TRANSIT MODE

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Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles Grants

Administering Agency: Environmental Protection Agency

Closing Date for Applications: Jul 25, 2024

Estimated Total Program Funding: Total funds available: $932,000,000

Geographic Scope: National

Description: This notice announces the availability of funds and solicits applications from eligible entities to incentivize and accelerate the replacement of existing non-ZE Class 6 and 7 heavy-duty vehicles, which includes some transit vehicles, with ZE vehicles. The EPA anticipates awarding up to $932 million in funds under this Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles (CHDV) Grants NOFO, subject to the availability of funds, the quantity and quality of applications received, support for communities overburdened by air pollution, applicability of different business models, and other applicable considerations described in this document. This funding to support ZE vehicles will benefit communities across the United States (U.S.), especially communities that are disproportionately burdened by air pollution and marginalized by underinvestment. Funding can be used for workforce development and training.

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FY24 Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program

Administering Agency: Department of Transportation

Posted Date: May 13, 2024

Closing Date for Applications: Jul 12, 2024, 5:00 pm Eastern Time

Estimated Total Program Funding: Total funds available:  $50,000,000 — Grant award maximum:  $2,000,000; Grant award minimum: $250,000

Geographic Scope: National

Description: The purpose of this notice is to solicit applications for Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Stage 1 Planning and Prototyping grants. Funds for the fiscal year (FY) 2024 Stage 1 SMART Grants Program are to be awarded on a competitive basis to conduct demonstration projects focused on advanced smart city or community technologies and systems to improve transportation efficiency and safety.

As established in law, projects funded by the SMART Grants Program use advanced data, technology, and applications to provide significant benefits to a local area, a State, a region, or the United States. These benefits align to the following categories: safety and reliability; resiliency; equity and access; climate; and partnerships.

The Department will prioritize SMART Grant funding applications that demonstrate the following characteristics: fit, scale, and adoption; data sharing, cybersecurity, and privacy; workforce development; and measurement and validation.

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Image of a cartoon hand cupped underneath a lightbulb; reads TWC resource

Mississippi’s Developing Responsible Individuals with Valuable Education (DRIVE) Program

This TWC case study is about the Mississippi Developing Responsible Individuals with Valuable Education (DRIVE) Program, which uses Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, distributed by the Mississippi Home Corporation (MHC), to partners such as Grace House, Inc. and Community Development, Inc. (CDI). These partners use the funding in a variety of creative ways to provide housing and other supportive services to DRIVE participants while they complete training and certification for a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Partners also provide job assistance to participants, placing them and helping them succeed in local transit jobs. Learn more about the program, services offered, and how stakeholders leverage funding in the full case study.

Transit Workforce Center
May 2024
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Workforce Opportunities for Rural Communities (WORC) Round 6: A Grant Initiative for the Appalachian, Delta, and Northern Border Regions

Administering Agency: Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

Posted Date: Apr 4, 2024

Closing Date for Applications: Jun 20, 2024, 11:59 pm Eastern Time

Estimated Total Program Funding: Total funds available:  $49,200,000 — Grant award maximum:  $1,500,000; Grant award minimum: $150,000

Geographic Scope: Appalachian, Delta, and Northern Border Regions

Description: The Employment and Training Administration (ETA), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL, or the Department), announces the availability of approximately $49,200,000 in grant funds authorized by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) for the sixth round of Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) Initiative demonstration grants. The WORC Initiative provides grant funds to enable impacted communities to develop local and regional workforce development solutions aligned with existing economic development strategies and community partnerships to promote new, sustainable job opportunities and long-term economic vitality. Questions regarding this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) may be emailed to DOL-ETA-DWG@dol.gov. We encourage prospective applicants and interested parties to use the Grants.gov subscription option to register for future updates provided for this particular FOA.

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Communities Taking Charge Accelerator

Administering Agency: U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, National Energy Technology Laboratory

Posted Date: Apr 16, 2024

Concept Paper Submission Deadline: May 20, 2024

Closing Date for Applications: Jul 16, 2024

Funding Range: Total funds available:  $54,000,000 — Grant award maximum:  $4,000,000

Geographic Scope: National

Description: The Communities Taking Charge Accelerator FOA seeks applications that will help further the Joint Office’s vision of a future where everyone can ride and drive electric. This FOA will fund innovative approaches to expanding EV adoption and charging access, particularly at the local level in urbanized areas where land use, density, car ownership rates, grid considerations, and other factors add further complexities to electrifying the transportation network while the demand for transportation access is at its highest density.

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Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) Technical Assistance Grant Program

Administering Agency: U.S. Department of Labor, Womens Bureau

Posted Date: Apr 11, 2024

Closing Date for Applications: Jun 10, 2024

Funding Range: Total funds available:  $6,000,000 — Grant award maximum:  $750,000; Grant award minimum: $350,000

Geographic Scope: National

Description: This program aims to provide technical assistance (TA) to employers (which may include public sector entities) and labor unions in the United States and its territories to encourage employment of women in both apprenticeable occupations and nontraditional occupations (A/NTO), specifically in the following ways:

  • Developing (establishing, expanding, and/or enhancing) pre-apprenticeship, youth apprenticeship, Registered Apprenticeship (as defined in Appendix B “Acronyms and Definitions”), or other nontraditional skills training programs designed to prepare women for careers in A/NTO;
  • Providing ongoing orientations or other resources for employers, unions, and workers on creating a successful environment for women in A/NTO; and/or
  • Setting up support groups, facilitating networks, and/or providing supportive services (as defined in section IV.E.3) for women in A/NTO to improve their retention.

