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

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. Building on national and regional efforts, the findings of this project will help southeast DOTs, LTAPs, professional organizations, and the private sector to step forward and reaffirm their commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workforce. Transportation scholars and practitioners will also use this project’s results to develop professional training workshops centered on equity, diversity, and inclusion within the transportation workforce.