ITD Director Ness Named National Transportation Innovation Chairman
BOISE, ID Idaho Transportation Department Director Brian Ness has been named Chairmen of a research and innovation committee by the national transportation organization American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).
"This honor is a direct reflection of the efforts of our employees," Ness said. "They have stepped up to the task and made ITD a model state agency. Every one of them is an ambassador of this program. They consistently come up with great ideas and new and better ways to do their jobs."
ITD's innovation program is an employee-driven, grassroots initiative soliciting improvements from all 1,600 employees statewide. Employees at every level are encouraged to submit ideas for time and money savings and making processes more efficient.
The results have been impressive. The most recent stats for ITD's innovation program, since its inception in 2014, include:
- 550 innovations
- $4.7M in savings/efficiencies
- 140,000 personnel hours saved
- 230 customer-service improvements
Ness added that the ultimate winner is the Idaho taxpayer, as more than 1.1 million drivers use the state highway system.
Ness will serve as chairman of the AASHTO Special Committee on Research and Innovation through spring 2019.
Upon naming Ness to the position, AASHTO Executive Director Bud Wright said that ITD is known as an innovative agency, and pointed to the recent accomplishments of the AASHTO security committee under Ness' leadership as proof that he can get things done.
Ness has been director of the Idaho Transportation Department since 2010. He recently served as president of the 18-state Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and is a 35-year veteran of the transportation industry.