STRIDE Project E5

STRIDE Project E5

Transportation Workforce Development for State DOTs to Address Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (Southeast Region)

Research Team

Dr. Mehri Mohebbi (UF)
Dr. Virginia Sisiopiku (UAB)
Dr. Dimitra Michalaka (The Citadel)
Dr. Kweku Brown (The Citadel)

UTC Project Info

Final Report

Final Technology Transfer Report


What is the current issue? A number of national organizations, such as the American Public Transit Association (APTA), have recently started establishing a diversity and inclusion council or committee to draft a policy guide or prepare a strategic plan to address multifaceted equity issues their constituents face. The urgency of addressing equity and inclusion within the workforce became more evident since the Covid-19 pandemic started. Besides, numerous other factors impact the effectiveness of the transportation workforce. For instance, as many transportation workers are retiring, there is a need and opportunity to increase diversity and promote inclusion in training, recruiting, and workforce retention. Building a diverse workforce that reflects communities’ demographics and investing in future generations of transportation professionals are a few steps federal, state, and regional transportation agencies can take to start the journey towards a more diverse and inclusive work environment.

What will the research produce? This project will develop a framework for training, recruiting, and retaining workers to promote diversity and enhance inclusion within the transportation workforce.


  • Invest in promotion and retention for underserved groups.
  • Actively create awareness about inclusivity.
  • Agencies must understand that it much more than a diverse workforce, that creating an environment that reflects the communities served is important as well.
  • Be active and intentional about transforming the culture of your agency to a more inclusive one, including diversity in higher, decision-making roles.
  • Make it a priority to invest in career opportunities that are least diverse such as in senior-level jobs.
  • Be intentional in promoting transparency in agency leadership in their practices and decision making processes related to DE&I.
  • Create an environment that is collaborative, where there are clear paths for employees to excel in their careers and any other areas they can contribute to.