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.

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


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

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..

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:


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. 

News from Truckers Against Trafficking

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Hello friends and supporters,

We are excited to share this 2nd quarter newsletter with you. So much has happend in the last three months, and we continue to move forward in our goal of equipping the trucking industry to recognize and respond to child exploitation and human trafficking. We do that with your help and support, and it's amazing to see what a difference each of you are making in the fight against human trafficking!
Every call makes a difference. Every driver trained on recognizing the signs of human trafficking makes a difference. Every wallet card in the hands of those of you that are the eyes and ears of our nation's highways makes a difference. Thank you for the work you do. We are privileged to be a part of it.
Truckers Against Trafficking


United Nations honors truckers and trucking industry for anti-human trafficking efforts    
Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) has been named one of the top 100 practices for combating human trafficking by the United Nations' 2013 Protection Project Trafficking in Persons report.
Included in the report's section on "The Role of Civil Society," TAT is described as follows:
TAT is an organization of members of the trucking and travel plaza industry who are committed to eliminating human trafficking by designing and participating in education and awareness campaigns aimed at truckers and the trucking industry.
To spread information, TAT has designed posters, brochures, and flyers that are placed at truck stops, as well as wallet cards to be distributed to every trucker in the United States. Those items call on truckers to contact the National Anti-Trafficking Hotline when coming across cases of human trafficking. Between December 7, 2007, and May 31, 2011, the hotline reported more than 125 calls from truck drivers. Of those, 60 percent were the direct result of the TAT awareness campaign.
TAT has created a training DVD that features (a) truckers who have seen human trafficking taking place on their routes, (b) a trafficking victim rescued from a truck stop through the call of a trucker, (c) actual footage of prostituted women at a travel plaza, and (d) information on concrete ways that members of the trucking and travel plaza industry can fight this crime in the course of their daily work. The training DVD can be used as part of the orientation for all truck stop and travel plaza employees, all students of private and public trucking driving schools, and all truck drivers who are employed by major carriers or are owner-operators.
"We commend every member of the trucking industry who identifies as a trucker against trafficking," said Kendis Paris, TAT executive director, "and feel it is an honor well earned by all of them. We believe the trucking industry is proving itself a leader across the entire transportation industry when it comes to fighting human trafficking."


Colorado coalition build deemed successful event
"One of the most satisfying activities we're involved in is building partnerships or coalitions between law enforcement and members of the trucking and travel plaza industry," commented Kendis Paris, TAT executive director. "Seeing relationships develop between these two front-line groups, as well as trust and mutual understanding of how to best work together to fight human trafficking, is powerful."
To that end, TAT participated in its third coalition-build event between law enforcement and members of the trucking industry in Denver on March 14.
"TAT would like to thank the FBI, the Colorado Motor Carriers Association, iEmpathize, Praxus, the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking, the Southern Colorado Human Trafficking Task Force and the Denver Metro Crimestoppers for their fine support and promotion of the event," Paris said. "I received good comments from those who attended and believe everyone walked away with a greater understanding of the problem and what to do to fight it."
General managers from TA/Petro, Pilot/Flying J and Tomahawk attended, along with many law enforcement agencies, including the Denver Police Force, Wheat Ridge, Commerce City and the Douglas County Sheriff's office.
The half-day conference provided training on human trafficking, with a specific emphasis on domestic sex trafficking and how it presents itself at truck stops, as well as an opportunity to forge connections for the creation of next steps in the fight against human trafficking. Trafficking survivor Audrey T. helped participants understand the realities facing those who are trafficked by sharing her personal story.
Previous coalition-build events in which TAT has participated have been held in Southern California and in Ohio in recent months, with more being planned. The events seek to build relationships and greater cooperation between law enforcement and the trucking industry for more effective work in the fight against human trafficking in that area.
If law enforcement in your area would like to have such a coalition-build, please have them contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


TAT invited to participate in human trafficking awareness training for law enforcement
On the recommendation of the FBI, TAT was invited to provide joint training with Ray Herndon, founder of Diamondback Training, LLC to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol on how to spot human traffickers during a routine commercial motor vehicle (CMV) stop.
Diamondback Training, LLC is a cutting-edge law enforcement training organization specializing in CMV criminal interdiction. Criminal interdiction addresses many facets of criminal activity, including domestic terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking and cargo theft, to name a few.
Herndon is a nationally recognized veteran law enforcement officer who has had a parallel career in the trucking/transportation industry for over 25 years, both as a business/small fleet owner and employee/driver.
"We've partnered with Truckers Against Trafficking to help create a proactive partnership between law enforcement and the transportation industry to provide quality standardized human trafficking training to both law enforcement officers and transportation industry workers," Herndon commented.
"It's imperative that both sides receive similar training, so we're all on the same page," he continued. "Communication is key, and a breakdown in that communication may cost a human trafficking victim their only chance at freedom. We, all, as human beings, are obligated."
Kendis Paris, TAT executive director, concurred, "TAT is very pleased to be partnering with Ray and Diamondback, as his vast experience in both law enforcement and the trucking industry enable him to deliver a wealth of information on the subject of human trafficking. When members of the trucking industry and law enforcement are on the same page, we know there's a much greater chance of criminals being caught and victims being rescued. So we welcome the opportunity, whenever possible, to work with and help facilitate the training for each group."
She continued, "TAT actually sponsored (thanks to a special donation from the Pattens) his appearance at the National Crime Enforcement Association in Tulsa, Oklahoma in March, where over 1000 law enforcement officers heard about TAT from Ray. Mark Brown, TAT chairman of the board, ran the TAT booth at the event, speaking with many law enforcement officers and distributing TAT materials."
Diamondback Training, LLC is now sporting the TAT logo on one of its latest trucks used in law enforcement training as yet another way to get the message out there that the trucking industry is working to end the crime of human trafficking along our nation's highways, roads and streets, and wherever they see it.


 TAT continues to grow as more trucking associations join
In the past few months, the Massachusetts Motor Transportation Association (MMTA) and the Motor Transportation Association of Connecticut (MTAC) have come on-board with TAT.
In the letter it sent to members, MMTA said, "The association was very involved in efforts made to pass this legislation in Massachusetts, and by joining TAT, MMTA hopes to raise awareness of this problem and educate the industry on what to look for if they suspect a human trafficking incident, what specific information is needed for local law enforcement and how to report any suspicions."
In addition to these latest two state associations, other state associations already working with TAT in their states are Minnesota, Wisconsin, California, Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana and Oklahoma. Nationally, the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), the National Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC) and the North American Truck Stop Network (NATSN) have all joined TAT, along with numerous trucking companies and truck-driving schools.


What is TAT?
Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) is a non-profit organization that exists to educate, equip, empower and mobilize the trucking industry to combat human trafficking as part of their regular jobs. To a great extent, domestic sex trafficking occurs along our nation's highways and at its truck stops, where traffickers can sell their victims to a transient population they believe are less likely to attempt rescue. In response, TAT is asking the 3.5 million domestic truckers, as well as other members of the trucking industry, to become aware of this issue, and, when they suspect a human trafficking case, to call the national hotline and report it.