How will we grow and support the transportation workforce of the future?

The UVM TRC has been engaged in transportation workforce development since its inception crafting a strong program to support students (well over 100 now), particularly in graduate education, through research assistantships and the development of a Graduate Certificate of Study in Sustainable Transportation Systems and Planning. Recently TRC staff members have helped organize and present at several key forums addressing the future of workforce development in the field.

Associate Director Glenn McRae and Outreach Professional Michelle McCutcheon-Schour attended the New England Transportation Workforce Summit that they helped to organize in Boston.  McRae lead the opening panel discussion, The Three C’s in Workforce Development Leadership:  Coordination, Communication, and Collaboration, emphasizing the need for cooperation across sectors (labor, education and transportation), between modes, beyond the public-private workforce divide, and connecting individual state efforts.  Joined by Frank Depaola, Highway Administrator, MassDOT, Fran Beauman, National Transportation Distribution and Logistics Career Cluster Leader, and Bill Perez, Assistant Secretary of Human Resources, MassDOT & MBTA.  The conversation focused on current and concrete examples of building partnerships across traditional silos as a value proposition that was able to meet multiple goals and return measurable results.  Examples continued to be surfaced throughout the two day summit and this theme was central to work in the closing session on future action steps.

McCutcheon-Schour participated actively throughout the two days and served as a discussant in the final action session providing input on steps necessary to address increased effectiveness in the Changing Roles for Colleges and Universities and their Partners in Industry and Government.

Glenn McRae returned to Boston to participate in the National Transportation Training Directors’ (NTTD) Annual Meeting.  He presented out on the lessons learned from the TRC’s Transportation Education Development Pilot Program in building partnerships between educational institutions, transportation employers and workforce development programs and initiatives.  NTTD is a professional Network of state DOTs working together to develop more effective workforce training and retention programs.  At last year’s meetings in Seattle McRae reported out on the results of the National Transportation Workforce Summit .  This year he also joined a panel to discuss the recent outcomes of the regional New England summit and the opportunities for more regional cooperation and joint programs.

Michelle McCutcheon-Schour will be presenting on the development of Transportation specific Career Pathways in Vermont as part of an overall workforce initiative at the National Career Pathways Network meetings in San Antonio later in October.  Last spring she had organized a national Leadership Certificate Training in career pathways with a focus on transportation for the Vermont network of partners including high schools, community colleges, universities, departments of labor, education and transportation as well as key workforce development partners.

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