This publication is an edited transcript of The Crisis in Transportation Workforce Development, a symposium held on October 6, 2007. The symposium was sponsored by the Mineta Transportation Institute and the Rahall Transportation Institute, and co-sponsored by the American Association of Railroads, the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, the American Public Transportation Association, the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Transit Administration and the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. For this symposium numerous policy makers, transit executives and human relations professionals charged with recruiting staff were invited to participate in the open forum.
Topics of discussion included the imminent retirement of the baby boomer generation, the migration of core worker skills and techniques for successful recruitment and retention of employees in transportation. With the baby boomer generation retiring and a large chunk of the transportation workforce eligible to retire soon after, transportation is entering a workforce crisis. In order to solve this problem, innovative recruitment techniques such as targeting grade school and college students, retention programs such as smarter benefit packages, and encouragement of internal training and education need to be implemented. Transportation must work to recruit and retain the best and the brightest.