coming months, the UTC Program Office will be engaging additional operating administrations within U. S. DOT and CUTC will reach out to potential outside partners.
Through a series of regional and state-level "summit" meetings, the team is creating a coordinated, national framework that incorporates new policy solutions and a roadmap to address the most pressing workforce issues in transportation. These issues include recruiting and retaining qualified transportation staff, filling key shortages, and defining the competencies needed and creating career pathways for staffing key positions. The Volpe Center supports this important effort through researching and analyzing the data needed to provide a strong foundation for the strategy development process; designing, facilitating and documenting key meetings; and helping to plan the specifics of both outreach to key partners and the national strategy.