Changing Workforce Development Needs for Regional Transportation Planning Agencies in California

The transportation industry faces future workforce challenges, including a lack of trained personnel in fields such as engineering, construction management, and intelligent transportation systems. Little, if any, research has been done on the training and workforce needs at the regional level where Metropolitan Planning Agencies (MPOs), Councils of Government (COG), and transit agencies are engaged in both transportation planning and operations. In California, the workforce capacity of MPOs in particular was challenged by the 2008 passage of Senate Bill (SB) 375. This legislation uses the transportation planning process to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. It requires MPOs, in partnership with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), to establish greenhouse gas emissions targets. MPOs are also required to include a Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) in the regional transportation plan that demonstrates how a given region will meet established targets. This project aims at understanding how fundamental changes from SB 375 and other legislative mandates have impacted MPOs from a workforce standpoint. Using online surveys, job scans, and in-depth interviews with members of COGs and MPOs in California, the research team determined the importance of several factors on workforce capacity. These factors include recruitment, available funding for professional development, curriculum content in college and university programs, and the role of in-service training. The report seeks to document the evolving role of MPOs resulting from the kind of mandates enacted by SB 375 and the concurrent demand for both traditional skills sets relating to regional planning processes and those that respond to demands for planners to: (1) Optimize existing projects by making them “smarter” and further ensuring that these projects contribute to environmental sustainability; and (2) link transportation planning to land use patterns with the intention of diminishing vehicle miles travelled (VMTs) and associated pollutants. The study’s findings will contribute to the knowledge of workforce development needs as well as the potential for policy responses at the federal, state, and local level.

Language

  • English

Project

  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $94000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    DTRT13-G-UTC29

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Center for Sustainable Transportation

    University of California, Davis
    Davis, CA  United States 

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    National Center for Sustainable Transportation

    University of California, Davis
    Davis, CA  United States 

    California State University, Long Beach

    1250 Bellflower Boulevard
    Long Beach, CA  United States  90840

    METRANS Transportation Center

    University of Southern California
    Los Angeles, CA  United States  90089-0626
  • Project Managers:

    Iacobucci, Lauren

  • Performing Organizations:

    California State University, Long Beach

    1250 Bellflower Boulevard
    Long Beach, CA  United States  90840

    National Center for Sustainable Transportation

    University of California, Davis
    Davis, CA  United States 

    METRANS Transportation Center

    University of Southern California
    Los Angeles, CA  United States  90089-0626
  • Principal Investigators:

    O'Brien, Tom

  • Start Date: 20130301
  • Expected Completion Date: 20171231
  • Actual Completion Date: 20181130
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers
  • Source Data: RiP Project 37277

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01554040
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Center for Sustainable Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC29
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Feb 25 2015 1:00AM