Connecting and empowering the 21st century transportation workforce
The Southwest Transportation Workforce Center (SWTWC) seeks to connect and empower the 21st century transportation workforce through research, education, and industry engagement. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funded the launch of SWTWC in concert with four other regional centers that form the National Network for the Transportation Workforce. Each center is dedicated to providing a more strategic and efficient approach to transportation workforce development.
SWTWC Director: Dr. Thomas O’Brien
SWTWC Associate Director: Dr. Tyler Reeb
Partnerships and Alliances
SWTWC builds partnerships and alliances between strategic stakeholders to advance an abiding goal: develop a skilled and career-ready transportation workforce throughout SWTWC’s eight member states—California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Texas, and Oklahoma. The center is led by the METRANS partnership of California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and the University of Southern California (USC). The SWTWC Team is composed of the following members:
- California State University, Long Beach’s Center for International Trade and Transportation (CITT)
- Dr. Thomas O’Brien, CITT Executive Director, METRANS Associate Director
- Dr. Tyler Reeb, CITT Director of Research, Research and Communications
- University of Southern California
- Dr. Genevieve Giuliano, Senior Associate Dean, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, METRANS Director
- Dr. Susan Gautsch, Director of Online Learning, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
- Texas A&M University Transportation Institute (TTI)
- Mark Coppock, Manager of Visual Media
- ICF International
- Dr. Brian Cronin, Senior Manager
- Dr. Allison Alexander, Senior Associate
- National Occupational Competency Testing Institute
- Dr. Fran Beauman, K-12 Education Consultant
About the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the transportation workforce
All of SWTWC’s research, education, and industry engagement efforts are guided by the FHWA’s belief that the nation’s ability to successfully deliver and manage an efficient, safe, and effective transportation system is dependent on the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the transportation workforce. Toward that end, SWTWC facilitates results-driven partnerships with State Departments of Transportation, State Departments of Education, industry, and other public and private stakeholders throughout the transportation, education, labor, and workforce communities.
Today, there are a number of challenges in trade and transportation workforce development. Baby boom generation retirements, competition from other industries, and difficulty in recruiting women and minorities, as well as new technologies driving the need for new skills from incumbent transportation workers, all combine for unique industry challenges in developing a qualified pipeline of talent. Over the next four years, SWTWC efforts will address workforce development activities at the 6th to 12th grade levels, technical schools and community colleges, universities, post graduate programs, and professional development for incumbent transportation workers.
To promote a skilled and career-ready transportation workforce, SWTWC seeks to:
- Engage regional and national stakeholders to identify successful curricula and training programs;
- Develop a Transportation Workforce Data Clearing House that will draw together previously siloed fields of business, education, transportation and labor;
- Convene national, regional, and state forums for strategic innovation and collaboration;
- Analyze labor force and job needs;
- Identify programs that facilitate transfers between 6-12 schools, community colleges, and 4-year institutions;
- Pursue innovative methods of reaching a diverse set of educational markets; and
- Establish a communications strategy to share Best Practices and innovative programs, including effective use of social media.