Applicants may propose to provide technical assistance to support women’s participation and success in the full range of industries in which women are historically underrepresented or where women are disproportionately concentrated in the lower-wage occupations. Such industries include, but are not limited to; advanced manufacturing, construction, energy, health care, information technology, finance, and transportation. Applicants with experience working with or as an equity intermediary are encouraged to apply, as well as applicants with a proposed focus on expanding outreach/recruitment to historically underrepresented communities, including but not limited to women of color and women with disabilities, women at or below the federal poverty line, formerly incarcerated women, immigrant women, transgender women, and women who live in rural geographic areas

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Fatigue Resources for Transit Operations

To support the transit industry, FTA has compiled resources that can be used to better understand fatigue and fatigue-related issues in the workplace. The site includes resources about understanding sleep, causes of fatigue, symptoms and warning signs, effects, relevance to transit workers and agencies, and fatigue risk management systems.

Federal Transit Administration
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Regional Alliances and Multistakeholder Partnerships to Stimulate (RAMPS) Cybersecurity Education and Workforce Development

Administering Agency: Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Posted Date: Mar 25, 2024

Closing Date for Applications: May 24, 2024

Geographic Scope: National

Description: The NIST National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) is seeking applications from eligible applicants for activities to establish community-based partnerships to develop cybersecurity career pathways that address local workforce needs. Effective multistakeholder workforce partnerships will organize multiple employers with skill shortages in specific occupations to focus on developing the skilled workforce to meet industry needs within the local or regional economy.

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Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding Opportunities

This is a searchable tool to help sort through the nearly 400 funding opportunities in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Users can search by funding agency, categories/topics, and eligible applicants.

Local Infrastructure Hub
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Good Transit Requires Well Paid Union Workers

This report presents bus operator wages as compared with Area Median Income in 30 cities across the U.S., pointing out that in the last two decades, starting wages for our nation’s bus operators have fallen seriously behind the cost of living. In the face of a workforce shortage, the report makes the case for decision makers to ensure higher wages for frontline transit workers.

The National Campaign for Transit Justice
March 2024
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Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) Programs

Administering Agency: Transportation Research Board

Closing Date for Applications: May 15, 2024

Funding Range: Grant award maximum:  $100,000

Geographic Scope: National

Description: The Transit IDEA Program is a part of the Transit Cooperative Research Program and is designed to foster innovative concepts that have the potential to enhance security, increase ridership, improve efficiency for transit agencies, and protect the environment. IDEA programs differ from traditional research programs in two ways: IDEA projects are initiated by researchers rather than by a request for proposals, and funding can support initial testing of unproven concepts. One of IDEA’s high priority areas is “improving transit patron and employee environment for health and safety.”

Public transit agencies can’t apply directly, but can be partners in developing proposals, participate in the project generally, and test prototypes.

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Intelligent Transport Podcast: Discussing the creation of ‘Mentors Moving Metro’

“Mentors Moving Metro” is a partnership between Metro and the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 587 that will match experienced operators with new, part-time operators for six to 12 months. In this podcast discussion, Metro’s Director of Bus Operations, Phil DeVault, and transit operator and ATU member, Patrick Brady, talk about how “Mentors Moving Metro” is helping foster relationships and provide knowledge that can only come those who have been “in the seat.” They discussed the origins of the program, how mentors can be a morale boost for operators, and how it can foster greater interaction between operators and  management. They finished the podcast by discussing their vision on developing it from a mentorship program to an apprenticeship program for drivers joining Metro in the future.

Intelligent Transport
March 2024
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Environmental and Climate Justice Community Change Grants Program

Administering Agency: Environmental Protection Agency

Posted Date: Nov 21, 2023

Closing Date for Applications: Nov 21, 2024

Funding Range: Total funds available:  $2,000,000,000 — Grant award maximum:  $20,000,000

Geographic Scope: National

Description: The Community Change Grants will fund community-driven projects that address climate challenges and reduce pollution while strengthening communities through thoughtful implementation. There will be two tracks of funding under this opportunity. Track I will fund approximately 150 large, transformational community-driven investment grants of $10 million – $20 million. Track II will fund approximately 20 meaningful engagement grants of $1 million – $3 million. Grants cannot exceed 3-years in duration. These programs will address the diverse and unique needs of disadvantaged communities by:

  1. Reducing and preventing pollution;
  2. Building resilience to climate change and mitigating current and future climate risks;
  3. Enhancing meaningful involvement in government processes related to environmental and climate
    justice;
  4. Expanding access to high-quality jobs and economic opportunity through workforce development;
    and
  5. Bolstering community strength by ensuring that local residents receive the benefits of investments
    and have the opportunity to build on them for current and future generations.

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Joint Office of Energy and Transportation Workforce Development Resources

The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office) supports the deployment of zero-emission, convenient, accessible, and equitable transportation infrastructure. In addition to providing direct funding support for workforce development, the Joint Office has collated example resources to support workforce development activities for an electrified transportation system.

Joint Office of Energy and Transportation
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Creating a Skilled and Diverse Workforce for Infrastructure Projects through Registered Apprenticeship

The expansion of Registered Apprenticeship and pathways that lead people into apprenticeship is an important workforce strategy for many infrastructure projects. Agencies can take steps to make Registered Apprenticeship more accessible to populations that have been underrepresented in the infrastructure workforce including women, people of color, people with disabilities, and others.

The questions and answers in this resource focus on expanding the workforce for installing and maintaining electric vehicle chargers, but the information provided is applicable to many other areas of infrastructure and transportation.

