The Southwest Transportation Workforce Center (SWTWC) will lead a national career pathway demonstration program as a result of being awarded a $1.25 million Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) grant titled the National Transportation Career Pathways Initiative. SWTWC, a METRANS research center based at CSULB, partnered with the four other regional transportation workforce centers in Montana, Wisconsin, Vermont, and Tennessee, which form the National Network for the Transportation Workforce (NNTW).
SWTWC will serve as the administrative headquarters and the program lead for the initiative. Under the grant, SWTWC will launch a pilot career pathway demonstration program focused on transportation planning career pathways. That pilot program will inform the development of subsequent career pathway demonstrations that address critical transportation occupations in planning, engineering, safety, operations, and environment.
The abiding goal behind the career pathway demonstrations is to engage students in the post-secondary educational continuum to choose transportation career pathways. The demonstrations will leverage insights from employers to empower students to first learn about critical transportation occupations and then develop the skills to meet the related workforce challenges.
“With multidisciplinary specialists, stakeholders from across the country, and extensive labor market analysis, our national network team is uniquely positioned to carry out the goals of the strategic initiative,” said Dr. Thomas O’Brien, SWTWC Director and METRANS Associate Director of Long Beach Programs. “Our career pathway demonstration programs will prepare future transportation professionals to develop industry competencies and move beyond disciplinary silos to address transportation workforce challenges throughout the nation.”