The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials recently released a video detailing a workforce recruiting Knowledge Session held during its 2023 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis.
[Above image by AASHTO]
Moderated by Shannon Peloquin – a partner with consulting firm McKinsey & Co. – the session’s panelists explored strategies to engage the next generation in state transportation jobs; a crucial effort that involves equity, resilience, environment, and workforce gaps.
This particular AASHTO Knowledge Session focused on appealing to and enabling those starting careers to bring new perspectives toward a more sustainable and inclusive transportation future.
By linking evolving industry priorities with a passion for public service, the session highlighted how state DOTs can foster ownership and collaboration to ensure a vibrant and resilient transportation ecosystem for years ahead.
“This is a gargantuan problem, but we have to talk about it in terms of what we can control regarding attracting and retaining workers,” explained Jack Marchbanks, director of the Ohio Department of Transportation, during the session.
He said the Ohio DOT is particularly focused on reaching young people – particularly middle school students – through a variety of initiatives, such as youth environmental transportation camps and construction career days.
“We are getting a huge amount of young people to come out to these events,” Marchbanks said, noting that his agency’s most recent Construction Career Day attracted 3,098 middle school participants. “We believe these efforts to seize interest in transportation infrastructure will bear fruit,” he stressed.