Department of Labor, Department of Transportation
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Transit Workforce Data Dashboard Webinar: Harnessing the Power of Data for Transit Workforce Development

TWC hosted a webinar titled “Transit Workforce Data Dashboard Webinar: Harnessing the Power of Data for Transit Workforce Development” on February 28, 2024. The Dashboard features innovative visualizations of transit and transportation workforce statistics and demographics from the National Transit Database (NTD) and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  It can be used to highlight key issues, like the high proportion of transit workers nearing retirement age, the potential for greater participation of women in key transportation occupations, and the need to hire extensively in the coming decade. A new interactive page launched in February, allowing users to filter NTD employment data by agency.

TWC demonstrated the full dashboard, discussed lessons learned from working with NTD and BLS data, and opened up a Q&A for participants to ask questions or share their unique data needs.

Transit Workforce Center
February 2024

At the end of the webinar, TWC shared a survey to collect unique transit workforce data needs and feedback for potential additions to the Data Dashboard. The survey continues to accept responses and can be found below.

Mental Health, Wellness, and Resilience for Transit System Workers

TCRP Research Report 245: Mental Health, Wellness, and Resilience for Transit System Workers, a pre-publication from TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program, provides a detailed summary of common factors that influence the mental health, well-being, and resiliency of frontline transit workers and includes a range of solutions that transit agencies can implement to address them. Findings were determined using a mix of research methods, including multiple interviews and focus groups with frontline employees, transit agency management, and union leadership at two different points in the project.

Transit Cooperative Research Program
February 2024

Contributor(s): Sandy Brennan, Elias Frantz Orjuela, Kyle Hearing, Sofie Rhoads, Lori Zeller, Samantha G. Farris, Andrea Lubin, Soumitra S. Bhuyan, Lilly Derby, Koshy Koshy; Transit Cooperative Research Program; Transportation Research Board; National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

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Transit, Belabored: Issues and Futures for California’s Frontline Transit Workforce

This report focuses on frontline transit workforce issues, including employee pay, issues before and after the COVID-19 pandemic, and the workforce shortage. The report is mainly about transit operators, but also touches on mechanics. It draws on quantitative and qualitative data, including wage data by agency and sector, contracts and agency documents, and interviews with union leaders, agency managers, and operators themselves.

Institute of Transportation Studies
February 2024
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De-Escalation Training Resource Directory

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has gathered these resources to support the transit industry in developing, implementing, and updating their training programs. The resources illustrate ways agencies throughout the transit industry are implementing de-escalation training.

Federal Transit Administration
February 2024
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How to Deal with the Worker Shortage and Evolving Skill Requirements of the Public Transport Sector

This report provides a European counterpart to those produced within the United States on the transit workforce shortage. It gives an overview of the workforce shortage’s causes, as well as recommendations for addressing evolving skill requirements, diversifying the workforce, and more.

Expert Group on Urban Mobility, European Commission
February 2024
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TWC mini case study

Case Study: Golden Gate Transit & Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1575

Marin County, California-based Golden Gate Transit (GGT) operates commuter bus lines in four Bay Area counties, including San Francisco. Like many agencies, GGT has struggled with operator recruitment and retention. To address these challenges, the agency and the union representing operators, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1575, formed a labor-management partnership, the Workforce Investment Network (WIN). The WIN partnership has implemented bus operator mentorship, apprenticeship, and pre-apprenticeship programs; formed partnerships with educational institutions and community groups; made policy changes to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion; and identified opportunities to remove particular barriers to entry for job seekers.

Transit Workforce Center
February 2024
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Making a Positive Impact: GCRTA and ATU Local 268’s Operator Mentoring Program

This video provides an overview of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 268 operator mentoring program. Incorporating the voices of frontline workers, it explains the benefits of mentoring that GCRTA has realized and provides a window into how the program developed.

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 268
February 2024

TOPICS:

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Understanding Workforce Diversity in the Transit Industry: Establishing a Baseline of Diversity Demographics

This study provides baseline data on the status of the racial/ethnic and gender diversity of the transit agency workforce in the U.S. and identifies potential barriers and promising practices for diversifying this workforce.

Mineta Transportation Institute
February 2024

The study updates those earlier studies with newer data drawn from five discrete research tasks:

  1. review of the scholarly and professional literature on the topic;
  2. review of the websites of the 50 largest transit operators;
  3. analysis of employee demographic data submitted by 152 transit operators as part of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) program plans;
  4. analysis of responses to an original survey sent to the human resources personnel of transit agencies (92 responses from staff at 68 agencies), and
  5. interviews with 12 professionals selected for their expertise in transportation workforce diversity monitoring, management, and/or advocacy.

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National Outreach Survey for Transportation (NOST)

This report explores the status of sex and labor trafficking in the transportation industry. It explains and highlights a survey of frontline data collected from across the transportation industry, as well as from sex and labor trafficking survivors and direct victim service providers. Data analysis includes information about the current knowledge base on sex trafficking among frontline transportation workers and suggestions for training.

United Against Slavery
January 2024

Passenger Assistance, Safety And Sensitivity (PASS) Program Handbook

CTAA’s Passenger Assistance, Safety and Sensitivity (PASS) driver training program provides resources and standards for operators to transport passengers in the most safe, sensitive and careful manner possible. PASS is ideal for non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) trips, for ADA paratransit services, for specialized transit for older passengers, for human and social service riders — really any transportation operation where the passengers require extra care.

Community Transportation Association of America
January 2024
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Transit Exclusion Policies in Public Transportation Systems

This report documents the practice of the use of transportation exclusion policies in North American transit systems. It is designed to help transit agencies in understanding the usefulness of such policies, as well as understanding the methods for creating, amending, or supplementing exclusion policies to maximize their effectiveness in reducing crime and disorder within their respective transit systems.

