INNOVATIONS IN TECHNOLOGY
Teaming up for training
Do you want to save money
Do you want to save money? Make the most of the resources you have? Better equip your transportation work force?
The Transportation Curriculum Coordination Council (TCCC) can help you do all of the above and much more. The TCCC was formed in 2000 to facilitate the prioritization, coordination and development of training initiatives for the transportation industry. With state highway agencies, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and industry all losing experienced staff through attrition, rebuilding personnel resources must be a priority. Training is key to this rebuilding.
The diverse membership of TCCC includes representatives from three American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) subcommittees, FHWA, state transportation agencies, industry associations and the National Highway Institute (NHI).
The council links five regional worker training and certification groups, each of which has ambitious efforts under way.
The Western Alliance for Quality Transportation Construction (WAQTC) was formed four years ago and now serves 12 Western states. The alliance offers standardized instruction and certification in five areas: concrete, embankments, aggregates, density and asphalt testing. Member states generally maintain a reciprocity policy of recognizing owner agency and contractor technicians certified by another member of the alliance. Some of the states, however, do have add-on requirements that must be fulfilled before a technician can work in that state. More information can be found on the WAQTC website (www.waqtc.org).
The Mid-Atlantic Region Technician Certification Program also offers several training programs to its participating states, including "Hot-Mix Asphalt (HMA) Field Construction/Paving" and "Aggregate Technician." These training programs have manuals generic enough to be adapted for use by any state.
The North Central Multi-Regional Training and Certification Program (M-TRAC) currently has 10 members, with many of its states following reciprocity policies for certifying highway workers. Needs that have been identified by program members include developing field construction courses and train-the-trainer courses for lab technicians.
"The TCCC is an excellent resource and its work has been beneficial to the entire Midwest," said M-TRAC member Chris Anderson of Iowa DOT.
Goals identified by the 12 states that make up the Southeast Task Force for Technician Training and Qualification (SETFTTQ) include developing a shared training program library and developing new training programs based on the needs of the member states. More information can be found on the SETFTTQs website (www.dot.state.fl.us/statematerialsoffice/setaskforce/).
In the Northeast, nearly 2,500 people have been certified by the New England Transportation Technician Certification Program in various work areas, such as a Laboratory Qualification Program. Courses in development include "HMA Paving Inspector and Soils and Aggregate Technician."
In addition to the training available through the regional groups, new training courses have been developed through NHI and other entities. These include "Design and Implementation of Erosion and Sediment Control" (NHI course #134054). For more information on the course, contact Mila Plosky at NHI (703/235-0527; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The various regional groups and other TCCC members will better be able to coordinate their efforts with the new TCCC website (www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/tccc) that made its debut last month. The site serves as a central source of information on state, regional and industry training efforts. Included on the site are a catalog of available training materials and opportunities; a database of information on states certification programs and requirements; and a discussion forum.
The TCCC work also has received a boost from a resolution supporting a national pooled-fund project for training development. This resolution was recently approved by the AASHTO Standing Committee on Highways. By pooling state resources, this resolution has the potential to generate funding of up to a million dollars annually for development of technician training and certification core materials that can be used nationwide.