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As technology continues to change and advance, the demands of our workforce continue to evolve too. If you aren’t changing, you aren’t growing, and not growing in today’s rapidly changing workforce can cripple your potential. Staying current and up to date with education is critical in any industry, especially in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). There are multiple organizations, such as the International Association of Municipal Electricians (IMSA), the National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE), and even GRIDSMART, that provide ways for technicians to earn the credits necessary to maintain their certifications and knowledge of the ITS industry. 

IMSA has different certifications which are an indication that individuals meet the qualifications required to perform specialized tasks in ITS. It can be the difference between starting a job assignment right away without needing on the job training or losing the assignment to someone who already completed previous training. To receive certifications, technicians need to earn Technical Advancement Recognition Points (TARP) and/or Continuing Education Units (CEU). Technicians can earn TARP and CEU by completing courses offered by IMSA. Some of their classes range from traffic signals, fiber optics, roadway lighting, and more. You can view a full list by visiting their website imsasafety.org. Additionally, all IMSA certifications are valid for three years from the date issued.  

In addition to TARP, many industry professionals need Professional Development Hours (PDH) and CEUs to stay certified. The NOCoE provides a wealth of resources and ways for the transportation systems management and operations community to further their knowledge and earn required credits. Technicians and engineers can access workshops and webinars which may qualify for CEU and PDH. The center also provides on-call assistance, best practices, support, and forums so practitioners can engage with each other and learn from one another. To view a full list of services provided by NOCoE, visit transportationops.org. 

To advance the dialogue in the ITS community about best practices, new ideas, and actionable solutions, GRIDSMART hosts INTERSECT, an annual three day ITS conference. The training classes at INTERSECT allow attendees to receive TARP that’s eligible for specific certifications they are working towards in their career, and the classes can also satisfy PDH. Not only is INTERSECT a fun way to earn TARP and PDH, but it’s a way to engage with other professionals in the industry and network with peers from across the United States.  

 Technology is advancing, so you should advance too. The advancement of technology in our industry is the reason why IMSA, NOCoE, and GRIDSMART offer the services they provide. 

Staying educated in the ITS workforce guarantees you’re equipped to make informed decisions out in the field to create safer and more efficient roads for everyone; it means you’re certified to succeed. With a multitude of options out there for staying current in the workforce, there’s no reason why technicians shouldn’t be up to date with the latest cutting-edge technology in ITS. 


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