Transit Cooperative Research Program
January 2024

Contributor(s): National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Transportation Research BoardTransit Cooperative Research Program; Patricia Bye; Deborah Matherly

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Human Trafficking: Awareness to Action

This webinar reviews the anti-trafficking resources available to transit agencies, shares success stories from the transit industry, and highlights a newly developed template for implementing human trafficking response protocols, which are vital to effective anti-trafficking initiatives. The accompanying toolkit guides transit agencies on steps they can take to help combat human trafficking, including how they can partner with Busing on the Lookout (BOTL) to implement anti-human trafficking training and policies in their operations.

Presenters:

  • Jodi Godrey, Center For Urban Transportation Research
  • Lexi Higgins, Busing on the Lookout (BOTL) at Truckers Against Trafficking

American Public Transportation Association
January 2024
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Using Your Safety Management System (SMS) to Protect Transit Workers from Assaults

FTA is working with transit agencies to address the ongoing risk of assaults on transit workers using Safety Management System principles and methods, which FTA adopted as the basis of its Public Transportation Safety Program and Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation.

FTA has developed technical assistance resources to help transit agencies conduct safety risk assessments related to assaults on transit workers and develop safety risk mitigations.

Check out FTA’s full page of crime prevention assistance resources. 

Federal Transit Administration
December 2023
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Mental Health Resources for Transit Workers

The Federal Transit Administration has aggregated the mental health resources to support transit industry workers during challenging times. Topics include suicide prevention, active shooter preparedness, mental health first aid, and more.

U.S. Department of Tranportation, Federal Transit Administration
December 2023
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Approaches to Childcare Support in the Transit Industry

Across the nation, the lack of access to affordable and accessible childcare is often a major employment barrier for workers in the transit industry. TWC hosted a pivotal discussion on this issue in the webinar, “Approaches to Childcare Support in the Transit Industry”.

Hear from Barb Cline, Executive Director of Prairie Hills Transit (Spearfish, South Dakota), and Charles Jenkins, Director of the Transport Workers Union Local 100 – New York City Transit Training & Upgrading Fund, who share their approaches to creating childcare solutions tailored for their transit employees. They will delve into the inception of their programs, their ongoing hurdles, and the successes that have marked their journey.

Transit Workforce Center
November 2023
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Advancing Apprenticeship: Opportunities For States And Business To Create And Expand Registered Apprenticeship Programs

This publication highlights the significance of Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs) as one of several strategies and opportunities that employers and states can implement and offer to individuals as a viable path toward securing and prospering in a career. Registered Apprenticeship plays an important role in the U.S. economy and workforce ecosystem by satisfying employer talent needs while providing training and employment pathways for individuals in family-sustaining, in-demand careers. A registered apprenticeship is an intensive program that offers an individual paid on-the-job experience, coupled with classroom learning that together provides a jobseeker with the necessary skills to secure gainful employment.

National Governors Association
November 2023
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Community Colleges and Apprenticeship: The Promise, the Challenge

To better understand the challenges and opportunities facing community colleges that want to expand apprenticeship opportunities to their students, New America conducted a year-long study. They spoke to apprenticeship, workforce development, and community college leaders about the community colleges role in expanding apprenticeship.

New America Center on Education and Education Policy
November 2023

Based on these conversations, we chose case studies and conducted in-depth interviews with leaders from the Community College System of New Hampshire’s ApprenticeshipNH, Arapahoe in Colorado, San Jacinto in Texas, and Howard Community College in Maryland’s programs in IT and cybersecurity, and Coastal Alabama Community College’s nursing apprenticeship.

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Transportation for People with Disabilities and Older Adults During COVID-19: Lessons for Emergency Response

This pre-publication report aims to provide transportation organizations (including transit agencies, specialized transportation providers, and other local government agencies and stakeholders) with helpful information and strategies on providing service for persons with disabilities and older adults in emergency situations.

Transportation Cooperative Research Program
October 2023

Contributor(s): National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Transportation Research BoardTransit Cooperative Research Program; Todd Hansen; Zachary Elgart; Ipek Sener; Patricia Bye

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Peer Mentoring Program Increases Retention and Decreases Absences of New Drivers

This case study from APTA’s Passenger Transport presents findings from the mentorship program at Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA). GCRTA and ATU local 268 launched their Positive Impact Program, a peer mentoring program that has seen impacts on retention and absenteeism within its first nine months.

American Public Transportation Association
October 2023
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Integrating Industry Credentials within Apprenticeship Programs

This webinar examines how to integrate industry credentials within registered and unregistered apprenticeship programs and emphasizes the importance of building connections across sponsor/employer organizations to ensure curriculum and training alignment.

WorkforceGPS
September 2023

Lesson Planning Webinar: Basics to Best Practices

Have you ever been tasked with developing or delivering a class and didn’t know where to start? Do you have a class that isn’t engaging learners and you don’t know why? On September 26, 2023, TWC hosted an informative webinar on Lesson Planning basics and best practices with award winning author and advisor on all things training, Dr. Chuck Hodell. We took a high-level look at Lesson Planning for those new to training, as well as discussed how to overcome inherent challenges and best practices for transit trainers.

Transit Workforce Center
September 2023
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TWC mini case study

Approaches to Childcare Support in the Transit Industry

Transit Workforce Center
September 2023

Key Takeaways:
  • There are many ways to support the childcare needs of employees; there is no one-size-fits-all model.
  • The models examined in this case study include a voucher system, an on-site center managed directly by the agency, and a discounted center managed by a contractor with supplemental referral services. 
  • Challenges remain, including childcare affordability and availability.
  • Still, these programs can boost morale and attendance among working parents and caregivers.

