Newsletter Vol. 6
April 2017
In This Issue
Center Activities
TOPEnhanced Transit Training and Workforce Development Resources

One of the strategic action plans established by the WRTWC in the Center's Phase 2 Job Needs and Priorities Report was to support access to training and resources for small urban and rural transit providers. To meet this objective, the WRTWC completed a comprehensive literature review to identify resources related to accessible public transportation, transit workforce development, paratransit, ADA, mobility trends, new technologies, and small urban and rural transportation. Citations, abstracts, and links to over 50 transit-focused research papers, guidebooks, and toolkits were added to the West Region Transportation Workforce Center's online resource center: Workforce Development Resources . The WRTWC website has been additionally enhanced with transit and ADA-focused training provider and course content information. Over 125 professional development opportunities and course descriptions for transit staff can be easily located using the website's Program Search function and filtering by mode "transit." A recording of the Center's October webinar that explored transit professional development training opportunities and recommendations is also available on the WRTWC one-stop shop. 

We are currently collecting data on successful practices for small urban and rural transit providers, particularly in providing cost-effective, high quality accessible transportation services.

Do you have a success story to share?
Let your peers know what has worked for you. You can now enter details about your workforce development successes online and we will showcase them on our website.
Something Big arrives in Bozeman: Dream Big

Approximately 850 youth and families came out to see the visually stunning film Dream Big: Engineering Our World during two free screenings held March 4 at the historic Ellen Theatre in downtown Bozeman. The film takes viewers on a voyage of discovery--from the world's tallest building to solar cars to underwater robotics--inspiring young people to see science and engineering through a new lens. 

The Bozeman screenings opened with "The Art of Problem Solving," a lively introduction by Shari Eslinger, vice president of Montana's American Society of Civil Engineers, and Dr. Michael Berry, assistant professor of civil engineering at MSU-Bozeman. After the screenings, kids took part in fun hands-on engineering activities.

The West Region Transportation Workforce Center was one of several co-sponsors that worked with the Bozeman Film Society and Science on Screen to bring Dream Big to Bozeman. Science on Screen is made possible by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan and Coolidge Corner Theater foundations. Additional support for Dream Big was provided by the American Society of Civil Engineers-MT Section, KLJ Engineering, MSU Extended University, the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative, and the MSU Western Transportation Institute.

Learn more about the film and download companion resources for educators (which include lesson plans for multidisciplinary K-12 activities), click here.

For tips and resources for bringing the film to your community, click here.
Webinar introduces the National Transportation Career Pathways Initiative  

The National Network for the Transportation Workforce (NNTW) hosted a webinar on March 28, 2017 to launch the National Transportation Career Pathways Initiative (NTCPI). Southwest Transportation Workforce Center Director Dr. Thomas O'Brien welcomed webinar participants with opening remarks and a brief introduction of the five regional transportation workforce centers and their unique roles, which make up the NNTW.

O'Brien's opening was followed by the introduction of the vision of the NTCPI and its unique approach to serve the transportation industry at the national level. The vision of this initiative hopes to connect industry employers, public agencies, and academic leaders to help identify skills and competencies to create transportation career pathways. Virginia Tsu, Director of the Office of Innovative Program Delivery at the Federal Highway Administration, was invited to give her perspective on this new initiative:

"To date, transportation efforts to establish career pathways have been fragmented and sporadic but the National Transportation Career Pathways Initiative can change that. This initiative is the first effort that I am aware of that will address transportation career pathways development in a substantial manner. It is the opportunity for transportation to talk more intelligently to the education and training community about the skill sets and competencies, education and training that we need in a thoughtful, logical, and comprehensive approach by developing transportation career pathways."
Scott Jakovich, NTCPI Project Coordinator, gave a general project overview of the initiative and the responsibilities of each center that will help the group achieve the goal of creating career pathways. The webinar also explored the five centers' disciplines, and each center director had the opportunity to share their focus and contributions to the initiative. A question-and-answer segment concluded the webinar, which gave center directors an opportunity to answer questions about this new initiative.

To watch the webinar, click here. To learn more about the NNTW and the NTCPI, click here.

WRTWC to Co-Sponsor Montana Girls STEM Collaboration Forum   

The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative's 2017 Collaboration Forum will be held in Great Falls, Montana on May 16 from 10am to 2pm. The forum is designed for all organizations and individuals interested in the advancement of girls in STEM fields to learn some new ideas for hands-on STEM, and to contribute their own thoughts and resources for how the community can support girls and girl-serving programs.

Anyone who is interested in STEM is welcome to join the forum: educators, administrators, industry representatives, non-profit groups, government agencies, and university students. The conference is $25. University students can attend for a special rate of $5. Scholarships are available.
This event is hosted by DoD STARBASE with support from the Women's Foundation of Montana, Great Falls College-MSU, and the West Region Transportation Workforce Center.

To register, click here.

WRTWC Concludes Pilot In-School Hour of Enrichment STEM Project   

Many children do not have access to extensive out-of-school educational enhancement opportunities like foreign languages, art, and STEM. To address this issue, Irving Elementary School embarked on a pilot in-school Hour of Enrichment program for fourth and fifth graders. The WRTWC participated in the pilot and implemented two six-week STEM enhancement sessions. The project involved women engineering students in an outreach program designed to excite young children about transportation, engineering and automotive design, and to emphasize the real world applications of math and science while providing positive female role models in engineering. In total, 9 female engineering students from MSU's Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Chapter served as in-class facilitators and mentors to 39 fourth and fifth grade Irving students. The program used the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) A World in Motion (AWIM) Jet Toy challenge kit, which was purchased with a small grant from the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative. Student participants built Jet Toy prototypes after learning about Newton's laws of motion, data collection and analysis techniques, and testing the impact of different design features on toy performance. The in-class program offers an opportunity to provide STEM experience equitably to all children during the school day. The successful pilot demonstrates a replicable model for offering in-school STEM experiences utilizing community expertise and resources. 

