Agencies need to develop human resource strategy

News AASHTO Journal July 09, 2003
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A report issued by the Transportation Research Board warns that U

A report issued by the Transportation Research Board warns that U.S. transportation agencies at all levels face "unprecedented challenges" in getting and retaining skilled employees, largely due to Baby-Boomer retirements and a large and growing demand for transportation services.

In the report, "The Workforce Challenge: Recruiting, Training, and Retaining Qualified Workers for Transportation and Transit Agencies," TRB called for affected agencies to draw up strategic plans and "reorient their human-resource efforts" to handle the changes. Hiring people with a broader range of technical disciplines will be necessary, there must be a willingness to "partner" with private-sector organizations, and agencies must focus on intensified training, the report stated.

The report also suggested placing more funding in such programs as the University Transportation Centers, the Federal Highway Administration's National Highway Institute, the Federal Transit Administration's National Transit Institute and the Local Technical Assistance Program.

Further, there must be innovation in human resource approaches. The U.S. Department of Education should initiate "innovation in human-resources practices" that speaks to recruitment, training, retention and succession management" for personnel.

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