Newsletter Vol. 15
October 2019
In This Issue
Center Activities
Empowering the New Mobility Workforce Book Released

A newly published book on training the next generation of transportation workers at all levels includes several chapters contributed by regional transportation workforce centers. Empowering the New Mobility Workforce: Educating, Training, and Inspiring Future Transportation Professionals identifies strategies that education, industry, and government leaders can use to facilitate learning and skill development related to emerging transportation technologies and challenges. The WRTWC contributed a chapter on "Cultivating a rural lens: successful approaches to developing regional transportation corridors through professional capacity building," which focuses on the unique workforce challenges faced by transportation agencies at the rural and regional level and describes relevant examples of incorporating professional capacity building into transportation projects.

The book addresses one of the most critical issues in transportation - the growing workforce shortage. Transportation industries project a need to hire more than 4 million employees over the next decade. Empowering the New Mobility Workforce has been endorsed by national transportation leaders, including former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta. It is available on the Elsevier Publishing website or on

Citation: Reeb, Tyler (Ed.). (2019). Empowering the New Mobility Workforce: Educating, Training, and Inspiring Future Transportation Professionals. Amsterdam: Elsevier Publishing

Comparative Approaches to Accessibility Education S h ared During ASEE Conference

The WRTWC presented a paper on "Comparative Approaches to Accessibility Education," during the 2019 American Society for Engineering Education annual conference in Tampa, Florida this June. The paper shares data collected from transportation undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the United States and Russia and compares pedagogical approaches to ensuring future professionals are aware of, and sensitive to, transportation system accessibility issues and design solutions to enhance access for people with disabilities.

WRTWC Presents "Successful Strategies Employed by Small Urban and Rural Transit Providers to Ensure Cost-Effective and High-Quality Accessible Transportation Services" at the National Rural Transit Assistance Program (NRTAP) Conference

Transit providers serving small urban and rural areas often struggle to manage the higher costs associated with providing specialized services to people with disabilities in geographically expansive service areas with low population densities. The unique challenges facing small urban and rural transit providers require innovative solutions. The WRTWC shared the results of a survey of small urban (FTA Section 5307), rural (FTA Section 5311), and specialized transportation providers (FTA Section 5310) on strategies employed to provide cost-effective, high-quality transit services to people with disabilities. The survey queried transit providers on successful efforts, which resulted in: 1) improved levels of service; 2) reduced costs; and/or 3) improved staff training. Follow-up interviews were conducted with seven transit agencies reporting successes in one or more of the above categories. Research results highlight successful strategies employed to achieve service, funding, and staff training improvements. Findings were shared during an interactive session at the National Rural Transit Assistance Program (NRTAP) annual conference, held in Portland, Oregon, September 15-18, 2019.

Advances in Road Safety Education Shared at International Conference

The WRTWC hosted an online platform and identified speakers to present at an international conference on "Innovations in the road transport industry: safety and quality." The conference was jointly hosted by the Russian University of Transport (RUT) and the Research Institute for Road Transport and held in Moscow, Russia on September 24. Speakers from the United States focused on recent and ongoing initiatives in the U.S. to enhance road safety education and training. Jaime Sullivan of the National Center for Rural Road Safety presented on an ongoing collaborative effort to create a comprehensive road safety training curriculum for on-the-ground transportation personnel, including maintenance and construction staff. Terecia Wilson shared information about Clemson University's Master of Transportation Safety Administration, a first-in-the-nation graduate degree program focused on the management and administration of highway safety programs [see Road Safety Education Spotlight in this newsletter for more information].

Mobility Innovations : STEM Camp for Middle School Students Explores Innovation in Transportation

Forty middle school students participated in two week-long STEM summer camps hosted by the West Region Transportation Workforce Center. Participants explored infrastructure materials, streambed stabilization, stormwater management, transportation safety and accessibility, mapping technologies, biking, transit, and complete streets among many other multidisciplinary topics.

Teachers Develop and Implement New STEM Lesson Plans Focused on Rural Transportation Issues

Fourteen middle, high school, and community college faculty participated in the Research Experience for Teachers program in Innovative Transportation Systems at Montana State University this summer. Program participants-representing schools in Montana, Nebraska, Idaho, and North Dakota--conducted transportation research, attended professional development workshops, and produced new lesson plans and curricula on transportation topics to implement over the academic year.

Applications are now open through December 1 for the 2020 summer program. For more information and to access the application, go to:

Success Stories
Gonzaga University and City of Spokane Partnership Highlights Benefits of University-Agency Project Engagement

The West Region Transportation Workforce Center supports increased student engagement in real world project-based learning experiences by fostering partnerships between universities and public agencies. To this end, the WRTWC sponsored the participation of representatives from regional universities and public agencies at the 2018 Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities (EPIC) national conference to learn the nuts and bolts of a model for large-scale university-agency partnerships to conduct strategic planning. Conference participants from Gonzaga University and the City of Spokane got right to work. Following the conference, they embarked on a year-long collaboration to engage students in developing a City of Spokane community and local government operations Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Inventory report. The project collaboration engaged 8 undergraduate students and 1 graduate student over a full academic year to complete the report, which covered both local government operations and a community-scale GHG inventory. The transportation sector contributes a significant portion of GHG emissions, and the report serves as a resource to decisionmakers in identifying energy savings and emission reduction strategies.

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.

Transportation Safety Education Feature
Clemson University Launches First-in-the-Nation Master of Transportation Safety Administration

Clemson University is the first university in the nation to offer a Master of Transportation Safety Administration (MTSA) in the management and administration of highway safety programs. Developed by Clemson's Institute for Global Road Safety and Security, this new degree program addresses the need for a road safety workforce capable of deploying evidence-based strategies and best practices supported by on-going research. Students graduating from the program will be able to make a significant difference in efforts to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries by utilizing enhanced skills and knowledge gained through participation in the program.

As an online program, MTSA is accessible to participants around the world with an interest in improving road safety and that meet admissions criteria. This unique graduate degree program is a two-year, non-thesis, 30-credit hour interdisciplinary transportation (road) safety curriculum designed to develop professionals skilled at administering and managing road safety programs involving the complex interactions of the human-vehicle-road system.

Did You Miss It?
On July 22, the WRTWC hosted a webinar on the Montana Department of Transportation's award-winning accessibility inventory and investment program.  If you missed it, you can still access webinar materials on our website:
Upcoming Trainings & Events
Webinar: FHWA Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation University Course updates
Date: October 18, 2019
Time: 12:00 to 1:00 pm ET

During this webinar panelists will highlight the importance of, and opportunities for, incorporating bicycle and pedestrian travel into university-level transportation courses. This webinar will feature the recently updated FHWA Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation University Course and share examples of assignments and in-class activities.

Presentations, assignments, readings, videos, and instructor guide are now available:
To register for this webinar, click  here .
Webinar: Effective Instructional Practices for an Introductory Transportation Engineering Course
Date: October 22, 2019
Time: 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm ET

This webinar will present instructional strategies to effectively engage students in an introductory transportation engineering university course. This will include a series of in-class activities that can be introduced in various transportation courses.

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.