Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP)

TTAP History

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has a Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) to provide technical assistance to tribal governments. Created in 1991, the TTAP program was focused on building capability within the federally recognized tribes (currently 565) to manage their highway assets. Legislation authorizing the TTAP is found at 23 U.S.C 504(b). There were 7 TTAP centers within the United States located in Alaska, Eastern Washington, Oklahoma, Michigan, North Dakota, Arizona, and California. The TTAP Centers provided comprehensive transportation training and technical assistance to tribal communities, building skills and expertise to ensure the safety and maintenance of tribal roads and the continuous professional development of tribal transportation workforces. TTAP is one of the programs run by the Center for Local Aid Support within FHWA's Office of Innovative Program Delivery. Below is an update on the TTAP program.

TTAP Pilot

Based on program analysis, the input gathered from the Tribal Transportation Program Coordinating Committee (TTPCC), and feedback from our engagement with the tribes, FHWA moved forward with piloting a centralized delivery model. In fall 2017, the TTAP program was restructured to one national Tribal Technical Assistance Program Center serving as a one-stop transportation resource for tribal communities across the country. The model was implemented to increase the amount and types of education and technical assistance services available to the tribes and support consistent and uniform training and training materials across the twelve BIA regions. In addition, the national pilot was to assess whether reshaping the program could feasibly increase the amount of transportation training and associated technical assistance available to tribal transportation professionals and provide data to serve as a baseline against which future improvements could be measured. It also supplemented face to face training with e-learning options.

FHWA formally launched in March 2018 a 2-year national pilot for the services delivered under the Tribal Transportation Assistance Program (TTAP). Administered from a central location with the virtual delivery of face-to-face training, the pilot tested a means to provide broader national coverage. The goal was to deliver training in core transportation focus areas, centralize subject matter expertise, ensure consistency in training delivery, share best practices and innovation, enable technical assistance from subject matter experts, test a Road Scholars certification program, and create program awareness with the tribal transportation workforce. The pilot was funded at the same level as previous TTAP efforts. The pilot established five Virtual Centers of Excellence: project delivery, maintenance and operations, safety, planning and procurement, and asset and data management. 

Current TTAP Program

In August 2020 the Federal Highway Administration published a notice in the Federal Register requesting public comment on models for advancing the TTAP. The primary objective was to build professional capacity within the federally recognized tribes to support the management of their transportation assets. After completion of the 2-year pilot program that tested improvements to TTAP efficiency, FHWA conducted 13 consultation sessions during late 2019 and early 2020 to seek tribal input on the development of program objectives and program delivery. The notice summarizes the feedback received so far and proposes two delivery models for advancing the TTAP.

The FHWA is asking the public and specifically Tribal leaders or their direct designees for comment on the two proposed future delivery models. Here is the link to the Federal Register Notice. A Matrix Table comparing the objectives to considered models is also available.

For training, technical assistance, and questions regarding the TTAP please contact CLAS@dot.gov or Victoria Peters, by email at Victoria.Peters@dot.gov or 720-963-2522. For updates and the status of the TTAP please visit the FHWA, Center for Local Aid Support website at FHWA TTAP.