|ALSITE Service Project - Leadership Development Workshop for ALDOT
Richard Caudle and Dan Turner
The Alabama Section ITE has a history of service projects for the Alabama Department of Transportation, as an ongoing effort to foster good will and cooperation between ALSITE and ALDOT and to ensure that ITE remains a respected source of transportation information in the State of Alabama. In the recent past, this included an Access Management Class, which was presented four times across the State for ALDOT personnel. This year ALSITE extended the reach of our outreach by providing Leadership Development Training to ALDOT personnel.
The exciting results for ALSITE members who participated in the SDITE Leadership Development Program during the summer of 2010 at Shocco Springs was so well-received that Dr. Dan Turner envisioned that it could be easily and effectively exported to outside agencies such as ALDOT. This idea was presented to the ALSITE Board of Directors at their October, 2010 meeting, where approval was given and funding provided in the amount of $2,000. Dr. Turner and Richard Caudle (the ALSITE Leadership Development Coordinator) then assembled a well-qualified team of instructors/ facilitators to adapt the program to ALDOT.
After reviewing the results of the ALSITE workshop at Shocco Springs, the ALDOT Chief Engineer's office endorsed the training. ALDOT managers nominated young leaders, and 16 from across the State were invited to attend the first session in Montgomery. It was held on Friday-Saturday, December 10-11, 2010 at the ALDOT Training Annex. Efforts were greatly enhanced when the Southern District ITE agreed to provide a $1,000 matching grant to help fund the effort. Funding from ALSITE and SDITE, and donated time and expenses by the instructors allowed the workshop to be offered free of charge to the ALDOT participants.
The second session was held on Tuesday-Wednesday, February 8-9, 2011 in Montgomery. Both sessions were a success! The ALSITE members whose efforts brought the success included Becky Malenke, Jim Meads, Doug Peterson, Chris Reeves, Darrell Skipper, Dan Turner, and Becky White. Special thanks go to Becky for spending two days editing all the PowerPoint slides for the workshop, and to Richard who handled all of the administrative work and coordination activities.
ALSITE facilitators challenged the ALDOT attendees to be active participants and to guide their own futures. In the intervening time between the two sessions, the participants identified and defined additional desired topics. This resulted in the development of two new modules: one on Transitioning to Leadership (developed by Darrell Skipper) and one on Ethics in Leadership (developed by Jim Meads).
One evidence of the impact of the ALSITE service project is an email Dr. Turner received from the supervisor of one of the ALDOT participants. It included the following testimonial:
"I wanted to thank you for nominating me to attend the Leadership Development seminar. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was by far one of the most beneficial seminars that I have attended and it definitely helped me realize what it takes to become a great leader and supervisor. Thanks again for recommending me and I hope to grasp everything that I learned and utilize it in my work ethic."
This is a credit to the vision and commitment of ALSITE. Our combined efforts are underwriting the future of our profession by helping good young transportation professionals equip themselves with attitutes and skill sets to build a great transportation future for Alabama.
There is more good news about the SDITE Leadership Development program. An International ITE Task Force has been formed to investigate it as a mode to offer leadership training nationally. SDITE Immediate Past President Jim Westmoreland is chairing the Task Force, and Dr. Turner is chairing one of the subcommittees. In April at the ITE Technical Conference in Orlando, a special session (3 modules) will be offered to an audience composed of the ITE Board, Council Chairs, District Presidents, and Section Presidents. A second offering will be open to everyone by advance registration.