RTAP Origins
The following is a brief history of the early development of RTAP (In response to a request from Jim Iverson of the South Dakota FHWA Division Office for proper citation of the Act creating RTAP).  The proper citation is U.S.C. Public Law 97-102.

The concept of a rural technical assistance program first appeared in a conference committee report on appropriations for the U.S. Department of Transportation and Related Agencies in 1981.  Through the efforts of Senator Mark Andrews (R-North Dakota), the Senate Committee on Appropriations managed to have the House recede from its request that funds for rural technical assistance be postponed pending authorization legislation at a later time.

House Bill 4209 initially proposed funding for rural technical assistance.  However, on passage of the bill through the House, all mention of such assistance was deleted:

“The Committee has also reduced research and development programs by $1,520,000, reduced the skill training by $5,000,000 and has deleted the request for rural technical assistance.  The Committee believes the increase for skill training and the funding for rural technical assistance should be deferred pending enactment of additional authorizing legislation.”  House Report 97-186 (Committee on Appropriations)

The Senate did not agree:

“The Committee does not concur with the House action to eliminate rural transportation assistance.  Instead, the Committee directs funding at the level of $5,000,000 in recognition of the need to meet the growing demands placed on rural roads, resulting from increased urban sprawl and the increased size and weight of trucks carrying goods from farm to market.” Senate Report 97-253 (Committee on Appropriations)

Finally, when representatives of both the Senate and House appropriations committees got together in conference to iron out their disagreements, the Senate prevailed:

Appropriating funding for the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 1982 –

Amendment 26: Limit on General and Operating Expenses – Limit general and operating expenses to $192,440,000 to $187,440,000 as proposed by the Senate and $200,400,000 as proposed by the House.  The conference agreement includes $5,000,000 for the rural technical assistance program.”  House Report 97-331 (Committee on Conference)

This is the first use of “rural technical assistance program”.  It is significant in the sense that no formal “program” was even mentioned in the House or Senate reports prior to the Conference Committee meeting.  Also, the funding was to come from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s general and operating expenses account (from October 1, 1981 – September 30, 1982).

Congress finally passed House Bill 4209 on December 14, 1981, and it was signed into law on December 23, 1981 by President Reagan.


 Milestones in LTAP History        
Written by Lisa Pogue and Lynne Irwin, May 2, 2002

1982: Responding to the need for rural transportation assistance, the Rural Technical Assistance Program (RTAP) began as a 10-center pilot program of the FHWA and state DOTs.Oklahoma Center for Local Government Technology, Missouri Department of Transportation, and the Indiana LTAP joined LTAP

1983: After a successful first year, additional centers joined the program.Vermont Local Roads Program, New Mexico LTAP Center, LTAP - The Pennsylvania Local Roads Program, Georgia Department of Transportation LTAP Center, Connecticut Technology Transfer Center, California LTAP, Alabama Technology Transfer Center, Montana Local Technical Assistance Program, Kansas University Transportation Center, Iowa LTAP, Wisconsin Transportation Information Center, Washington State Technology Transfer Center (WST2) joined LTAP

1984: Texas Local Technical Assistance Program, Arizona LTAP, Maryland Transportation Technology Transfer Center, Oregon Technology Transfer Center, North Dakota Transportation Technology Transfer LTAP Center, Kentucky Transportation Center, Cornell Local Roads Program  (New York LTAP), West Virginia Transportation Technology Transfer Center, Florida Transportation Technology Transfer Center joined LTAP

1985: Nebraska Technology Transfer Center, Wyoming Technology Transfer Center (WyT2/LTAP), Colorado LTAP, Tennessee Transportation Assistance Program (TTAP), Arkansas Technology Transfer Program, Mississippi Center for Technology Transfer joined LTAP

