ALSITE/ALDOT Leadership Development Program 2013

ALSITE/ALDOT Leadership Development Program 2013

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Richard L. Caudle, P.E.
ALSITE Leadership Development Administrator
Dr. Daniel S. Turner, P.E.
SDITE Leadership Oversight Team

In October-November, 2013, the Alabama Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers undertook a service project for the Alabama Department of Transportation to provide leadership training for ALDOT managers. The service project was a follow-up to a similar effort by ALSITE for ALDOT in 2010, but significantly expanded in scope.

A team of ALSITE members, Dan Turner, Jim Meads, Becky White, Darrell Skipper and Richard Caudle was assigned to develop and administer the training by ALSITE President Becky Malenke. This group began working on July 26, 2013 in planning the project. Significant interaction between the coordination team and Lamar Woodham, ALDOT Deputy Director for Administration and Maxine Wheeler, ALDOT Training Bureau Chief was required during the initial phase of project development.

ALDOT requested that four sessions of training be conducted. Sites selected for training were the ALDOT Division offices in Mobile, Birmingham, and two different classes in Montgomery. A target of fourteen ALDOT employees per site was established, and the actual enrollment in the four sessions was 54. Each class received one-half of the training in October and the second half of the training a month later in November. The detailed training schedule is shown below:

Mobile (Photo Album)
  • Session 1 – October 8-9
  • Session 2 – November 5-6
Birmingham (Photo Album )
  • Session 1 – October 15-16
  • Session 2 – November 12-13
Montgomery I (Photo Album)
  • Session 1 – October 22-23
  • Session 2 – November 19-20
Montgomery II (Photo Album)
  • Session 1 – October 24-25
  • Session 2 – November 21-22

The training was conducted with the Southern District ITE Leadership Development Program. At the request of ALDOT attendees, special modules on Transitioning to Supervision (prepared by Darrell Skipper) and Professional Ethics (prepared by Jim Meads) were also used. During the course of the training, two “mini-modules” were also developed and presented: Saying No Gracefully (prepared by Becky White) and How to Make a Presentation (prepared by Dan Turner).

A unique team of instructors facilitated the training. Presenters included ALSITE Members, ALDOT “alumni” from the 2010 class, and senior level managers from ALDOT. Specific presenters were:

ALSITE Members
  • Richard Caudle
  • Becky Malenke
  • Jim Meads
  • Scott Rumble
  • Chris Sellers
  • Darrell Skipper
  • Dan Turner
  • Becky White
Previous ALDOT Students
  • Kay Chancellor-Davis
  • Wade Henry
  • Josh Kervin
ALDOT Senior Level Managers
  • Don Arkle, Deputy Director
  • Vince Calametti, Southwest Region Manager

The service project was made financially possible by the Alabama Department of Transportation, which provided a “registration fee” of $280 per student to cover reimbursement of expenses, including printing, ALSITE member travel, one breakfast and one lunch for the entire class each session, break items, and miscellaneous supplies.

Evaluation forms for the training were completed by each participant for every module. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The most common comment was “This has been the best training I have had in my 20 (or 30 or 35) years with ALDOT.”

Future plans for cooperation between ALSITE and ALDOT in the area of Leadership Development include meeting with senior management of ALDOT to assist them in making leadership training an integral part of their training for all ALDOT managers and enabling ALDOT to administer the program in-house.