February 29, 2020
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The National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE) – a partnership of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the Institute for Transportation Engineers, and ITS America, with support from the Federal Highway Administration – launched a public outreach campaign on January 22 to build a Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO) workforce.

Patrick Son

“Transportation in the United States is undergoing a seismic cultural shift, transitioning from the traditional build mentality to an operations culture that emphasizes stewardship and maximizes existing capacity … and TSMO both improves the safety of the road user and increases travel-time reliability,” noted Patrick Son, NOCoE’s managing director, in a statement.

[That’s one reason why the group sponsors a national awards program to highlight how agencies across the country are using TSMO and an operations focused approach to save lives, time, and money on the nation’s roadways.]

“But as traffic management becomes increasingly complex and technology-based, there is a crucial need for operations personnel who can be trained to manage those systems to their greatest effect,” he stressed. “That’s why our industry practitioners and their leadership tell us that workforce development is a ‘keep me up at night’ issue.”

As a result, NOCoE’s TSMO workforce initiative will be a broad-based effort built around a dedicated website that offers a resource library organized into categories including student education, workforce training, industry assessments, plus human resource materials that includes job descriptions, events, contests, and success stories.

NOCoE also plans to deliver that information throughout the nation via in-person three-hour TSMO Workforce Development Workshops at industry gatherings and webinar settings.

The group noted that another component of its campaign is the NOCoE Fellowship Program, which will launch in March. It will provide opportunities for a select number of TSMO professionals to develop knowledge, skills, and abilities – known as KSAs – to apply on the job and in support of their long-term career growth within the transportation field.

editor@aashto.org

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