3.4.1 TAM Workforce Development


TAM Workforce Development

This page emphasizes the importance of workforce planning and development in Transportation Asset Management (TAM). It suggests conducting skill assessments and gap analyses to address evolving needs, implementing effective recruitment and retention strategies, and leveraging technology through digital competency and data-driven decision-making. Additionally, it recommends resources such as the AASHTO TAM Portal and NCHRP reports for further guidance on skill development, recruitment, and technology adoption in the TAM field.

Workforce Planning and Development

It is important to conduct a periodic skill assessment and gap analysis of the TAM workforce. This will involve defining skills and capabilities needed by the type and function of your TAM program. A starting point for defining skill is to look at section 3.1.3 Competencies of this guide. The competencies list can be used to build a list of skills for your agency. Skills needed change over time but one important need in the TAM workforce is a diversity of skills. The assessment and gap analysis of the current workforce against the evolving needs of TAM is an important step in having a robust TAM workforce to support an agency’s program. This step will identify skill gaps and develop strategies to address them through recruitment, training, or restructuring.

Once the skill gaps are known, the next step will be to have effective training and professional development programs to address gaps and ensure staff are up-to-date with the latest TAM methodologies, technologies, and regulations. Participation in professional development opportunities such as conferences, workshops, webinars, and certifications is important for building skills and capabilities. The TAM community has a rich set of resources for this type of engagement. The AASHTO TAM Portal (https://www.tam-portal.com/) event page provides a list of these types of opportunities.

Recruitment and Retention Strategies

Attracting good talent involves developing competitive recruitment strategies that emphasize the importance and impact of TAM roles. This should involve highlighting career progression opportunities and the benefits of contributing to public service and infrastructure development and management.

Effective retention practices involve fostering a positive work environment that values employee contributions. Although options may be limited, it is important to implement recognition programs, competitive compensation packages, and develop or showcase opportunities for career advancement to reduce turnover rates.

The NCHRP Research Report 1008: Attracting, Retaining, and Developing the 2030 Transportation Workforce: Design, Construction, and Maintenance that was published in 2023 is a good resource for recruitment and retention strategies (https://nap.nationalacademies.org/catalog/26768/attracting-retaining-and-developing-the-2030-transportation-workforce-design-construction-and-maintenance).

TAM Guide Book Club #6: Increasing Your Workforce Capacity

New Employee Training

Leveraging Technology and Tools

Digital competency is a critical skill in the current TAM organization. Ensuring the workforce is proficient in using TAM-related software and tools enables greater effectiveness and efficiency. Regular training on digital tools and data management systems is essential.

A key element of TAM programs is data-driven decision-making. It is important to train staff in data analytics and the use of data-driven approaches for asset management decision-making, enhancing efficiency and effectiveness.

NCHRP Report 1075 Becoming a Tech-Savvy DOT of Tomorrow – A Playbook for State DOTs, published in 2023 is an excellent resource for more information: https://nap.nationalacademies.org/catalog/27293/becoming-a-tech-savvy-dot-of-tomorrow