At New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), the first sign of a problem was attendance. Los Angeles Metro experienced a similar phenomenon of worker absences, which grew worse during the COVID-19 pandemic. At Prairie Hills Transit in South Dakota, the agency (like many employers in the community) struggled just to get workers in the first place. In community after community, public transit is suffering from low employee availability, and a key driver of the workforce shortage is clear—a lack of affordable childcare.

The good news for the public transit industry is that a variety of models already exist that support the childcare needs of frontline workers. This case study describes three such models: a voucher system, an on-site center managed directly by the agency, and a discounted center managed by a contractor with supplemental referral services. Across the spectrum of agency sizes—from a small rural agency to an agency serving one of the world’s largest cities—transit providers have opportunities to support their workers, both as employees and as parents.

Please see the summary table at the end of the case study for an overview of each of these programs.

Background: The Urgency of Childcare Needs

The United States used to have one of the highest rates of working women among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, but in recent years, the U.S. rate has declined. As parents struggle to find stable access to childcare, they are forced to limit their workforce participation, leave employment altogether, or pay an often-unsustainable portion of their income towards a childcare program. Using data from the National Survey of Children’s Health, the Center for American Progress (CAP) estimated that in 2016 nearly two million Americans made career sacrifices due to issues with childcare.

As the United States, and in particular the transit industry, faces a difficult and ongoing labor shortage, it is important for mothers to be able to participate in the workforce if they choose. Even though women are less present in the labor force, families are becoming increasingly dependent on the maternal income. Only about 30 percent of families with children rely solely on a father’s income; women are primary or equal earners in about two-thirds of families. Women of color with children are even more likely than white women to be in the labor force, be primary breadwinners, and be in low-earning jobs (NWLC).

Despite this necessity, childcare remains a determining obstacle. An analysis of the 2016 Early Childhood Program Participation Survey (ECPP) indicated that half of American families struggle to find adequate childcare, with cost most commonly reported as a barrier. Another CAP analysis found that over half of Americans live in childcare deserts (areas with few or no options for childcare). The maternal workforce participation rate is an average of three percent lower in these deserts than in areas with adequate childcare. Hispanic/Latino families are more likely to reside in childcare deserts and more likely to report location as an obstacle to obtaining childcare. The prevalence of location as an obstacle can be further explored with these interactive childcare desert maps.

Even small steps to alleviate childcare burdens can help parents join the workforce. A study of Washington, DC’s universal, full-day preschool program found that since the program’s inception, the rate of mothers participating in the city’s workforce increased by 12 percent. Subsidies to support parents in finding childcare assistance can have positive impacts on their workforce participation as well. A study of childcare and parent labor force participation found that just a 10 percent decrease in childcare costs could lead to a 0.5-2.5 percent increase in maternal employment. A paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research indicated that if childcare costs were capped at seven percent of income, the rate of low-income mothers in full-time jobs would increase by 18 percent and the overall maternal employment would increase by 10 percent, which would add 12 million mothers to the workforce. For individual families, gender parity, and the overall economy, these increases are important, and they are essential to mitigating the workforce shortage in the transit industry.

Childcare Examples in Public Transportation

Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 – New York City Transit Child Care Fund (CCF)

In New York City, TWU Local 100 and NYC Transit came together to create the Child Care Fund (CCF), a financial assistance program designed to support the families of Local 100 members who need help paying for childcare expenses. In 2002, Local 100 proposed a new benefit for its members in the collective bargaining agreement: funds through CCF to support parents of young children in obtaining childcare. MTA management, concerned about the effects of worker absences on its operations, agreed to the new benefit. “Workers were doing the calculus of whether it’s worth it to spend X amount on childcare versus just staying home and not working and caring for the child instead. Childcare is very expensive,” said Charles Jenkins, Director of TUF. This no-win choice weighed particularly heavy on women. Jenkins recounted how historically, transit has been a predominantly male industry with few accommodations for women, even proper bathrooms, until recently. Long-standing worker shortages in public transit have led the industry to begin thinking differently.

CCF provides financial support to parents for either a year-round childcare program or for summer camps; the employee can choose. The employee also has the discretion to choose who cares for their child—CCF covers about forty percent of the cost of childcare in a licensed facility (up to $320 weekly), and about twenty percent (up to $160 weekly) if the provider is not licensed—for example, if the caregiver is a family member. If the employee chooses the summer camp option, fifty percent is covered (up to $1,000). The benefit is offered to all employees in good standing who have completed one year of employment, until the employee’s child reaches age 12.

The program is not without challenges. It is first-come-first-served, with limited funds, although most people who seek out the benefit do receive it. Some members report they didn’t know about the fund, and even with a subsidy, childcare remains expensive. Still, CCF’s support helps. “Our members are very thankful for the benefit,” Jenkins said, and the agency and union have found that attendance is high when adequate childcare is in place.

Prairie Hills Transit (Spearfish, South Dakota)

Over a thousand miles away and in a much more rural area, the childcare landscape looks different. Prairie Hills, SD, has struggled for years with a lack of childcare providers in the community. Around 2010, Prairie Hills Transit (PHT) Executive Director Barb Cline noticed that federal funds were available for the construction of new buildings. Thinking creatively, she pursued grants and loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the purpose of constructing a childcare facility within the PHT campus. “We knew this was a community problem, bigger than our own staff,” Cline reported. With only about 50 employees, PHT’s staff didn’t have enough children for a center limited to employees, so the agency opened its doors to the wider community.

Today, this licensed, on-site childcare center can accommodate up to 41 children. To handle demand, PHT is expanding to a new rented location which can enroll another 25 or so children. Because childcare has a low profit margin, no external company would take on the contract, so PHT hired its own manager for the program. Now that the building has been constructed, the program sustains itself financially. Employees of PHT receive a thirty percent discount, while other parents in the community pay full price (though some use government benefits to pay and segmented payment plans are available). Children don’t age out formally, but most enrollees are age five or younger. PHT has found that male and female employees alike take advantage of the program. Recognizing that employees won’t be able to transport their children from school to after-school childcare in the middle of a shift, PHT obtained a separate bus with car seats to provide those trips themselves.

