Newsletter Vol. 8
December 2017
In This Issue
For Educators
New Professional Development Opportunity Launches for STEM Educators
With a recently awarded grant from the National Science Foundation, the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University will launch a new program for high school and community college teachers to develop knowledge and curricula related to rural transportation issues.  The Research Experience for Teachers in Innovative Transportation Systems begins in July 2018 and will run for three consecutive summers. During a six-week summer session on the MSU campus in Bozeman, educators will work with research teams, participate in curriculum development workshops and implement new teaching materials. 

The focus is on rural teachers who can engage rural students in solving problems meaningful to their local communities. The program theme is on developing solutions to real world challenges through innovation, and includes a collaboration with the Department of Civil Engineering and the Gianforte School of Computing at MSU. Projects for the 2018 program address safety and mobility enhancements through technology, advances in infrastructure materials, and assessment of bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

The program is being offered to community college faculty and secondary school teachers in science, technology, engineering and math fields practicing in both Montana and Nebraska. Participants will receive a $6,000 stipend and reimbursement for travel and other expenses. The application deadline is Jan. 5 for the 2018 summer session, which runs from July 2 to August 10. An application form and more information can be found here

Read the MSU news story here.

For Transportation Professionals
Input Needed to Assess the Impact of Transformational Technologies on the Transportation Safety Workforce 

The WRTWC kindly requests input from transportation professionals on how transformational technologies are expected to impact the skills required by transportation professionals and the transportation safety field.  Your input is needed to help better understand this important topic from the practitioner point of view.  Please take a few moments to complete this brief survey.  It should take no longer than 5 minutes to complete.

The West Region Transportation Workforce Center is leading the effort to establish career pathways for transportation safety professionals as part of the National Transportation Career Pathways Initiative (NTCIP) , funded by the U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The vision for the Transportation Safety Career Pathways Initiative is to create opportunities and experiences that attract the next generation to safety careers as well as a roadmap for acquiring the knowledge, skills, and abilities that will lead to professional leadership in this critical field.

For more information on this initiative, click here

Data collected will help to inform both the National Transportation Safety Career Pathways Initiative  as well as a workshop that will be held on the topic during the 2018 Transportation Research Board (TRB) annual meeting.  In addition to completing the survey, if you are attending the TRB Annual Meeting, please consider joining the NNTW for this interactive session. 
TRB Workshop 873: The Impact of Disruptive/Transformational Technologies in Transportation on the Workplace and Workforce

Where: TRB 97th Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.; Convention Center 204B
When: Thursday, January 11, 2018, 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
Sponsored by the TRB Standing Committee on Transportation Education and Training
Workshop Description: The pressures of technological advancement within the personal and freight mobility spaces has created unprecedented challenges for employers and workforce development practitioners. How can the skillsets of current and future transportation sector workers be developed to address the rapid pace of innovation and new technologies in an increasingly dynamic and demanding workplace?

To address this challenge, the Federal Highway Administration Center for Transportation Workforce Development funded an initiative to identify the education, curriculum, training, and experiential learning required for post-secondary institutions to effectively deliver skilled and technically competent transportation workers for the next 15 years. Known as the National Transportation Career Pathways Initiative , this effort brings together academic and industry leadership to identify future workforce needs and how education and training at the technical school, community college, and university levels can be best designed to address those for the long term. As these discipline leaders work to create a framework to test implementation strategies at the post-secondary level, how can we design pathways that will succeed in supporting a future positive path for the transportation sector? This workshop will set the context for the project and invite in depth opportunities for practitioners and educators to provide their insights, feedback and perspectives on this effort.

Success Story Showcase
BOLI-ODOT Highway Construction Workforce Development Program Promotes Diversity

Photo Courtesy of BOLI
The Highway Construction Workforce Development Program initiated jointly by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) works to increase diversity within Oregon's highway construction trades. The program increases opportunities for women, minorities, and other disadvantaged populations to enter into highway construction careers by providing supportive services to all apprentices entering into targeted trades who have a documented need. Supportive services include financial and social support including transportation assistance, child care subsidies, mentoring, and job readiness supplies (e.g. tools, protective equipment, and clothing). Additional emergency hardship funding (for rent) is also available.

In addition to supportive services, the program offers a variety of recruitment and retention services in the highway construction trades.

This program was evaluated by Portland State University, using apprentice data maintained by BOLI and a phone survey of apprentices. The study found that the program, "improved completion rates for apprentices in eligible trades who received services." Apprentices receiving supportive services from the program were found to be more likely than those not receiving supportive services to be working in construction after their apprenticeship program. Female apprentices who received program services had a completion rate of 61%-double the rate for women apprentices who did not receive services from the program. Additionally, 72.5% of apprentices receiving supportive services reported that ODOT-BOLI support allowed them to take a job that they otherwise would not have been able to take.

To find out more about the program, visit our website.
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.

