Denver RTD Generating Innovative Ideas to Fuel Expansion

Posted on April 24, 2013 by Janna Starcic, Executive Editor

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Three times a year, the agency reviews its services to determine if certain ridership thresholds are met and makes tweaks where needed to run more efficiently.
Three times a year, the agency reviews its services to determine if certain ridership thresholds are met and makes tweaks where needed to run more efficiently.
Workforce development
Creative thinking too played a key role in the agency’s workforce development plans. As of late, workforce development has been a hot topic in the public transportation industry. In 2011, Washington implemented an innovative training program that develops qualified employees for senior management positions within the agency and the industry.

“[This program] is very important to me and my team, because one of the top priorities of any leader should be the development of his/her people,” Washington says.

The Strategic Leadership Development Program (SLDP), as it is called, is made up of five steps and fosters growth from entry level to executive leadership. The first step is a leadership academy, a 12-month program that trains selected employees on all aspects of the organization, including operations, finance, labor, budget and the board-staff relationship.

Participants are also required to have classroom instruction on various topics, such as ethics and time management. Another step is mentoring, which sees senior staffers coaching employees to achieve their goals. For the third step, assistant GMs are tasked with creating their own leadership program within their department.

The final piece of the program is a multi-agency partnership where eight to 10 employees are selected to travel to the different partnering agencies for a few days every three months to share ideas, best practices and discuss real-world operational challenges.

“This is a sharing of best practices and allowing each agency’s participants to see what we are doing,” Washington says. Currently, the agency is collaborating with Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “We are going to add another agency for 2014,” Washington says.

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