National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is Opportunity to Reflect on this Occupation that is Key to Midwest Economy

September 11-17 is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. Here in the Midwest, Truck Drivers are a key part of the supply chain and crucial to the economy. The role of truck drivers will continue to be indispensable to the success and growth of commerce in this region.

Last year, the Midwest Transportation Workforce Center (MTWC) released its report on the workforce needs within the transportation industry. The MTWC’s Job Needs and Priorities Report: Phase I drew on state 2012 labor data from the Midwestern states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The MTWC found that the demand for Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers will exceed that of any other occupation in the Midwest between 2012-2022.  Read more

Transportation Today

Newspaper for Students Transforms Image of Careers in Transportation

Since it was launched, Transportation Today WI has transformed career and technical education (CTE) programs across Wisconsin into desired destinations, not just a place where some students end up, according to publisher, Renée Feight. This change is, in part, because the newspaper written for students brings awareness of great career prospects in transportation to the classroom. Feight and Larry Werner, publishers of the Transportation Today WI newspaper are excited about all things transportation. The publication was added as a special publication of its parent publication, Teaching Today WI, in 2010. Read more

FHWA Releases Overview of US Job Needs and Priorities

The Federal Highway Administration recently released the Executive Summary and National Overview: US Transportation Job Priorities and Needs report, which provides a high-level overview of the methodology and results of the Job Needs and Priorities research undertaken by the five regional transportation workforce centers that make up the NNTW.

This report discusses the transportation industry, drivers of transportation needs, and the transportation workforce in each region and then describes the key occupations across the five regions and analyzes and categorizes these occupations based on labor market data.

Read the complete summary.

Workforce Initiatives in the Midwest

At the MTWC Strategic Advisory Meeting in April 2015, attendees identified a number of possible initiatives for improving transportation workforce development in the Midwest. In the interim, stakeholder groups have continued to discuss and refine these initiatives.

These initiative descriptions will inform discussions about many of these topics at the upcoming Midwest Transportation Workforce Summit, as well as provide a strategic direction for the Center’s ongoing work.

Wolter wins Big Thinker Award

The MTWC congratulates MTWC advisory committee member Kurt Wolter, who recently won the Big Thinker Award that the 2015 Illinois Technology Education Conference.

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Wolter is a technology teacher at the Rochelle Township High School in Rochelle, Illinois. He has developed several lab activities to teach students about the basics of transportation and excite them about transportation as a career.

MTWC at the Indiana Logistics Summit

Are you attending the Indiana Logistics Summit on September 21-22 in Indianapolis? Come visit the MTWC booth in the exhibition area for more information about how we’re working to improve transportation workforce development in the Midwest.

For more information about this event, visit the Indiana Logistics Summit website.

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Fast Forward Features the NNTW

Fast Forward recently published a feature on the National Network for the Transportation Workforce (NNTW), the network of five regional workforce centers that includes the MTWC.

Just last year, the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced five newly-established Centers designated to lead and coordinate transportation workforce development efforts in and across each of the country’s five major geographic regions. This was the latest—and perhaps most monumental—move by the FHWA as part of a historic push to enrich and vitalize the U.S. transportation workforce. The Regional Surface Transportation Workforce Development Centers will be one-stop-shops for transportation workforce development in their respective regions, with each Center supplying the people, planning, resources, and coordination necessary to address priorities unique to its region; together, the Centers will work as a coordinated, national network to achieve workforce-related objectives that impact the country as a whole.

Read the entire article.

About the NNTW

The MTWC is led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The other centers are led by Montana State University (West), California State University, Long Beach (Southwest), University of Vermont (Northeast), and The University of Memphis (Southeast).

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UW-Madison to host new Regional Transportation Workforce Center

Madison, Wisconsin.—The US Department of Transportation (US DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has selected the University of Wisconsin-Madison to establish the Midwest Transportation Workforce Center (MTWC) as one of five regional transportation workforce centers in the country.

The MTWC, funded by a $600,000 grant by FHWA, is led by Dr. Teresa Adams. The Center will be instrumental in connecting jobs with transportation needs that contribute to the economy and the region. The scope of the transportation workers in the Midwest is very diverse. These workers—whether they be traffic technicians, logistics workers, commercial drivers, bridge and highway engineers, planners, etc.—who design, build, and maintain our highways, ports, and intermodal facilities have specific skills and therefore require specific training and education.

“The are many challenges facing the transportation sector. In addition to a high rate of retirements and vacancies in this field, emerging technologies, as well as environmental and climate considerations, are changing the knowledge base and skill requirements for future workers,” said Adams. “The Center will take a strategic approach to workforce development by engaging and facilitating partnerships between transportation industry, education, and economic development.”

Dr. Adams currently directs the University’s National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education (CFIRE), a University Transportation Center based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that focuses on multimodal freight systems, infrastructure, and economic competitiveness. “CFIRE has been working with the Midwest states on freight issues for more than 10 years,” said Adams. “The MTWC gives us the opportunity to expand our efforts into workforce development.” The MTWC region includes nine Midwest states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

“We look forward to working with industry, and facilitating partnerships between K-12, and secondary schools, community, technical colleges, universities to align education and industry and to support career pathways for current and future transportation workers.”

The MTWC is one of five regional centers that will collaborate to form a national network of workforce strategies and promising practices—an outcome of the collaboration that has been in the works at the national level at the Departments of Transportation, Labor and Education.

“The University of Wisconsin-Madison has long operated a very successful and highly regarded transportation center,” said Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI 2nd District). “I am very pleased one of the five regional transportation workforce centers will be located at UW-Madison and will further contribute to the University’s excellent record of transportation research.”

Contact: Dr. Teresa Adams (608-890-2310; adams@engr.wisc.edu)

Note: versions of this press release are also available via the UW-Madison College of Engineering and at University Communications.