PHT reported several challenges it encountered as the program unfolded. Licensing requirements for childcare centers have gotten stricter and PHT has had to invest time to adapt. Another challenge for the agency has been the “human versus the financial”: if a parent only wants part-time childcare, the center wants to accommodate the family’s needs, but the accommodation results in the loss of a full-time spot and thus a loss of funds. Availability of childcare remains a challenge because demand is so high, even though PHT employees receive some degree of priority; “our waiting list is 12 pages long,” Cline said. Even with a subsidy, affordability is still a question for some families. However, employee turnover is low at PHT and childcare may be part of the reason.

PHT has realized that because of the geographic dispersion of employees and the low turnover of children in the center, some employees are not able to take advantage of the center’s offerings. As the program looks to the future, PHT is looking to build a second shared-use facility to expand capacity.

LA Metro (Los Angeles, CA)

Like so many other transit agencies, Los Angeles Metro found its workforce depleted as the COVID-19 pandemic progressed. The agency recognized that a lack of childcare delayed re-entry into the workforce.

LA Metro offers three options for their employees to find support  The first is, through a memorandum of understanding, a partnership with Pathways LA to provide referral services to LA Metro employees seeking childcare. Pathways LA gives parents digestible information about childcare options and assistance navigating the possibilities available. LA Metro also utilizes its employee assistance program through ComPsych Corporation Guidance Resources, which connects employees to a Work-Life Specialist. This specialist provides personalized resources custom to the needs of the individual employees seeking childcare in their area.  The third support is more recently established: LA Metro has leased a space it owns, beginning June 2023, to Pathways LA for a childcare center within walking distance  from Metro’s central maintenance facility and headquarters. This arrangement was established through a competitive bid process. The center is not exclusive to LA Metro employees, but employees receive a 15% discount and get priority enrollment. The center serves children up to age 5 and offers everything from an infant center to an educational curriculum for older children to special needs programming. LA Metro has hired a coordinator to oversee the relationship between Pathways LA and Metro, which has been indispensable to facilitating a smooth partnership, the agency reported.

As childcare needs have evolved, LA Metro has persevered in seeking the best options for its employees within available resources. Before the Pathways LA partnership, LA Metro had partnered with a different third-party provider; with the new partnership, largely because of inflation, prices have risen and employees that transferred from one provider to the other were impacted by the change. Prices were already steep and employees felt the increase keenly.  Another challenge has been the limitations of a single facility location: the fact that the center is close to LA Metro’s headquarters and central maintenance garage reduces travel and logistics for some parents, but not all Metro employees report to those locations. For LA Metro, a multi-pronged approach has been most successful.

Conclusion

Finding adequate childcare services is an imperative step in entering or re-entering the workforce, but it’s not easy for every parent. In the face of a widespread workforce shortage, if transit agencies are able to help parents with this step, it can help rebuild and maintain their workforce. These examples provide evidence that agencies of varied sizes across the county can find a childcare supportive service program that works for them. LA Metro found that neither subsidies nor self-administration of a childcare center was realistic for them, but partnerships with an established and trusted provider could further their employees’ access to childcare resources. On the other hand, Prairie Hills Transit, facing a childcare desert in their community, established their own center. Meanwhile, MTA and TWU Local found that cost, not availability, was the primary limiting factor for their employees, and they were able to address that challenge for many families. Other transit agencies can take similar steps, utilize their own unique resources, and learn from the challenges faced in these examples to facilitate access to childcare services for their employees, which in turn will contribute to a stronger and more reliable workforce.

 

Summary of MTA/TWU Local 100, Prairie Hills Transit, and LA Metro Childcare Programs

 

For more information on these programs, contact:

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US Department of Labor Blog: Data Spotlight

This page on the US Department of Labor Blog features data spotlight articles by David Rosenblum which provide visualizations of Census Bureau data about different demographics in skilled trade professions.

US Department of Labor
September 2023
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Tools for Building an Equitable Infrastructure Workforce

Department of Labor
September 2023

This toolkit provides guidance on strategies and best practices for recruiting and retaining women in construction, manufacturing, and clean energy jobs. The strategies describe how to make the intentional choice to build a diverse workforce, create targeted recruitment, address barriers of entry, and retain a diverse workforce.

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Apprentice Trailblazer Initiative

The Apprentice Trailblazer Initiative is designed to create a national network of diverse apprentices and apprenticeship graduates of all ages and backgrounds to feature their stories and hear their perspectives, show how Registered Apprenticeships increase opportunities for underserved populations, and bring awareness to other career seekers who may be interested in becoming apprentices. 

Department of Labor; ApprenticeshipUSA
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National Transit Workforce Development Strategic Plan 2023 to 2028

Federal Transit Administration
August 2023

The Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) first National Transit Workforce Development six-year Strategic Plan outlines goals and objectives to address workforce challenges and opportunities in the public transportation industry. The plan has six overarching goals: ensuring worker safety and health, investing in workforce development, driving workforce recruitment, ensuring worker retention, developing worker skills, and tracking success through appropriate metrics. FTA’s Transit Workforce Center led the development of this plan collaborating closely with FTA and with stakeholders across transit agencies, unions, national transit associations, the US Department of Labor, and workers. The plan will guide FTA’s activities and investments to support transit agencies as they recruit, retain, and train the diverse workforce they need today and tomorrow.