1986: To broaden program coverage, a 50/50 match of federal funds with local funds was instituted. A Clearinghouse was established for the RTAP program. South Carolina Transportation Technology Transfer Service, Alaska Transportation Technology Transfer Center, University of New Hampshire Technology Transfer Center, North Carolina Technology Transfer Center, Baystate Roads Program – Massachusetts, Puerto Rico Transportation Technology Transfer Center, Virginia Transportation Technology Transfer Center, Louisiana LTAP Technology Transfer Center, Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Technology – LTAP, Michigan Local Technical Assistance Program joined LTAP

1987: Maine Local Roads Center joined LTAP

1988: Delaware DOT Technology Transfer Center, The Ohio LTAP Center, South Dakota Local Transportation Assistance Program, Utah Technology Transfer Center joined LTAP. LTAP centers conducted 1,854 courses with an attendance of 48, 971

1989: Idaho Technology Transfer (T2) Center – LTAP joined LTAP. LTAP centers conducted 1,142 courses with an attendance of 39,318

1990: At the National LTAP Conference in Fairbanks, Alaska LTAP centers agreed to form a task force, consisting of one member from each of the FHWA regions, to develop the framework for a national association of LTAP Centers. Don DeGraftenreid (Arizona) served as the Chair of the task force. Illinois Technology Transfer Center joined LTAP. LTAP centers conducted 1,578 courses with an attendance of 46,439

1991: RTAP was changed to the Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) as the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) widened the program’s scope to include urban areas with populations over 50,000. The Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) serving American Indian tribal governments was established. Rhode Island Technology Transfer Center, Nevada Transportation Technology Transfer Center joined LTAP. LTAP centers conducted 1,597 courses with an attendance of 55,613.

1992: The first officers of the National Association of Transportation Technology Transfer Centers sign the new Bylaws.  Chairman - Don DeGraftenreid, Arizona LTAP; Toni Rosenbaum (NY), Vice-Chairman, and Don Walker (WI), Secretary/Treasurer. Hawaii Local Technical Assistance Program joined LTAP. LTAP centers conducted 2,058 courses with an attendance of 60,332

1993: Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP), Northwest Tribal LTAP, Minnesota Technology Transfer/LTAP Program, Tribal Technical Assistance Program at Colorado State University joined LTAP. The first elected Chair of the National Association of Transportation Technology Transfer Centers, Toni Rosenbaum (New York), took office. LTAP centers conducted 1,920 courses with an attendance of 55,944

1994: “A Study of the Benefits, Accomplishments, and Resource Needs of the Local Technical Assistance Program” found that the average savings per state for one year was identified by locals through personal interview was $1,331,014 and that the return on investment in 1993 was $8.53 for each dollar invested. LTAP centers conducted 2,044 courses with an attendance of 58,300

1995: Oklahoma Tribal Technical Assistance Program joined LTAP. LTAP centers conducted 3,477 courses with an attendance of 95,372

1996: LTAP centers conducted 3,850 courses with an attendance of 116,271

1997: LTAP developed a strategic plan in collaboration with partner organizations. LTAP centers conducted 5,515 courses with an attendance of 159,700

1998: The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) reaffirmed LTAP’s commitment to serving both rural and urban areas. LTAP centers conducted 6,750 courses with an attendance of 140,058. The National LTAP Association established formal agreements with AASHTO, APWA, and NACE.

1999: Northern Plains Tribal Technical Assistance Program joined LTAP. LTAP centers conducted 5,106 courses with an attendance of 135,422

2000: LTAP centers conducted 4,904 courses with an attendance of 124,283

2001: Alaska Village Technical Assistance Program joined LTAP

2002: California-Nevada TTAP Center re-established


NLTAPA Officers

Year

President/Chairman

President-Elect

Vice President

Secretary

Treasurer

2014-2015

Valerie Pitts, Kentucky LTAP, Southeast Region

John Velat (MI Tech TTAP)

Mather Enders (WA)

Janet Leli (NJ)

Victoria Beale (OH)

2013-2014

 Renée Railsback, Colorado LTAP, North Central Region

Valerie Pitts (KY)

John Velat (MI Tech TTAP)

