Professional Development / Eno/MAX Program
In 2012, leaders at the Regional Transportation District of Denver, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Authority, and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority realized they shared similar challenges at their agencies and began to discuss how they could learn and collaborate with each other. Together with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, these leaders created the first Multi-Agency Exchange. The program brought front-line managers to visit their counterparts in the other agencies for this collaborative best-practice sharing program. In 2017, these agencies began collaborating with Eno to expand the leadership development and networking and alumni programming. Since its inception, the MAX Program has brought together over 250 professionals and saved participating agencies millions of dollars.
In 2018, Valley Metro (Phoenix) and Sound Transit (Seattle) joined the program; in 2019, WMATA in DC and CATS in Charlotte, NC came on board, and in 2020, the Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAAC). Together with the participating agencies, Eno is looking to continue to incrementally expand the program to include additional transit agencies. This program will provide critically needed training for first-level supervisors, help build a network of professionals, and improve people readiness of the industry.
In 2019 and beyond, Eno and the current MAX participants will continue to collaborate and bring on new partners.
Each year, three to four similar agencies are grouped together to form an Eno/MAX program. Each agency strategically selects 8 high potential and high performance people to participate in the program using their own internal process. These are typically front-line to mid-level managers from all organizational disciplines (operations, finance, planning, administration, engineering, etc.) many of whom have gone through internal management development and training programs. Select hourly or represented employees might also participate in the program. This cohort of students then visits each agency in their group during the year. Three days of Eno’s highly-regarded leadership skill instruction is built into the course. Each agency also assigns an individual, typically from their Talent Development/HR office, to act as their agency facilitator; this person–along with a dedicated Eno field staff member–works to run the program.
While on site at each agency, key activities include:
- Classroom sessions on a wide-range of topics with host agency senior staff
- Field trips to observe work sites, projects, facilities, and the system firsthand
- Meeting with professionals who can assist them in solving a business problem identified by their own agency
- Instruction in leadership skills
- Guest lectures from leading industry practitioners
- Hearing from and talking with the agency CEOs
- Networking opportunities with classmates, alumni and senior agency executives
- At the conclusion of the class, they have the opportunity to participate in the Eno alumni program
The Eno/MAX Program is designed to provide benefits for both the participating agencies and the program attendees.
For the agencies, the goals are to:
- Develop and retain future leaders, drawing from first-level supervisor ranks
- Improve staff performance
- Improve their big picture transit perspective
- Share best practices and foster innovation
- Solve high priority agency defined business problems
For the attendees, the goals are to:
- Improve their technical knowledge and performance
- Develop a peer-network for collaboration
- Better understand their agency as it relates to the overall transit industry
- Improve their career skills, including leadership capability
- Provide the tools to advance in their career
The program has been successful in achieving these objectives and is highly regarded by agency CEOs, agency senior staff and the participants.
- Staff time of MAX participants (one facilitator, eight staff and selected hourly or represented employees) for 4 weeks
- Commitment of facilitator time throughout the year; typically this requires a quarter to half of an FTE, although this is concentrated around the host week
- Commitment of a small amount of CEO and senior staff time (3-5 hours) during host week, once per year
- Agency staff to assist during host week including production of class materials, leading tours, speaking to the class, and meeting with students
MAX students complete an individual business project during the year. Many projects have been implemented, including some that have resulted in substantial cost savings or operational efficiencies. This document gives short vignettes of successful student projects. Eno has developed a handbook to help agencies onboard to the program. View the handbook table of contents.
- On boarding of agency staff tasked with being new agency facilitators
- Assistance planning the first visit of the Eno/MAX program
- A handbook to guide agency facilitators, and other
- A dedicated Eno facilitator who attends all courses and convenes planning sessions
- Agenda planning and coordination
- A communications suite to facilitate meetings, along with a class website
- Evaluations of each class and the overall program
- Development and delivery of social events and course graduation
- Delivery of three days of Eno’s well-known leadership skills curriculum
- An ongoing Eno/MAX alumni program
- One tuition waiver to Eno’s leadership programs
- Five complimentary subscriptions to Eno Transportation Weekly (a $2,500 value)
- Participation in Eno membership events and webinars