Transportation Workforce Development Comes to the Top of Federal Agenda

Posted October 2014

On October 7, 2014, close to 200 participants attended a federal forum on Strengthening Skills Training and Career Pathways across the Transportation Industry. This major convening of transportation workforce development experts was held by U.S. Departments of Transportation, Education, and Labor to delve deeply into the present and future workforce needs of all transportation modes. In addition to the general sessions individual workgroups addressed topics relevant to maritime, aviation, transit, trucking, railroad and highway workforce development including retention, recruiting and training. Center Director of Research Xinge Wang presented an extensive data set of future workforce needs for the overall transportation industry which served as a foundation for modal group discussions.

Jobs for the Future and the Transportation Learning Center worked under contract to the federal agencies to produce the data analysis and to organize the forum. Center staff Jack Clark, Brian Turner, Mark Dysart, Pat Greenfield and Tia Brown also facilitated and supported the modal group discussions, drawing out industry stakeholder input on workforce projections, gaps, challenges and solutions.  Dr. Beverly Scott, General Manager of MBTA, Stuart Bass, Director of Keystone Development Partnership,  Martell Dyles, Program Manager of Denver WIN and Kristy Wood, Transportation Program Coordinator for Mountwest Community College sat on panels with other experts and shared the collaborative effort by transit employers, unions, communities and educational partners to develop the next generation of transportation workforce.

Final data on the transportation industry’s job projections, skills and training needs, and the implications for workforce development will be released in the near future.

This first of its kind meeting sets the stage for a new effort to bring the U.S. workforce up to world class standards and create a new paradigm for U.S. workforce development. The Center is proud to have been a part of this milestone development and looks forward to playing a major role going forward.

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