Upcoming Opportunities
Webinar: Leveraging Technologies to Enhance Training
Date: April 25, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM Eastern
Price: Free
Organization: Transportation Research Board (TRB) and National Network for the Transportation Workforce (NNTW)

Are you offering online courses and mobile applications to enhance your training offerings? Do technologies improve training outcomes?
Inspired by the recently published NCHRP Synthesis 503: Leveraging Technology for Transportation Agency Workforce Development and Training this webinar provides several examples of using technologies to enhance training. Please join to learn from others and partic
ipate in a discussion on how technologies are used in and impact transportation trainings.
For more information or to register, click  here.
Webinar: Prioritizing Accessibility in Major Cities
Date: May 10, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm ET          
Cost: Free members/$55 non-members
Organization: Transportation Research Board (TRB)
TRB will conduct a webinar on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM ET about how to acknowledge accessibility as a performance measure and actively use it to improve transportation services for various users. Presenters will discuss current accessibility practices that help people access jobs, schools, and other places of interest.
For more information or to register, click  here.

Webinar: Walking and Walkability in Rural Communities and Small Towns
Date: May 10, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm ET          
Cost: Free 
Organization: America Walks
Not all communities face the same opportunities and challengs in promoting walking and other forms of physical activity. Join America Walks as we look at walking and walkable communities in rural communities and small towns, exploring resources, toolkits and projects from walking champions working in this area. This webinar assumes a basic knowledge of issues related to walking and walkable communities.
For more information or to register, click  here.
Webinar: Planning for Millennials: What Do They Want and How Do Agencies Prepare?
Date: May 11, 2017         
Time: 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM Eastern
Price: Free members/$95 non-members
Organization: Transportation Research Board (TRB)
TRB will conduct a webinar on Thursday, May 11, 2017, from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM ET about research projects conducted in different US states that investigate millennials' travel behavior, preferences and needs, and strategies for engaging millennials in transportation projects. The presenters will share their research findings, discuss how states can use these findings to guide transportation planning decisions, and provide suggestions for additional research and collaboration.
Fore more information or to register, click  here.
Webinar: Introduction to Traffic Safety Data
Date: May 11, 2017         
Time: 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM Eastern
Price: $149
Organization: Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)
Participants gain an understanding of the importance of data for defining and pinpointing safety issues as well as the interrelationships between components of traffic records systems. The content starts with a brief introduction to various data requirements for different types of safety analyses (e.g. network screening, SPF, and CMF development, cost of collisions, and benefit-cost analysis). This will be followed by some key considerations in collecting and maintaining quality data sets. Lastly, examples will be provided of how traffic safety data is applied.

For more information about this training, click  here.
Conference: National ADA Symposium
Date: May 14-17, 2017
Location: Chicago, IL         
Organization: ADA National Network
The National ADA Symposium is the premier conference on the Americans with Disabilities Act. Over the past 20 years, we have earned the reputation as the most comprehensive training event available on the ADA and disability related laws.
The National ADA Symposium provides the latest information on ADA regulations and guidelines, implementation strategies, and best practices. The Symposium offers a range of sessions to meet the diverse needs of attendees, from presentations covering basic content for novices to dynamic, interactive sessions designed specifically for attendees with years of experience and ADA expertise.
The National ADA Symposium is a project of the ADA National Network (ADANN).  ADANN is made up of  ten regional centers that provide  information, guidance and training on how to implement the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to support the mission of the ADA to "assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities."
For more information or to register, click  here.
Webinar: How to Change the Senior Leadership Mindset from Talk to Action
Date: June 8, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM Eastern
Price Free
Organization: Midwest Transportation Workforce Center (MTWC)
All diversity and inclusion practitioners from any industry sector are invited to join in this series of virtual roundtables to share best practices and discuss challenges.
Most businesses understand that diversity creates value in the workplace, builds stronger, more innovative teams, and will be critical to addressing future workforce shortfalls. However, implementation often falls to the wayside as the day-to-day objectives of running a business take priority. These roundtables will help participants move the needle toward sustainable, workable initiatives.
This virtual roundtable series is hosted by the Midwest Transportation Workforce Center as part of its Diversity & Inclusion Initiative.
For more information or to register, click  here.
Conference: National Career Pathways Network Conference
Date: October 26-27, 2017           
Location: St. Louis, MO
Organization: National Career Pathways Network
The 2017 conference will be held in St. Louis at the beautiful Hyatt Regency at the Arch. All sessions will take place in the hotel. The main conference will be Thursday and Friday, October 26-27. Conference strands will be based on the Ten Components of a Program of Study and Career Pathways Toolkit: An Enhanced Guide and Workbook for System Development. Preconference workshops (Wednesday, October 25) will address topics such as Career Pathways Leadership Certification, Employer-Education Partnerships, and Counseling.
The conference will focus on Career Pathways implementation at the state and local levels. The conference's 1000+ attendees will consist of a broad cross-section of stakeholders comprising secondary and postsecondary educators, workforce development professionals, and employers.
For more information or to register, click  here.

Please check out our website for the most up-to-date news and activities.

Is your organization hosting an event or opportunity you would like to share with the regional network? Please contact us and we will be happy to help you distribute the information.