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The U.S. Departments of Transportation, Education, and Labor kicked off the week with some good news today, releasing a joint report, “Strengthening Skills Training and Career Pathways across the Transportation Industry.”

The new report details future employment hot spots in transportation by industry subsectors, occupations, career areas, and geographic areas.  It also identifies good-paying, high-demand transportation jobs and analyzes patterns in the education and work experience required for entry --as well as on-the-job training requirements to help new entrants gain greater competency.

The report concludes that there will be more job opportunities in the near future due to expected growth, retirements, and turnover in the transportation industry. But those opportunities won't fill themselves. Employers will need to hire and train a total of 4.6 million new workers; that's 1.2 times the current transportation workforce. 

As U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said, "Industry and government must increase recruitment and help young people get the skills, training, and apprenticeships they need to gain entry into these careers.”  

Transit work on M.T.A. number 7 line

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This month, Richard Devylder, a disability rights activist and former Senior Advisor for Accessible Transportation here at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), passed away at the age of 46.

Richard was an ardent proponent for increased transportation accessibility.  He was born without arms or legs and grew up in a world largely devoid of accommodation for those like him.  Not one to be limited, Richard was quick to find ways to realize his own independence.  By the age of two he was turning book pages on his own.

Richard Devylder disability rights activist and former Senior Advisor for Accessible Transportation

What Richard might be most remembered for, besides his friendly forehead bumps and relentless optimism, is how well he understood the connection between transportation and an independent lifestyle, which drove his life’s work of transportation advocacy. 

“Public transportation was number one for me to graduate from college and for me to be able to live independently.” Richard was quoted as saying in 2010. “I always say, the number one thing that can make us independent to the fullest is transportation.  [Without it] we can’t go to school, we can’t get to work, and we can’t live independently.”

Richard first started his work in California, and his passion for disability rights quickly accelerated his career, working in the California Governor’s Office, and assuming the position of deputy director of the California Department of Rehabi

Continue Reading A DOT Legacy: Richard ››
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Summer night seem to be passing quickly, but there's still time to enjoy picturesque areas on some of America’s most important roads. The National Park System remains the envy of the world, and its majestic scenery and bountiful wildlife offer visitors a respite from modern life. But its roads, sometimes called “parkways,” remain some of the most underappreciated.

Acadia National Park Loop Road

Our Office of Federal Lands Highway (FLH) works with Federal agencies like the Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management to maintain those roads and improve transportation through federally-owned lands.

While interstates, state highways, and city and county roads make up the lion’s share of public roads, America's National Park roads are a sentimental favorite of mine. With so many scenic roads accessible to the public, it's difficult for many people to choose a favorite.

Continue Reading Summer Park Roads, Summer ››
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It’s crunch time for summer reading lists; folks are starting to head back to school. But there is still time to read Beyond Traffic – or the “CliffNotes version” – and to tell us how you would like to move forward in the future.

Our report about the next 30 years in transportation has been downloaded nearly 400,000 times since it was released earlier this year. And even if you haven’t read every word of it we still hope you will join the conversation.

Provide us with feedback on our findings in the report. Tell us how you travel. Commenting is easy!

Continue Reading Join the conversation. Help ››
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At the Federal Highway Administration and throughout the U.S. Department of Transportation, safety is our top priority. We discourage cell phone use and other distractions while driving. We provide technical advice and research to ensure roads are designed and built to be as safe as possible. Similarly, state Departments of Transportation post recommended speed limits on highways, and enforce laws to crack down on those who drink and drive.

Because of such efforts, highway fatalities are nearly at an all-time low. However, there is still much work to do.

Yesterday, on I-70 in suburban Washington, D.C., as has been reported, Lenny B. Robinson was killed in a crash. Known widely throughout the capital area as “Batman,” the Maryland man put his wealth to work by dressing up as Batman and bringing toys and smiles to children in area hospitals in a black Lamborghini he’d decorated as the “Batmobile.”

