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The Transportation Security Administration is starting a new program for its screeners to provide more opportunities for career growth and increase training to improve the screening process.
Despite the need for more officers at screening checkpoints, the TSA has had trouble retaining officers and has faced a turnover rate as high as 19%, the LA Times discovered in a congressional budget report. This new program is designed to help the agency retain more officers and provide employees with the training and skills they need to succeed in their TSA careers.
“Our frontline employees carry out a very critical security mission, and it is important to foster an environment of continual learning and growth to improve performance, and encourage critical thinking and leadership skills,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement. “The traveling public depends on their success.”
The new plan, which launches in August, will also introduce a customized coaching and observation into the Annual Proficiency Review process, which evaluates proficiency by looking at a collection of tests and data of how officers perform.
“An effective workforce must be properly trained, coached and evaluated, these are key ingredients in preserving a motivated skilled workforce dedicated to executing our mission of protecting the traveling public,” said Pekoske.
TPG reached out to the TSA for more specific information on the training program, but we did not hear back by time of publication.
The TSA has seen a record number of passengers coming through security lately, and to meet the demands of summer’s busy travel season, the agency is enhancing the screening process and making sure employees are well equipped is a top priority. The agency even hired 1,600 new officers in May to prepare for the influx of summer travelers.
TSA also partnered with American Airlines to speed up screening process at their terminal in JFK Airport. In late July, Terminal 8 will feature a new computed tomography (CT) scanner that can rotate a bag 360 degrees, allowing TSA officers to better see its content and allow for quicker scans.
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