Many state DOTs around the country are currently contending with challenging workforce issues, whether attracting and retaining talented workers while competing with the private sector or preserving institutional knowledge amidst a wave of baby boomer retirements. An article in the latest issue of TRB’s bimonthly magazine makes the economic case for addressing another significant workforce issue: improving the notoriously poor gender and racial diversity of the transportation field. The article also makes the case for increasing neurodiversity in the transportation workforce.
Many state DOTs around the country are currently grappling with the question of how to attract and retain a talented workforce. On top of these challenges, many DOTs are also being directed to reduce the size of their staff in order to demonstrate efficiency to legislators and the public. The Tennessee Department of Transportation has taken an innovative approach to address some of these hurdles and build a talented and engaged workforce.
Attracting and retaining talented staff at state DOTs has been on the minds of many transportation leaders, as noted in a recent AASHTO Journal article. It was also a topic at the July SSTI Community of Practice meeting and will be the topic of our webinar next week on September 5. Each state has slightly different challenges, but many are concerned with staff having the appropriate skills for the work they need to do. Retaining talented staff and sharing institutional knowledge as retirements loom is also a common theme.
Many transportation agencies are concerned about where they will get their next generation of workers. But the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the operator of transit service in Los Angeles County known as Metro, has plans to solve this problem by training students at a new boarding school.