Janet Leli (NJ)

Victoria Beale (OH)

2012-2013

 Jim Grothaus, Minnesota LTAP, Great Lakes Region

Renée Railsback (CO)

Valerie Pitts (KY)

Janet Leli (NJ)

Victoria Beale (OH)

2011-2012

 James Martin, North Carolina LTAP, Southeast Region

Jim Grothaus (MN)

Renée Railsback (CO)

Rusty Lee (DE)

Jim Self (So. Plains TTAP)

2010-2011

 Ken Skorseth, South Dakota LTAP, North Central Region

James Martin (NC)

Jim Grothaus (MN)

Valerie Pitts (KY)

Laura Melendy (CA)

2009-2010

 Daniel Cady, Nebraska LTAP, North Central Region

Ken Skorseth (SD)

James Martin (NC)

Valerie Pitts (KY)

Laura Melendy (CA)

2008-2009

 Kevin Burke, Illinois LTAP, Great Lakes Region

Daniel Cady (NE)

Ken Skorseth (SD)

Larry Sellers (AL) and Valerie Pitts (KY)

Laura Melendy (CA)

2007-2008

 Marie Walsh, Louisiana LTAP, South Central Region

Kevin Burke (IL)

Donna Shea (CT)

Larry Sellers (AL)

Bernie Alkire (MI Tech TTAP)

2006-2007

 Lisa Harris, Kansas LTAP, North Central Region

-

-

Patsy Anderson (KY)

Duane Smith (IA)

2005-2006

 Bruce Drewes, Idaho LTAP, Western Region

-

-

Lisa Harris (KS)

Duane Smith (IA)

2004-2005

 Terry McNinch, Michigan LTAP, Great Lakes Region

-

-

Bruce Drewes (ID)

Duane Smith (IA)

2003-2004

 Mike Blankenship, West Virginia LTAP, Mid-Atlantic Region

-

-

Terry McNinch (MI)

Duane Smith (IA)

2002-2003

 Ron Hall, Mountain West LTAP, TTAPs

-

-

Mike Blankenship (WV)

Duane Smith (IA)

2001-2002

 David Grouchy, Louisana LTAP, South Central Region

-

-

Ron Hall (Mountain West TTAP)

Ron Hall (Mountain West TTAP)

2000-2001

 Duane Smith, Iowa LTAP, North Central Region 

-

-

David Grouchy (LA)

David Grouchy (LA)

1999-2000

 Duane Smith, Iowa LTAP, North Central Region 

-

-

Maria Ardila-Coulson (NV)

Maria Ardila-Coulson (NV)

1998-1999

 Larry Klepner, Delaware LTAP, Mid-Atlantic Region

-

-

Duane Smith (IA)

Duane Smith (IA)

1997-1998

 Hank Lambert, Vermont LTAP, Northeast Region

-

-

Larry Klepner (DE)

Larry Klepner (DE)

1996-1997

 Bill Bowmaster, Nebraska LTAP, North Central Region

-

-

Hank Lambert (VT)

Hank Lambert (VT)

1995-1996

 Bill Bowmaster, Nebraska LTAP, North Central Region

-

-

Sharon McLeod-Everette (AK)

Sharon McLeod-Everette (AK)

1994-1995

 Maria Ardila-Coulson, Nevada LTAP, Western Region

-

-

Sharon McLeod-Everette (AK)

Sharon McLeod-Everette (AK)

1993-1994

 Patsy Anderson, Kentucky LTAP, Southeast Region

-

-

Maria Ardila-Coulson (NV)

Maria Ardila-Coulson (NV)

1992-1993

 Toni Rosenbaum, New York LTAP, Northeast Region

-

-

Don Walker (WI)

Don Walker (WI)

1991-1992

 Don DeGraftenreid, Arizona LTAP, Western Region

        -

-

Toni Rosenbaum (NY)

Toni Rosenbaum (NY)

 1991 Beginning

                -

        -

       -

        -

        -