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Opening Doors: Including People with Disabilities in the Transit Workforce

TR News
August 2023

In the transportation industry, individuals with disabilities should comprise part of a diverse workforce and can be included in recruitment and retention initiatives. “Opening Doors: Including People with Disabilities in the Transit Workforce” offers an overview of strategies and is one of the feature articles in the July-August 2023 edition (Issue 346) of TR News, TRB’s magazine.

Authors: Judy Shanley (National Center for Mobility Management), Shayna Gleason (Transit Workforce Center), and Patricia Greenfield (Transit Workforce Center)

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People First

This report from TransitCenter describes the current transit industry workforce shortage and provides recommendations for agency leadership, policy makers, and community advocates to help address the issue, including creating a robust human resources department, as well as strategies to address recruitment, training, and retention.

TransitCenter
July 2023
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Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

This landing page provides information about WIOA as well as resources to help employers take advantage of WIOA funding to support apprenticeship.

Department of Labor

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was signed into law on July 22, 2014. WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.

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Driver Recruitment and Retention Strategies

This blog post from the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center discusses recruitment and retention strategies for transit agencies, particularly in regard to older and disabled workers in the face of industry-wide labor shortages. It includes examples of successful partnerships and effective mentoring programs.

National Aging and Disability Transportation Center
July 2023
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Registered Apprenticeship Academy

This page, created by the ETA’s Office of Apprenticeship, offers a wide range of courses, webinars, and other resources for program sponsors, apprentices, state apprenticeship agency partners, and other stakeholders to provide training, enhance skills, and stay up to date on best practices for registered apprenticeships.

Employment and Training Administration

TOPICS:

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Growing Quality Green Jobs

This report describes how the US workforce is greening via the creation of new green jobs, adoption of green skills in existing jobs, and the rapid proliferation of green technologies throughout the economy, including in the transportation industry.

Burning Glass Institute, Jobs for the Future
July 2023
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Interactive Apprenticeship Data

This dashboard provides key statistics on apprentices by fiscal year (FY) (October through September), including state and national program data entered or uploaded into the Registered Apprenticeship Partners Information Database System (RAPIDS).

Apprenticeship USA
June 2023

TOPICS:

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Expanding Apprenticeship for Individuals with Disabilities

This landing page features a variety of resources aimed at providing information, ideas, tools, and practices for supporting individuals with disabilities in apprenticeship programs. The resources include specific programs, toolkits and guides, outreach and background materials, and research.

WorkforceGPS
June 2023
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TWC mini case study

Transit Mentorship Metrics: Positive Signs for Retention, Attendance, and Additional Outcomes

Transit Workforce Center
June 2023

This fact sheet provides overviews of four of the country’s most robust bus operator mentoring programs and preliminary data on the success of these programs (as of Spring 2023). Operator mentorship programs pair seasoned bus operators with new ones for technical skill instruction and/or individualized coaching and support to help mentees be successful in their new positions. They leverage institutional knowledge and incumbent workers’ expertise to improve training and support for new workers. The Mentoring Fact Sheet provides insight into the role mentorship programs can play in improving retention rates of workers, decrease unexcused absences, reduce rates of recorded violations, and lower complaints.

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Transit-Community Partnerships: Advancing Workforce Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion

In this webinar, hosted by the Transportation Equity Caucus and Transit Workforce Center, panelists with experience in community-based partnerships that embrace diversity, equity, inclusion, and access discuss a variety of ways community-based organizations, transit agencies, and unions can engage in creating a strong workforce that fully reflects their communities.

Transportation Equity Caucus
June 2023

Featured Speakers:

  • Beth Berendsen, Policy Director, Chicago Women in Trades
  • Rich Diaz, Bus Operator Mentor Lead, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1575
  • Aaron Koski, Senior Manager – Workforce Development, Metro Transit (MN)
  • Anna Penland, Assistant Transportation Manager – OECC Coordinator, Metro Transit (MN)
  • David Stephen, International Transportation Learning Center/Transit Workforce Center
  • Chris VanEyken, Director, Research and Policy, TransitCenter

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After Everything: Projections of Jobs, Education, and Training Requirements through 2031

By 2031, 72 percent of jobs in the US will require postsecondary education and/or training. Between 2021 and 2031, there will be 18.5 million job openings per year on average, and some 12.5 million of these annualized openings will require at least some college education. After Everything: Projections of Jobs, Education, and Training Requirements through 2031 includes a national overview of job projections and their educational requirements across industries, occupational clusters, and detailed occupational groups. These latest projections demonstrate the central role postsecondary education plays in preparing the workforce of the future.

Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
June 2023
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Partnering With Purpose: Building Partnerships to Drive Equitable Registered Apprenticeships

This webinar recording features successful partnership stakeholders discussing how to create and maintain partnerships to support equitable and effective registered apprenticeships. Leaders of apprenticeship partnerships discuss the steps they took to build strong relationships with fellow stakeholders and the factors that make their partnerships succeed.

Jobs for the Future
May 2023
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Lunch & Learn: Youth Careers in Transit – Exploring a World of Opportunity

This is Part 4 of Iyai’s 6-part 2023 Transportation/Mobility Career Awareness Lunch and Learn series. This webinar is co-sponsored with the International Transportation Learning Center / Transit Workforce Center. This webinar features presenters at various stages of their transit careers discussing their work and their own career pathways, engaging in an interactive discussion with the audience.

