Expanding the Transportation Workforce: Tools for Local Agencies

Local transportation agencies in Minnesota are facing a growing workforce shortage, and many are struggling to hire and retain enough qualified staff. At the same time, today’s workforce wants more growth opportunities and career mobility.

This suite of tools was designed to help local agencies fill open positions and expand the transportation workforce. The tools take a two-pronged approach: Some help local agencies recruit, train, and retain workers in the short term, while others help promote career opportunities to students and feed the longer-term worker pipeline.

Ultimately, the tools help local agencies and employees meet their mutual needs. Agencies can attain the staffing needed to serve their communities and maintain Minnesota’s infrastructure, and employees from a broader applicant pool can chart a career in transportation.

Training Roadmap for Civil Engineering Technicians

This tool is a spreadsheet that supervisors and employees can use to identify and plan training needed for civil engineering technician positions, which are a particular need for many local agencies. Users can download the spreadsheet and fill it in electronically or print it out and write in their updates.

Local agencies can use the roadmap to plan training for new hires, allowing them to broaden the applicant pool to less-experienced candidates. Agencies can also use the tool to groom current staff for advancement. Employees with different backgrounds, experiences, and educational levels can identify what’s necessary to meet their goals and chart a path for career growth.

The roadmap has links to training options from a wide range of providers. Users can customize the tool by adding other courses, trainings, certifications, and categories. An accompanying 10-page user guide includes tips for supervisors and employees, key factors for successful on-the-job training, and case studies with local agency success stories.

Recruitment Toolkit for Local Agencies

This nine-page toolkit includes best practices and resources such as sample job descriptions and job postings; social media, targeted advertising, and other strategies; and Minnesota employment services.

Community Outreach and Communication Guide

This eight-page guide can help local agencies raise awareness in their communities about transportation careers. It includes tools, tips, and strategies to plan and manage outreach activities and communicate with students. The guide is accompanied by a spreadsheet with activities that agencies can use to spark interest when they meet with K-12 students.

Local Agency Careers in Minnesota

Local agencies can use this 12-page brochure to introduce students to transportation careers. Agency personnel may hand out the brochure during career fairs, high school presentations, or student visits to the shop or office, for example.

Sponsor and Project Participants

The project was sponsored by the Minnesota Local Road Research Board, and work was led by Minnesota LTAP. The project was guided by a technical advisory panel of experienced transportation professionals representing local agencies and private firms from around the state, as well as workforce leaders and technical school representatives.