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The National Academies

NCHRP 20-24(47) [Completed]

Racial and Gender Diversity in State DOTs and Transit Agencies: Phase I Benchmark Scoping
[ NCHRP 20-24 (Administration of Highway and Transportation Agencies) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $50,000
Research Agency: University of Minnesota
Principal Investigator: Dr. Samuel Myers
Effective Date: 7/15/2005
Completion Date: 5/30/2006

This is a jointly funded project between the National Cooperative Highway Research Program and the Transit Cooperative Research Program. Please see the information under TCRP project J-06, Task 59.


BACKGROUND

The United States of America is a diverse nation. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, minorities constitute about 30% of the population. Between 2002 and 2012, the number of minorities in the U.S. labor force is projected to increase faster than the number of whites (Occupational Outlook Quarterly, p. 28, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Summer 2004). Moreover, women's share of the labor force will also continue to increase, reaching 47.5% by 2012 (Minority Labor Review, February 2004).

The impact of these trends on the employment composition of some U.S. industries remains largely unknown. Despite the availability of many reports on workforce challenges facing the U.S. transportation industry, the representational data available on its employees by gender and race are limited. Such data are needed by state DOTs and transit agencies to assess the current diversity of their workforce; to establish a benchmark against which to measure and track efforts to recruit, promote, and retain a diverse workforce; and to identify successful practices being applied throughout the industry (see Special Note A).

As a starting point, this first phase of a potential two-phase study focuses on identifying, analyzing, and determining the quality of existing data for state DOTs, transit agencies, and contract employees of public transit agencies, leading to the establishment of a benchmark to measure diversity of this labor force in Phase II (see Special Note B).

OBJECTIVE

The objective of Phase I is to produce a report that (1) identifies sources of existing data on the race and gender of employees of state DOTs, transit agencies, and contract employees of public transit agencies; (2) assesses the quality of the data in terms of their comprehensiveness, validity, and reliability; (3) identifies gaps discovered in the existing data and what additional data need to be collected in order to establish a credible benchmark; (4) establishes a baseline reflecting the current status of racial and gender diversity in state DOTs and transit agencies based on existing data; and (5) recommends a comprehensive work plan for Phase II (see Special Note B).

TASKS

Task 1. Conduct a literature search and recommend the desired data sets needed to establish a credible benchmark for measuring and tracking diversity in terms of race and gender for employees of state DOTs and transit agencies, including contract employees of public transit agencies. The contractor should not expend more than 5% of the project budget on this task. Task 2. In conjunction with the TRB Project Panel, identify existing, relevant data for state DOTs, transit agencies, and contract employees of public transit agencies. At a minimum, the data analyzed should include information submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation by state DOTs and transit agencies. Examine the data gathered and hone aggregated data to the most detailed and disaggregated form possible. Task 3. Assess the quality of the existing data in terms of their comprehensiveness, validity, and reliability; identify gaps in the data; and recommend additional data collection needed in order to establish a credible benchmark against which diversity can be measured and tracked. Prepare a working paper on the findings of Tasks 1, 2, and 3.Task 4. Using existing data, develop a baseline depicting the current state of diversity in terms of race and gender of those employed by state DOTs and transit agencies, including contract employees of public transit agencies.Task 5. Produce a draft final report that includes the findings of Tasks 1 through 4 and provides a recommended work plan for a subsequent phase (Phase II) envisioned for this project. Revise the report based on the Panel's review of the draft final report.


Status: The preliminary draft final report is being reviewed by the project panel. The revised final report is due on May 30, 2006.

Product Availability: The final report has been published as TCRP Report 120/NCHRP Report 585.


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