Transit Workforce Development Challenges and Mitigation Practices

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Transit Workforce Development Challenges and Mitigation Practices


The objective of this research is to summarize previously conducted research related to workforce development challenges in the transit industry, detailing major findings and subsequent recommendations based on the annotated bibliography of the current atmosphere and most successful ways to mitigate those challenges to attract and retain talent in the transit industry. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. had over 10 million job openings and only 5.7 million unemployed workers in March 2023. In 2017, the Washington Post posited that there were not enough workers to fill the vacancies, as the U.S. Census Bureau announced a 17-year low in unemployment while the Bureau of Labor Statistics hit record streaks for numbers of job openings. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the employment challenges that the U.S. already faced. To top it all, the pandemic also led to increased retirement rates among those close to retirement age. This provides transit industry executives and transportation professionals, with ideas of tools that are available to help attract more qualified candidates to the transit industry and ways to advance the development of the transit workforce. This research highlights some of the social media recruiting; online hiring platform improvements; and partnerships with career centers, universities, and recruitment centers to attract new employees to the transit workforce. In addition, increases in pay, benefits, bonuses, providing flexible schedule options and some other atypical ideas have successfully been used to retain workers in the transit workforce. This research focuses on ways in which all transit stakeholders can invest in all aspects of industry workforce development to ensure qualified employees choose the transit industry and that they are subsequently trained to be the most beneficial assets to the organization and remain there via effective retention strategies.



Jodi Godfrey is a research associate for the Mineta Transportation Institute, and she has been a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida (USF) for 12 years, where she works on the Transit Safety and Workforce Development Program. Ms. Godfrey received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from USF. Jodi is the faculty advisor of the USF ITE Student Chapter, the co-chair of the International Women in ITE Committee, the secretary of the Transportation Research Board's Standing Committee on Transit Safety and Security (AP080), and a member of the TRB Women and Gender in Transportation Committee (AME20). Ms. Godfrey also serves as the vice chair of the American Public Transportation Association Bus Safety Committee. Jodi is passionate about safety, improving diversity in the transportation industry, and fighting to end human trafficking.

May 2024
Workforce development
Career advancement
Transit industry workforce



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