April 22, 2010
The Virginia Department of Transportation will complete major portions of its reorganization this week in order to reach a mandated staffing reduction to 7,500 full-time employees by July 1, 2010, and to streamline the way it does business around the commonwealth.
VDOT’s restructuring program called the Blueprint for the Future will be implemented beginning April 26. It changes business practices and alters the way citizens, developers, localities, businesses and transportation industry contacts will do business with the agency.
On April 24, approximately 360 employees will leave the agency, closing out the final of three stages of employee reductions announced in late 2008. Of that group, 235 affected employees elected to leave the agency without seeking placement opportunities. In January, VDOT informed 632 employees that their positions would be affected by the reorganization. VDOT has worked in the ensuing months to identify placement opportunities for employees.
“We have worked hard to provide options for those employees affected by this change and adjust our staffing while simultaneously meeting the business needs that have arisen as part of this reorganization,” Acting Commissioner Gregory Whirley said. “Through the strategic use of allowing employees to substitute themselves in place of another affected employee, and through diligent work to match affected employees with vacancies and other opportunities within VDOT, only a small number of staff who wanted to stay at VDOT — approximately 35 — will leave on April 24.”
The agency has achieved its legislated goal of reducing in size by approximately 1,000 full-time and 450 part-time employees since September 2008 as VDOT continues to address a $4.6 billion revenue shortfall.
The focus of residency offices will change to oversee only maintenance and emergency response activities. The geographic responsibilities of many residency offices are also expanding. The residency consolidations provide fewer administrative and management positions, which will distribute 7,500 available staff positions to better support front-line operations and provide flexibility to use these consolidated offices for other purposes.
VDOT will work with partners, vendors, customers and citizens to redefine how the agency provides customer service. Traditional methods of contacting local VDOT offices will change. There will be fewer contact points for citizens when they request assistance. VDOT will endeavor to provide timely, effective service similar to what citizens have come to expect from us, but will do so from fewer locations.
VDOT will also soon establish a customer service center to provide a one-stop shop for citizens to report road hazards, find information and request assistance from VDOT. No longer will citizens have to track down contact numbers for VDOT offices by figuring out which area headquarters, residency and district they belong to. One call to 1-800-367-7623 will address their needs.
The full customer service center will open in July to handle all incoming calls from citizens, with a scaled service beginning April 26, to assist customers who typically call area headquarters or those 15 residencies being consolidated. Business partners, developers and local governments will continue to work directly with key subject-matter experts within the agency, but initial inquiries and citizen interaction will be shifted to the customer service center.