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Obama to Nominate Charlotte Mayor Foxx to DOT Secretary

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Source: truckinginfo.com/news/story/2013/04/
obama-to-nominate-charlotte-mayor-foxx-to-dot.aspx

President Obama will nominate Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Anthony Foxx to be Secretary of Transportation, news sources are reporting.

Foxx would replace Ray LaHood, who has said he would serve until a successor is confirmed.

Foxx, 41, is considered a rising political star. Politico named him one of “50 to watch” after his successful bid to bring the 2012 Democratic National Convention to Charlotte.

Foxx was elected mayor in 2009. Since then he has pushed to expand public transit, helped develop a new inland port and worked on a new runway at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.

“As mayor of one of America’s most vibrant cities, Anthony Foxx knows firsthand that investing in world-class infrastructure is vital to creating good jobs and ensuring American businesses can grow and compete in the global economy,” said a White House official cited in The Washington Post.

Foxx was born and raised in Charlotte by his single mother and grandparents. He graduated from Davidson College, where he was the first African-American student body president, and from the New York University School of Law.

He worked as an appellate court clerk, as a staffer in the U.S. House and as a practicing attorney in Charlotte before moving full time into politics.

He was elected to the Charlotte City Council in 2005, serving two terms before being elected mayor in 2009.

Source: truckinginfo.com/news/story/2013/04/obama-to-nominate-charlotte-mayor-foxx-to-dot.aspx

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Secretary LaHood Announces 5th Round of Funding from TIGER Grant Program

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DOT 35-13
Monday, April 22, 2013
Contact:  Justin Nisly
Tel.:  (202) 366-4570

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced the availability of $474 million for a fifth round of the highly successful TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) competitive grant program to fund surface transportation projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a region or metropolitan area.

“President Obama has challenged us to make sure our nation’s transportation infrastructure is up to the job of attracting and supporting businesses and the families that rely on them,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood.  “TIGER 2013 will contribute to increased mobility for people and freight, and economic growth by helping to improve existing and develop new transportation facilities that will strengthen our competitiveness and create jobs.”

Projects eligible for TIGER grants include highways and bridges, public transportation, passenger and freight rail transportation and marine port infrastructure investments.  Grants may range in size from $10 million to $200 million.  Grants to rural areas may be for less than $10 million, but must be more than $1 million.  No less than $120 million must be awarded to projects in rural areas. 

The four previous rounds of TIGER provided $3.1 billion to support 218 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Demand for the program has been overwhelming, with more than 4,050 applicants requesting more than $105.2 billion over the previous rounds. 

More than 100 of the TIGER grants were awarded directly to city or county governments that are otherwise unable to directly access traditional sources of Federal funding for their projects. Similarly, more than 19 TIGER grants were awarded directly to port authorities, and eight to tribal governments. TIGER has also helped catalyze 11 multi-state projects, which would have been difficult to advance through Federal formula programs.

The FY 2013 Appropriations Act requires that TIGER funds be obligated before October 1, 2014.  The limited amount of time means the Department will give priority to projects that are ready to proceed quickly.  In addition to project readiness, primary selection criteria include improving the condition of existing transportation facilities and systems; contributing to the economic competitiveness of the United States and creating and preserving jobs; increasing transportation choices and access to transportation services for people in communities across the U.S.; improving energy efficiency, reducing dependence on oil and reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and improving safety.

Applications are due June 3.   You can click here to view the Notice of Funding Availability.

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Farewell to a Special Friend - Mike O'Connell

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In the early beginnings of the CVTA, the Founders of our Association were fortunate to find a man that would leave an indelible mark on all those that would come and go within this organization.  His passion for the success of a then young fledgling association was unwavering, and through the years, those he helped to succeed never doubted his abilities or his desire to be of service to its members.

He had an infallible zest for life, always lived to the fullest on his own terms.  He had an eccentric and slightly warped sense of humor with a clear love of language and the power of the written word.

Anyone who spent time with Mike knew how much he loved his family, his Irish Heritage and love of his Boston Red Sox.

He was respected by many... and a friend to a fortunate few.  He was always ready to "fight the fight" in the best interests of those that needed his help.

He was quite simply one of a kind.

On the afternoon of April 20th, 2013, Kevin Michael O'Connell finally gave up the fight and passed peacefully at his home in the presence of family.  Our Association and many distinctive members of the professional community mourn the loss of this unique and special voice for our industry.

As soon as we have more information about viewing and funeral we will send them out to you.  In lieu of flowers the family has asked that donations be made to the Diabetes Association.     

In Loving Memory

Kevin "Mike" O'Connell

September 2, 1950 ~ April 20, 2013

"You may say I'm a dreamer...

But I'm not the only one...

I hope someday you'll join us,

And the world will live as one."

- Imagine by John Lennon

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New Research Assesses Navigation System Use in the Trucking Industry

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Arlington, VA - On April 17, 2013, The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released findings from the first phase of a two-part research initiative aimed at assessing the use of navigation systems in large trucks.  This first phase of the research, which analyzed survey data from over 800 drivers and carriers, identifies different systems and how they are used, as well as industry perceptions of navigation system effectiveness.

“This research is an important first step in understanding the role of navigation systems in large truck crashes.  By identifying the types of systems used, how drivers use them, and the types of crashes that may result from their use, industry stakeholders and policy makers can begin to implement crash mitigation strategies and hopefully, reduce the overall occurrence of these events,” commented Kendra Hems, President of the New York State Motor Truck Association. 

