Empowering the 21st Century Workforce
The National Network for the Transportation Workforce (NNTW) is a collaborative of university-based research centers that seek to connect, empower, and advance the 21st century transportation workforce through targeted research, education, and industry engagement. Originally launched through funding by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), each NNTW Regional Center team is dedicated to providing a more strategic and efficient approach to transportation workforce development.
NNTW Regional Centers are strategically located around the nation to provide localized workforce development research and support. A brief introduction to each center—including their respective missions and objectives—is provided below.
Southwest Transportation Workforce Center (SWTWC)
All of the Southwest Transportation Workforce Center’s (SWTWC’s) research, education, and industry engagement efforts are guided by the FHWA belief that the nation’s ability to successfully deliver and manage an efficient, safe, and effective transportation system is dependent on the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the transportation workforce. Toward that end, SWTWC facilitates results-driven partnerships with State Departments of Transportation, State Departments of Education, industry, and other public and private stakeholders throughout the transportation, education, labor, and workforce communities.
Today, there are a number of challenges in trade and transportation workforce development. Baby-boomer generation retirements, competition from other industries, difficulty in recruiting women and minorities, and new technologies driving the need for new skills from incumbent transportation workers, all present unique industry challenges to developing a qualified pipeline of talent. To address these challenges, SWTWC is actively pursuing workforce development solutions that target middle schools and high schools, technical schools and community colleges, and universities and post-graduate programs, as well as professional development programs that up-skill incumbent transportation workers.
SWTWC is working to develop a skilled and career-ready transportation workforce by:
- Engaging regional and national stakeholders to identify successful curricula and training programs.
- Developing a Transportation Workforce Data Clearing House that will draw together previously siloed fields of business, education, transportation and labor;
- Convening national, regional, and state forums for strategic innovation and collaboration;
- Analyzing labor force and job needs;
- Identifying programs that facilitate transfers between secondary schools, community colleges, and 4-year institutions;
- Pursuing innovative methods of reaching a diverse set of educational markets;
- Establishing a communications strategy to share best practices and innovative programs, including the effective use of social media.
Learn more about the work and mission of SWTWC by contacting Center Director Tom O’Brien (email@example.com) or Associate Director Tyler Reeb (firstname.lastname@example.org) at California State University in Long Beach.
West Region Transportation Workforce Center (WRTWC)
The West Region Surface Transportation Workforce Center (WRTWC) was established by the FHWA to bring together transportation organizations, workforce advocates, and educational institutions to develop partnerships that apply knowledge, experience, and resources to strategically build a strong transportation workforce for the future. Housed at the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University, WRTWC serves the 10-state region of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Hawaii.
WRTWC serves as a resource to support, grow and maintain a skilled and career-ready transportation workforce in the West. The Center is network focused and engages existing regionally based programs to catalyze new strategic partnerships and communicate programs and best practices to educators, employers and those pursuing the transportation career pathway.
With the active participation of key stakeholders, WRTWC is focused on providing:
- Better data on transportation job needs and priorities within the region, as well as information on existing transportation training and education programs and opportunities for all levels from middle school through professional development;
- Better alignment of education and training relative to workforce skills gaps;
- Collaboration and partnership-building opportunities between industry, education, economic development, and workforce communities.
Learn more about the work and mission of WRTWC by contacting Center Director Susan Gallagher (email@example.com) at Montana State University in Bozeman.
Northeast Transportation Workforce Center (NETWC)
The mission of the Northeast Transportation Workforce Center (NETWC) is to make a significant contribution to ensuring that the U.S. surface transportation system has a workforce that is resilient, skilled, efficient, and effective in designing, operating, building, and maintaining a 21st century infrastructure that best supports the region and country’s social and economic vitality. NETWC builds strategic partnerships and engages regional and national stakeholders to develop a skilled and career-ready transportation workforce.
NETWC is making these workforce advancements within the context of five strategic initiatives:
- Attracting tomorrow’s transportation workforce across the Northeast;
- Building transportation Career Paths to the future;
- Promoting and branding transportation as a “green” career;
- Implementing succession planning and knowledge management to increase organizational resilience;
- Up-skilling the transportation workforce to meet emerging challenges and opportunities.
Learn more about the work and mission of NETWC by contacting Center Director Glenn McRae (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the University of Vermont in Burlington.
Southeast Transportation Workforce Center (SETWC)
The mission of the Southeast Transportation Workforce Center (SETWC) is to coordinate existing regionally-based programs, plans, and processes while also strategically create partnerships that ensure students and persons seeking workforce reentry, career transition, or career advancement are aware of the opportunities, educational requirements, job skills, training options, and ladders to success within the regional transportation workforce.
The SETWC team believes that by working in-concert with committed regional partners, together we can produce a “right-sized”, well-trained, and career-ready transportation workforce for the southeast region.
The goals of SETWC include:
- Identify regional transportation job needs and priorities;
- Catalog existing training programs from K-12 through professional development;
- Identify education and training gaps;
- Develop partnerships and initiatives to bridge identified gaps;
- Fully engage regional stakeholders to showcase successful programs and practices and to increase impact in the southeast region.
Learn more about the work and mission of SETWC by contacting Center Director Stephanie S. Ivey (email@example.com) at the University of Memphis, Tennessee.