Maryland's Batman Leonard Robinson

To children, he was a hero. To grownups, his philanthropy was an inspiration.

Continue Reading Roadway Safety - Our ››
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Even before the large gathering took their seats to discuss perspectives on next steps for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Women in Transportation initiative, there was tremendous energy in the room. 

On behalf of Anthony Foxx, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the White House Council on Women and Girls, I am happy to report that this enthusiasm is translating into policy action.  This session brought together an inspiring and accomplished group of women and men from across the transportation sector that is focused on achieving real results.  We were fortunate to have participation by senior White House officials – Tina Tchen, Assistant to the President, Chief of Staff to the First Lady, and Executive Director for the Council on Women and Girls opened the event; Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, brought this great event to a close.

Group photo of APEC panel, moderator and Susan Kurland

Continue Reading DOT to help APEC increase ››
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Just as a new house needs a strong foundation and basic systems to make it functional, so too does the new Federal Transit Administration (FTA) safety program. We’ve taken a major step in that direction today by issuing a proposed rule that would create the overall framework for FTA to monitor, oversee, and enforce safety in the public transit industry.

This is an important milestone because transit ridership is at its highest levels in generations, and our nation’s transit agencies are facing increased pressure to meet the demand for service.

The proposed rule would formally establish the principles and practices of Safety Management Systems (SMS) as the foundation of FTA’s new safety oversight authority. SMS is successfully used in the space, aviation, chemical, and other industries.  In addition, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) characterizes SMS as a “Most Wanted” practice for public transportation because of its flexibility and effectiveness across organizations with differing physical and financial environments.

In other words, SMS is exactly the right safety approach to address the diversity of the public transit industry...

DART train station in Dallas

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Cross-posted from the August 12, 2015, Lincoln Journal Star.
Learn more about the Senator and Secretary working together.

Whether traversing through deep-water ports, over winding railroads or in the back of a long-haul truck, consumer products travel across the world before reaching the shelves of local markets in Lincoln and throughout Nebraska. Transportation fuels our economy.

Investing in our transportation infrastructure is vital to our nation’s economic health and global competitiveness. By doing so, we strengthen safety and commerce, and, in the process, create good, well-paying jobs for hardworking people in Nebraska and elsewhere. After all, nearly 12 million Americans work in transportation-related jobs.

The federal government must provide state and local policymakers with the right tools to maintain and update our infrastructure or build new projects. Unfortunately, Congress has relied on 34 short-term extensions since 2009, disrupting major infrastructure projects and causing stress for road builders, local officials and the traveling public. We can and should do better...

Official photos of Senator Fischer and Secretary Foxx
U.S. Senator Deb Fisher (R-Nebraska) and U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Continue Reading Working together to improve ››
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What happens when a busy port opens a new $27.5 million, 650-foot marine cargo dock and storage yard? When we're talking about the Port of Brownsville, Texas, that investment significantly boosts its capacity and capability, allowing the port to compete more effectively with major domestic and foreign counterparts in the Gulf of Mexico region.

The Port of Brownsville already generates $2 billion in annual economic activity for the State of Texas.  But port leaders understand that the future of freight is a future of dramatically expanding shipping volumes and an increasingly competitive global economy.  Their plans to face the challenges and opportunities of the future with a state-of-the-art dock and storage yard garnered the support of a $12 million DOT TIGER grant, and last Friday I joined Federal, State and local officials at the Port to mark the opening of the new facilities.

But this TIGER grant will help accomplish a lot more than increased capacity.  As an emerging regional trade hub and home to several of our Nation’s vessel recyclers, the Brownsville maritime industry is a major South Texas job creator.  The industry directly employs more than 1,200 Texans and produces commercial activity that energizes maritime-related and –linked industries, generating additional jobs in other sectors of the economy.  With the addition of this TIGER-funded dock and storage yard, we are proud to be contributing to the creation of even more employment opportunities for the Lone Star State...

Port of Brownsville ribbon-cutting

Continue Reading DOT TIGER on the Loose at ››
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