What’s HappeningNewsWhat’s new with TAC’s Workforce Development Council

What’s new with TAC’s Workforce Development Council

November 3, 2023

This is one of several articles profiling the in-person Fall Technical Meetings of TAC’s six councils and their committees that took place September 22-24, 2023.

TAC’s Workforce Development Council welcomed 26 attendees to its fall meeting.

Guest presentation

The Council received a presentation from Gerard McDonald, CEO of Engineers Canada, the national organization of associations that regulate engineering in Canada and license 290,000 members of the engineering profession. He presented Engineers Canada’s work on post-secondary program accreditation, and on equity, diversity and inclusion in engineering with a focus on gender equity and reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous people. An excellent discussion ensued, with a focus on licensing of new Canadians and improving equity for women in engineering.

Task Force on Developing Highly Qualified Personnel

The Council formally accepted the summary report of the Task Force (chaired by Carl Clayton), which spent a year developing a prioritized road map of actions based on the recommendations in TAC’s 2022 publication Developing Highly Qualified Personnel for an Era of Connected and Automated Vehicles. The Task Force report suggests a number of helpful actions by TAC’s Chief Engineers Panel, Technology Council, Workforce Development Council and Secretariat staff, and includes a tracking tool to measure future progress.

Student Paper Awards

The Council identified several new volunteers to take over the evaluation of TAC Conference student papers from the previous group led by David Hein. Interested volunteers from other councils and committees are also welcome.

Committee updates

The Workforce Development Council received updates from its three committees.

The Education Committee meeting attracted 11 attendees, who discussed in depth the committee’s suggestion for a virtual event to promote transportation careers to students from across Canada. The meeting also included a “teaching and learning spotlight,” with presentations by Professor Yasser Hassan and graduate student Sean Sarran from Carleton University.

The Human Resources Committee meeting involved 10 participants who discussed imminent and future conference sessions, as well as the findings of a 2023 survey of TAC member organizations on employee recruitment and retention that was subsequently presented to TAC’s Board of Directors. The committee continues to seek new members, especially human resources practitioners from TAC member organizations who are interested in sharing information and discussing best practices.

The Professional Development Committee meeting attracted 14 participants. Attendees heard presentations from Shauna Lehmann (Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways) and Harmony McKinney-Bumstead (Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure) on their departmental strategies to support the professional development of their staff. The committee also advanced its plan to survey TAC member organizations on professional development challenges and strategies.

Workforce Development Council Executive

The Council’s new Executive includes:

  • Chair – Brittney Speed (British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
  • Vice-Chair – Rebecca Farrugia (GHD)
  • Chair, Education Committee – David Michelson (University of British Columbia)
  • Chair, Human Resources Committee – Heather Evoy (Ontario Ministry of Transportation)
  • Chair, Professional Development Committee – David Hein
  • Past Chair – Sean Nix (Sheridan College)
  • Board Liaison – Patrick Puccini (AECOM Canada)

Contact Romaine Morrison for more information on the Workforce Development Council and its committees.