Western regional in San Antonio, Nov. 13-14.

By Allison Klein, senior vice president/strategic engagement, ARTBA

Transportation design and construction industry leaders and top state agency officials discussed workforce development, funding, and other critical issues at ARTBA’s recent Central and Western regional meetings. The two sessions concluded ARTBA’s 2019 regional meeting schedule, following the Northeastern and Southern gatherings in October.

The Central meeting, Nov. 6-7 in Kansas City, Mo., featured state agency leaders Patrick McKenna, director at the Missouri Department of Transportation; Steve Hewitt, chief executive officer, at the Kansas Turnpike Authority; and, Julie Lorenz, secretary at the Kansas Department of Transportation.

A workforce development panel, co-hosted with the Women’s Transportation Seminar Greater Kansas City, discussed topics such as retention, organizational culture, inclusion and diversity.

“For us, the big thing in workforce development is how do we become a more inclusive organization… It has been a phenomenal journey, in that process of watching that happen,” said David Harwood, senior vice president at Terracon and vice chairman of ARTBA’s Northeastern Region.

The Western regional, Nov. 13-14 in San Antonio, featured Brian Barth, director of project planning and development at the Texas Department of Transportation; Nathan Lee, director of technology and innovation at the Utah Department of Transportation; and, Syed Mehdi, chief development and strategy officer, at the San Antonio Airport.

The meeting also included sessions on “The Future of Work”, with Bryan Nicol at Deloitte, and workforce development, with a panel co-hosted with the Women’s Transportation Seminar San Antonio.

It was noted that two thirds of employers responding to a recent survey expect they will have to reskill current employees over the next three years due to artificial intelligence and automation.

ARTBA would like to thank all its sponsors and the Industry Leader Development Council leadership for their support and participation in this year’s regional meetings. To find out more about the information shared at these meetings, please contact me.