Did You Miss It?
Webinar Presentation & Recording Available: Respectful Workplaces and Health & Safety Empowerment for Women in the Highway Construction and other Trades

The West Region Transportation Workforce Center partnered with the Department of Labor's Women's Bureau to present a webinar on Respectful Workplaces and Health & Safety Empowerment for Women in the Highway Construction and other Trades on October 25. No worries if you missed it.  You can find the webinar recording, presentation, and related research and program development materials on our website.

Upcoming Trainings & Events
Webinar: Evidence-Based Instructional Practices: Introduction to Transportation Engineering
Date: December 7, 2017
Time: 1:00 pm to 1:30 pm ET
Cost: Free
Organization: Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)
With increasing transportation workforce needs, low numbers of students entering the pipeline, and limited hours within undergraduate civil engineering programs, it is important to ensure that civil engineering students receive adequate preparation and exposure to career opportunities in the transportation engineering field. Thus, it is more important than ever to promote the highest quality instruction of transportation engineering classes within civil engineering programs and specifically the introductory transportation engineering course. This webinar aims to present activities that have been successfully implemented in transportation engineering classes from exemplar educators across the world. 
For more information or to register, click here.
Webinar: The Culture of the Swedish Vision Zero
Date: December 12, 2017
Time: 11:00 am to 12:30 pm ET
Cost: Free
Organization: National Center for Rural Road Safety
Vision Zero describes a road safety approach that focuses on eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries. There is growing interest in this approach, both in the U.S. and internationally. This webinar will provide an overview of Vision Zero implementation efforts in Sweden.
Sweden has a long tradition of systematic road safety work, of considering road traffic injuries as a public health problem, and of addressing these issues at the national government level. In October 1997, the Swedish Parliament formally adopted Vision Zero as a new long-term goal and direction in road traffic safety work. Vision Zero aims influence road safety work at all levels: guiding direct efforts to make the infrastructure safer, as well as indirectly influencing the institutional preconditions and approaches (culture) that encourage ongoing action by stakeholders to increase the safety of the road transport system. Vision Zero differs from a more traditional road safety policy with regard to problem formulation, its view on responsibility, its requirements for the safety of road users, and the ultimate objective of road safety work. This presentation will provide an overview of the tenets of Vision Zero, summarize the implementation efforts in Sweden, and discuss potential relevance to U.S. efforts.

For more information or to register, click here.
Webinar: Advanced Technologies and the Impact on Transportation Industries: A Workforce Conversation
Date:  Monday, December 18
Time:  2:00 pm to 3:15 pm ET
Cost: Free        
Organization: Presented by the TRB Standing Committee on Education and Training, National Network for the Transportation Workforce, and the APTA Workforce Development Committee Technology Webinar

As technologies advance and are steadily incorporated into the operations of transportation industries, workforce needs evolve at increasingly progressive rates across all levels. Technological impacts are widespread and create internal and external demands on both public and private sector agencies, businesses, and institutions. This webinar's objective is to identify the impact advanced technologies have on the transportation industry.

Presenters will examine the overall industry story- how services, customer relations, and employee needs are influenced. They will speak to current trends, best practices, and skill gaps that must be filled with up-to-date trainings and planning of potentially new certifications. Furthermore, presenters will look at the need for continued educational partnerships and their role in creating a steady pipeline of qualified employees into the workforce. Finally, speakers will conclude with how we merge what we know, with what we need, into proactive next steps.  

Moderator & Facilitator:
  • Mr. Ferdinand Risco, Assistant Executive Director, TARC; Vice Chair, Workforce Development Committee 
Invited Speakers and Panelists: 
  • Mr. Mike Loehr, Global Practice Leader, Transit and Rail, Track and Civil, CH2M; Chair, BMBG Workforce Development Subcommittee
  • Ms. Joanne Peterson, Executive Office - Human Resources, LA Metro
  • Ms. Leticia Barajas, Vice President, Pathway Innovation & Institutional Effectiveness, Los Angeles Trade Technical College
  • Dr. Thomas O'Brien, Executive Director of the Center for International Trade and Transportation; Associate Director of METRANS; Director, Southwest Transportation Workforce Center
For more information or to register, click here.
Conference: Community Transportation EXPO
Date: June 10-14, 2018
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Organization: Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA)

Mark your calendars and don't miss the public and community transportation industry's premier training, networking and innovation showcase.
For more information or to register, click here.
Conference: International Conference on Transportation and Development
Date: July 15-18, 2018
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Organization: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

With the rapid growth in technology and analytics, there is a critical need to assess and prepare for the impact of these technologies on transportation and development as a whole - from impact on mobility, safety, transit, airports, freight, pavements and other key elements of transportation infrastructure and operations, to the impact on planning, travel behavior, mode choice, finance, economics, land use, and sustainability. ASCE International Conference on Transportation & Development (ICTD 2018) is organized to facilitate exchange of information, knowledge, and best practices among transportation and development practitioners and researchers, public infrastructure owners, policy makers, government engineers and planners, operations managers and leading academics from around the world.
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.