Workforce planning and human resource development strategies for Minnesota's public transportation agencies

Principal Investigator(s):

Kenneth Bartlett, Professor, Education & Human Development


Project summary:

There is increased recognition of the importance of future human resources projections, as they are needed to help organizations and industries counteract potential disruptions from labor shortages, high turnover, and employee knowledge/skills non-aligned with a rapidly changing and dynamic external environment. The transportation industry is noted for a severe and growing workforce shortage. Further, the dual impacts of insufficient new workers entering the field and difficulty in retention of current employees has created challenges for local agencies to find staff to deliver projects and services. The problem is especially acute for technical workers, including engineers, engineering technicians, surveyors, and surveying technicians in Minnesota's transportation public agencies. The purpose of this project is to examine the causes of the workforce shortage and identify appropriate human resource strategies in response to the public transportation industry in Minnesota. A literature review is providing the foundation for the work. The review will inform question development for a survey questionnaire, interviews, and focus groups with current employees, their supervisors, and future potential employees. Once a greater understanding of current and likely future driving forces for the workforce shortage is gained, then the focus of the project will shift to consider optimum strategies in response. Specifically, recruitment, retention tactics, and human resource development strategies--including various approaches to on-the-job training and online learning--from both the public and private sectors, will be examined to identify a range of workforce planning and development solutions.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2019017
  • Start date: 09/2018
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Planning and Economy
  • Topics: Economics, Planning