The transportation industry is facing serious workforce issues:
- 50% of the current workforce is or will become eligible for retirement over the next 10 years
- Increased competition from other fields for a smaller pool of skilled workers
- Substantially different skill sets and abilities to respond to rapidly changing demands and a transforming industry
Those and related issues will be explored at the National Transportation Workforce Summit to be held in April 2012 in Washington D.C. The Summit “will deal with all modes of transportation, the range of occupations in transportation from technicians through professional, and the variety of educational experiences to develop and improve individuals’ competencies and skills. The Summit will address key workforce challenges, identify administrative and legislative actions for effective workforce policies and programs, and establish a National Strategic Framework for Transportation Workforce Development that will link education and training to workforce development policies and programs.”
Organizers are seeking speakers and papers on the following topics:
- Transportation workforce needs now and in the future. This topic deals with the demand side of the equation, a practitioner’s view of the needs they see in the transportation workforce, including the changes in skills, knowledge and abilities that they expect to see in the future.
- Career awareness. This deals with a range of issues related to making people aware of potential careers in transportation, whether in the K‐12 setting, older workers, disadvantaged groups, universities, etc.
- Career preparation and advancement. This topic deals with how people acquire the skills needed to be successful in a transportation career, whether those skills come in a community college or university setting, other training programs or apprenticeships.
- Transportation professional and continuing education. This topic deals with the broad range of issues related to helping workers maintain and renew their skills, knowledge and abilities.
Larry Ehl is the founder and publisher of Transportation Issues Daily. In the public sector, Larry was Federal Relations Manager for Washington State DOT; Chief of Staff to US Senator Slade Gorton; and was twice elected to the Edmonds School Board.