Furthermore, this study identifies the key priorities that navigation system providers should address in order to meet the needs of the trucking industry.  ATRI’s phase 2 work will expand the research by collecting and comparing quantitative data from navigation systems while in use.  This next step will attempt to identify the technical basis for navigation system failures and inadequacies from a truck operations perspective.

A copy of this report is available from ATRI at www.atri-online.org.

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National Work Zone Awareness Week

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"Work Zone Safety: We're All In This Together"

National Work Zone Awareness Week is held annually to bring attention to motorist and worker safety, as well as mobility issues in work zones.

The 2013 theme highlights the complexities of work zones, and the need for awareness and planning on the part of everyone affected by work zones including: State departments of transportation, road workers, drivers, bicyclists, motorcycles, pedestrians, emergency responders, law enforcement officers, and utility workers.

The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) National Highway Institute (NHI) offers a series of Design and Traffic Operations courses that provide best practices to help professionals plan, design, operate, and maintain highway work zones that improve safety for workers and the driving public. These courses will help practitioners consider work zone safety and mobility through all project phases.

 Select a course title for more information, and to register.

133110 Strategies for Developing Work Zone Traffic Analyses

133112 Design and Operation of Work Zone Traffic Control (1-Day)

133112A Design and Operation of Work Zone Traffic Control (3-Day)

133113 Work Zone Traffic Control for Maintenance Operations 

133114 Construction Zone Safety Inspection (1-Day)

133114A Construction Zone Safety Inspection (1.5-Day)

133115 Advanced Work Zone Management and Design

133119 Safe and Effective Use of Law Enforcement Personnel in Work Zones

133120 Work Zone Traffic Analysis Applications and Decision Framework

For more information contact NHI at 703-235-0500 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Member Alert - 4-11-2013

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Thanks to Jeff Bauza, MTC, for Bringing the following to our attention:

US. Department Federal Motor Carrier of Transportation Safety Administration

FMCSA ALERT 040513.2 Hiring Fraud perpetuated on Drivers and CDL Training Schools

FMCSA would like to make you aware of attempts to defraud CDL drivers seeking employment and CDL Training schools who are attempting to help students find jobs. The fraudster promises employment in return for monetary payments to fraudulent "recruiters". Please read below for more details about this "scam".

The way it works: A caller represents himself or herself as being a recruiter for a known and legitimate motor carrier to a representative of a truck driving school or driver. The caller has an air of urgency and "must hire" several CDL holders immediately or as soon as a student graduates from Driver Training and receives his or her CDL. The fraudster is also known to solicit truck driving school instructors to provide his or her call back number to trainees or recent graduates from truck driving schools.

When a driver seeking employment calls the "recruiter" he or she is offered an immediate position with higher than industry norms pay and benefits for a new driver and is often told there will be a "waiver" for previous criminal or DUI convictions older than three to five years.

The caller then tells the driver candidate he or she must prove financial solvency to the carrier by sending a wire transfer of $350 or more to the "recruiter". Recently the "wire transfer" instructions were to procure a Walmart money transfer purchased at the closest Walmart store and sent to the "recruiter" for pick-up at another Walmart store, usually in another State. Past fraudulent "recruiters" have directed money transfers through other common money transfer services such as Western Union. Victims are directed to travel to a location, often in another state than his or her residence, to be picked up by a company trainer and the pick-up does not occur.

Risk Mitigation for Driver / Driver Training Schools: Telephone the PUBLICLY LISTED telephone number of the motor carrier offering employment and verify the recruiter is a duly authorized representative of the Carrier.

Fraudulent Letters to Motor Carriers Requesting Banking Information
FMCSA Security Bulletin # 032813.01

This bulletin is for use by FMCSA Industry, Government, and Law Enforcement Partners.
Another round of fraudulent USDOT Letters dated March 12, 2013 are being distributed, largely by fax, to motor carrier officials. The letters appear to be from the U.S. Department of Transportation Procurement Office and are signed by a fictitious name Julie Weynel - Senior Procurement Officer who is NOT an employee of USDOT.

The letters are an attempt to obtain banking information from the targeted carriers.  Motor Carrier officials and their employees - as well as government and law enforcement officials, should be vigilant and on the lookout for fraudulent attempts to gather financial (or other personal identifiable Information - PII) data by fax, e-mail, or telephone. Requestors should be verified and authenticated before such data is provided!

You may find additional information on the USDOT Office of Inspector General Websites below:  

http://www.oig.dot.gov/fraud-alert

 

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Harnessing Social Learning to Improve Employee Performance

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Harnessing Social Learning to Improve Employee Performance

More so than ever, institutions need to respond fast to market fluctuations and in order to do so, their workforce needs to be agile.  To develop an agile workforce, employees need to learn in real-time – not just on the rare occasion they are participating in a formal training opportunity.  Social learning empowers employees to find information or learn new skills when and where they need them. Additionally, it enhances formal training through collaborative, post-training interaction that can deepen employees’ understanding of topics addressed in formal courses. What is meant by social learning?    

Social learning is simply participating with others to make sense of new ideas.  For example, when a group of instructors casually gathers in their faculty lounge and an impromptu discussion begins on how to effectively use technology in the classroom, the dialogue and social interaction among the group is an example of real-time, social learning.  These interactions take place every day by default or design and contribute to employee development and performance.  The problem is that many institutions do no harness this existing form of learning already taking place within their institution.  It is ironic that many career colleges are trying to harness social learning in the classroom using web 2.0 technologies to enhance student learning but are not doing the same for their faculty and staff.  If social learning can improve collaboration, engagement, learning, and performance for students, why wouldn’t it do the same for faculty and staff?     

Interested in harnessing the benefits of social learning? Learn more about The Career College Lounge, the only social learning space dedicated to the career education community.