Impact of Legislative Mandates on Transportation Workforce Capacity

The transportation industry faces future workforce challenges. A combination of factors contribute to this including the retirement of baby boomers and a lack of trained personnel in fields such as engineering, construction management, and intelligent transportation systems (ITS). The public sector will be particularly hard hit. It faces the threat of attrition at senior levels as skilled workers move to the private sector. Most of the studies done to assess the impact of these changing trends on the transportation workforce have looked at the problem from a national or statewide perspective (Poister, 2004; Warne, 2003; Gee, 2009). However, local and regional agencies are heavily involved in not only planning and forecasting, and budgeting and financing, but also operations. Furthermore Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) have become more involved in program implementation in areas such as ITS as a result of directives contained in federal highway legislation like ISTEA and TEA-21. This research will identify the impact on metropolitan level planning agencies of legislative mandates such as SB375 and builds upon preliminary research assessing the changes in job functions and use of outsourcing to complete the SCS at MPOs in California. The proposed project will use online surveys and interviews with members of Councils of Governments and MPOs to consider a broader set of issues, including the relationship between environmental-related planning mandates and recruitment, funding, and the role if in-service training at the MPO level. Findings will contribute to our knowledge of workforce development needs as well as the potential for policy responses at the federal, state and local level.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • 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 
  • Principal Investigators:

    O'Brien, Tom

  • Start Date: 20140801
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • 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