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Innovative Workforce Solutions to Help Transportation Industry Address Hiring, Training, and Retention Challenges

In October 2005, the U.S. Department of Labor has announced initial investments to address the workforce needs of the transportation industry. These investments result from forums which the U.S. Department of Labor hosted in 2005 with transportation industry leaders, educators, and the public workforce system to identify the industry's hiring, training, and retention challenges.

DOL has sought to understand and implement industry-identified strategies to confront critical workforce challenges. It has listened to employers, industry associations, community colleges, and others associated with the transportation industry regarding their efforts to identify challenges and implement effective workforce strategies. However, the challenges they face are far too complex for one institution or industry sector to solve alone. DOL's Employment and Training Administration is supporting comprehensive partnerships that include employers, labor-management organizations, the public workforce system, and other entities that have developed innovative approaches that address the workforce needs of business while also effectively helping workers find good jobs with good wages and promising career pathways in the transportation industry.

This set of workforce solutions is based on the transportation industry's priorities that address issues such as:

  • Helping high school, technical school, and community college graduates successfully enter the transportation industry;
  • Creating industry standards, and systems for apprenticeship, training, and skill certification in the transit sector;
  • Developing comprehensive, competency-based training programs for entry-level workers;
  • Creating models of safety simulation and gaming software that can be used to enhance the learning of younger workers;
  • Developing competency-based training program for entry-level mariners;
  • Developing competency-based e-learning courses for mariners;
  • Establish distance learning facilities in selected ports and two Seafarers International Union centers;
  • Providing disadvantaged job applicants with an opportunity to enter the transportation industry as professional drivers;
  • Articulating the commercial drivers license credential with the Technical Certificate in Heavy-Truck Diesel Maintenance; and
  • Developing effective partnerships among Workforce Investment Boards and One-Stop Career Centers, community colleges, and industry.

The grants are intended to provide genuine solutions, leadership, and models for partnerships that can be replicated in different parts of the country.