b'FOGHORNFOCUS: HUMAN RESOURCESInnovative Strategies to Improve Workforce Recruitment and RetentionBy Jed Dixon, North Carolina Department of Transportation, Ferry DivisionT he North Carolina Ferry System is the second largest state-operated ferry insavings; nearly $14 million in travel the nationWashington State Ferry system is number one. About 800,000time savings, and over $8 million in vehicles and 1.8 million passengers, each year, cross the rivers and soundssafety benefi ts.of Eastern North Carolina. As the Deputy Director of Here, North Carolinas famedOperations, I am responsible for the Outer Banks and popular barrierferry systems safety and security, the islands are separated from theoperations of two districts, and human mainland by the Intracoastalresources. Its that last duty that I spoke Waterway making a state-run ferryabout at the PVA Annual Convention system a vital lifeline for those whoat MariTrends 2020 in Tampa in early live, work, and visit in the region.February that prompted this article. With a fleet of 22 ferries makingIn Fiscal Year 2018-19, N.C. Ferries calls at 13 terminals, we offeremployed 423 full-time employees and seven scheduled routes, and one134 seasonal workers. Because eastern emergency route. In addition, weNorth Carolina is an attractive tourist have a support fl eet of tugs, barges,NC DOT Ferry Systems job applicants at job fairs can meetdestination for vacationersdrawing a crane barge and a dredge, as wellwith employees doing the job theyre interested in tomillions of travelers each year to our as a state-owned shipyard and threelearn more about the position and the operation. sunny shoresseasonal employees fi are required to keep the ferry systemeld maintenance shops. Along with its obvious transportation function, North Carolinas coastal ferrymoving in the warmer months.system is also an economic engine for the state as well as for the communities and local businesses that it serves. Annually, the N.C. Ferry System supportsWorkforce Challengesnearly 6,000 jobs (directly, indirectly and induced), which creates more than $215Prior to the current coronavirus million in employee earnings. Statewide, the ferry delivers $735 million economicoutbreak, the Ferry Division identi-output, and produces $32.5 million local and state tax dollars. And thats not all.fied a series of workforce challenges. The ferry offers ferry passenger benefi ts to the tune of $18 million in vehicle costSome we face annually, while others are workforce areas that we know would be a growing issue over time that should be planned for and addressed. RELAX. THIS JOURNEYSThese challenges are:Recruiting for highly technical POWERED BY CATERPILLAR. positionsPreparing for an aging workforceWhen your cargo can talk, the stakes are high. WhenCompeting with private sector you choose Caterpillar, you dont have to worry about meeting your passengers high expectations forbenefi tsreliable, safe, clean operation. Our engines set theRetaining works and knowledgestandard, so everyone can sit back and enjoy the ride. Meeting seasonal workforce needsOne example of a staffing issue Learn more about our Ferry and Cruise solutions is the ferrys shipyard. In February, the workforce was 62 and had eight positions vacant, including marine mechanics, welders, engineers, and quality assurance personnel. It has been For more information, visit www.cat.com/marine difficult to find qualified applicants,2020 Caterpillar. All Rights Reserved. CAT, CATERPILLAR, LETS DO THE WORK, their respective logos, Caterpillar Yellow, the Power Edge and Catdespite posting some jobs up to six Modern Hex trade dress as well as corporate and product identity used herein, are trademarks of Caterpillar and may not be used without permission. times over the course of a year. 6MAY 2020FOGHORN'