The Midwest Transportation Workforce Center (MTWC) has embarked on a two-year endeavor to establish pathways for skilled careers in the Highway Maintenance Engineering (HME) discipline. This discipline currently encompasses front-line workers, technologists, materials testing technicians, operating engineers, planners, and environmental professionals and is key to the management of our infrastructure.

MTWC has formed a discipline working group (DWG) of national leaders in HME to consider the skill and competency requirements of highway maintenance workers in response to advancements in vehicle automation, information system sensing and communication technologies, and trends such as the growing evidence of the environmental health impacts of transportation.

The HME Initiative will identify current and emerging occupations (5-15 years) of highest demand, develop competency models, career pathways, and strategies for implementation. During the process, MTWC will partner with technical colleges, workforce development boards, state transportation agencies, and professional organizations to document guidelines for successful approaches in training and to pinpoint where curricula should be broadened to meet emerging skill requirements. Defining pathways in HME will ensure that the transportation sector can attract and retain the creative and skilled problem solvers the sector will need to fill these crucial jobs coming over the horizon.

PATHWAY VISION: The Highway Maintenance Engineering Career Pathway is rich with opportunities at every level to attract a diverse and technologically adept workforce of innovators who value sustainability and the environment.

Read more about this initiative launch.

Discipline Working Group

Leaders in this field have partnered with MTWC to help guide this initiative. Members will meet for quarterly video conferences:

Conference Call Schedule:

  • April 19, 2017 at 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Central Time
    Meeting Summary
  • July 12, 2017 at 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Central Time
  • October 11, 2017 at 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Central Time
  • January 24, 2018 at 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Central Time

To keep abreast of the project, you can send a message to Maria Hart at maria.hart@wisc.edu. You can also subscribe to the MTWC email newsletter and join the Community of Practice.

Highway Maintenance Engineering as a Case Study for Growing the Transportation Workforce

Transportation infrastructure in the Midwest encompasses all modes from inland waterways to bike paths. Midwesterners continue to rely on and demand more from their investments in the past. Keeping up requires innovation and for that we need creative thinkers interested in transportation asset management. As we celebrate National Transportation Week, we have a chance to reflect on what the Midwest can do to develop the transportation talent that we need to meet the needs of this sector moving forward.

Adams: Highway Maintenance Career Pathways Must Highlight What Interests Young People, Leverage Established Programs

Last month, the MTWC Highway Maintenance Engineering Career Pathways Initiative was kicked off as part of the umbrella effort, the National Transportation Career Pathways Initiative.

Webinar: Practical Technology-Based Approaches to Highway Infrastructure Maintenance

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This webinar will feature different examples of how technology can be implemented and leveraged to improve highway maintenance decision-making through more feature-rich data.