The Transportation Curriculum Coordination Council (TC3) has released a new training learning management system (LMS) within the American Assn. of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Web environment. The TC3 was originally launched in the summer of 2000 as a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) pooled fund with the purpose of improving training opportunities for transportation technical workers while applying innovative measures to reduce duplication of efforts and costs to state and local transportation agencies.
In the spring of 2013, AASHTO adopted the TC3 as a technical service program focusing on training. The TC3 combines resources and knowledge to develop standardized technical training materials for all stakeholders. The council’s goals include developing a competency matrix and a core curriculum to support national priorities that could be used by any agency to improve the skills and qualifications of the transportation technical workforce, particularly as a large percentage of the current workforce nears retirement. That curriculum is now available online in the AASHTO LMS at training.transportation.org.
Although developed primarily for the public sector, the TC3 courses are also valuable resources for training across the transportation industry.
According to TRIP—a Washington, D.C.-based national transportation organization—approximately 32% of the nation’s interstates and major highways are in poor or mediocre condition.
This degradation of the transportation infrastructure comes at a time when, according to the Transportation Research Board, an estimated 50% of state transportation agency workers are eligible for retirement. The TC3 is addressing this challenge with an optimized curriculum that will help the transportation industry address technical workforce deficiencies.
The TC3 library of courses is giving a new generation of transportation infrastructure workers the skills they need to keep pace with evolving methods and advanced technologies.
The TC3 offers more than 100 Web-based training courses with a national-level focus in the areas of construction, maintenance, and materials targeted to the front-line technical workforce. Courses are available at affordable prices for public and private sectors in the transportation industry. Since 2008, more than 100,000 courses have been taken by transportation workers in all 50 states, and over the last four years, over 50% of the courses taken have been by private sector employees.
The TC3 is committed to developing at least 20 new course hours annually and updating the existing courses every 24 months to ensure they are current and relevant.
As AASHTO’s training technical service program, the TC3 is focused on the Web-based training of front-line workers. The TC3’s mission is to develop, maintain and provide effective access to a quality training curriculum in order to enhance the competency of the nation’s transportation technical workforce, with the current focus on construction, maintenance and materials.
The TC3 provides an expert training resource to the entire nation, making it a valuable partner—not only for AASHTO members, but also for all local and tribal government employees, as well as front-line private sector employees engaged in construction, materials and maintenance activities.
• Cost savings: The TC3 allows managers to cost-effectively train staff with quality and relevant course material, saving their budgets from ever-increasing training costs. Through collective contributions, the TC3 annually develops more than 20 hours of Web-based training that could cost up to $325,000 if developed individually. Additional savings could exceed $150 per person/per training event. Participants avoid the cost of classroom-based courses and associated travel.
• Innovation: TC3 courses are created using a rapid course development process through a collaboration of national best practices and subject matter experts. As the nation is faced with continuous infrastructure challenges, the TC3 provides an evolving, top-level curriculum to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. More than 20 new course hours are developed annually. The TC3’s AASHTO-based LMS offers reliable functionality to better serve its customers. The TC3 performs an analysis and updates all courses on a 24-month cycle. Significant content changes that occur in the interim are updated as needed.
• Skilled workforce: As the current workforce retires, the TC3 is dedicated to help protect against the loss of knowledge for the new workforce through quality training. The transportation industry can also leverage the TC3 program to introduce and train on new and evolving technologies across the industry. More than 100,000 individuals have been trained through TC3 courses over the past seven years. One hundred percent of AASHTO member states already engage in TC3 training to develop the skills of their construction, maintenance, and materials workforces. Private sector use has grown consistently over the past four years as companies have found these trainings to be valuable and applicable to their workforce.