Iyai+; International Transportation Learning Center/Transit Workforce Center
May 2023

Program: Iyai’s Dr. Beverly Scott and TWC’s Shayna Gleason present an overview of the program series and career landscape, followed by participants in diverse positions talking about their work and careers.  Speakers include: 

  • Marvin Alfred, President, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 (Toronto);
  • Kyisha Bond, mechanic apprentice, IndyGo (Indianapolis),
  • Inez Evans, President and CEO, IndyGo (Indianapolis);
  • Andrew Falotico, Health and Safety Representative, ATU Local 113 (Toronto);
  • Desiree Patrice, Deputy Chief of Capital Transformation, MBTA (Boston). 

After the presentations, Karen Philbrick from the Mineta Transportation Institute facilitates a conversation between the audience and presenters.

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Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs: Addition of Oral Fluid Specimen Testing for Drugs

This rule amends the U.S. Department of Transportation’s regulated industry drug testing program to include oral fluid testing. This additional methodology for drug testing will give employers a choice that will help combat employee cheating on urine drug tests and provide a less intrusive means of achieving the safety goals of the program.

Department of Transportation
May 2023
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Gender Imbalance in the Transport Sector: A Toolkit for Change

This study builds upon findings from the SuM4All Global Roadmap for Action, which called for the transport sector to address key barriers inhibiting women from accessing decent work in the industry. It delivers a clear overview of the existing employment landscape in transport and recommends and guides positive action for practitioners across the sector. Informed by desk-based research, surveys, interviews, and case studies, the study examines the primary challenges for women entering, remaining in, and progressing in the transport sector worldwide, before presenting a toolkit, which lays out key recommendations for action.

Sustainable Mobility for All
May 2023
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Creating Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities in the Transportation Workforce

When transportation professionals are equipped with knowledge and skills about disability topics, they can help create welcoming and engaging employment settings for individuals with disabilities. This new NCMM/TWC learning module offers hiring professionals strategies to recruit and retain individuals with disabilities in the transportation workforce. Learn about partnerships, inclusive hiring, and accommodations to attract and retain employees with disabilities.

National Center for Mobility Management; Transit Workforce Center
May 2023
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LADOT Bilingual Glossary of Transportation Terms

Los Angeles Department of Transportation
May 2023

In 2020-2022, LADOT collaborated with LA Walks, community members, transportation and planning practitioners, advocates and others to develop LADOT’s first Spanish glossary. The  project includes over 100 transportation planning and community engagement terms to improve and standardize LADOT’s Spanish language communication, as well as empower Spanish speaking communities to advocate for transportation improvements.

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Apprenticeship Start-up Summary

These summaries outline the steps to tailor an effective Registered Apprenticeship (RA) program. These steps can be completed in order or, in some cases, concurrently. Apprenticeship programs are customizable to meet the employers’ skill requirements.

ProgressWorx
April 2023

If the workforce for the occupation to be registered as an apprenticeship is represented by a labor union, the employer and union would register the program as an Individual Joint program. If the workforce is not represented, the program would be registered as an Individual Non-Joint program by the employer.

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Engaging Frontline Employees in Adopting New Transit Technologies

The purpose of this guidebook, made in collaboration with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), is to help management staff in the US transit industry engage frontline employees as they transition into a new era of transit technologies. The guidebook considers broader issues such as workforce shortages, provides advice and information on training frontline employees on new transit technologies, and discusses the usefulness of apprenticeships.

National Center for Applied Transit Technology
April 2023
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Workforce Mini-Guides

These six workforce development mini-guides are designed to help develop and implement successful strategies to address the critical workforce shortages seen across the public transportation industry. They cover these topics: advancing awareness of transit careers; creating internships and apprenticeships; recruiting and hiring transit workers; serving the underserved in the workforce; onboarding, training, and retaining workers; and building a transit curriculum.

American Public Transportation Association
April 2023

An October 2022 survey conducted by APTA revealed that 96 percent of transit agencies of all sizes are experiencing workforce challenges, and 84 percent said these shortages are impacting their ability to provide service. APTA developed these mini-guides building on their 2021 Transit Workforce Readiness Guide and combining industry insights and stories, case studies, lessons learned, and best practices.

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Apprenticeship Equal Employment Opportunity Toolkit

This toolkit provides advice on how to reach the Department of Labor utilization goal for sponsors of Registered Apprenticeship Programs to have individuals with disabilities make up at least 7% of people enrolled. It includes information about outreach and recruitment; preventing harassment, intimidation, and retaliation; providing reasonable accommodations; developing and implementing an affirmative action program, and encouraging self-identification.

Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship
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Guidebook for Mobility Innovation: Principles to Plan, Design, & Implement Innovative Mobility Projects

Shared-Use Mobility Center
April 2023

This guidebook is designed to help mobility innovators in the transportation sector while developing and implementing a pilot project. It provides a series of principles to better plan, design, and implement innovative mobility pilot projects. These principles have supporting information about strategies to execute this principle, examples of this principle in action, resources about this principle, and questions to prompt team discussions. The guidebook includes advice and support for training transit workers during a pilot project.

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Five Charts To Understand Black Registered Apprentices in the United States

Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
March 2023

The Joint Center’s issue brief, Five Charts To Understand Black Registered Apprentices in the United States, analyzes data reported in the Registered Apprenticeship Partners Information Database System (RAPIDS) from the U.S. Department of Labor to highlight structural barriers that Black apprentices face. To achieve racially equitable outcomes in apprenticeship programs, policymakers and apprenticeship coordinators must understand these challenges.

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TWC’s Transit Workforce Data Dashboard

Launched in March, 2023, the Transit Workforce Data Dashboard presents quantitative, descriptive data about the composition of the transit workforce and trends in transit employment using a series of charts and graphics. This information is relevant for industry discussions in a range of contexts, including: strategic workforce planning in recruitment, retention, and other areas; examining and addressing opportunities and challenges related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access; and identifying training and funding needs.

Transit Workforce Center
March 2023
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Apprenticeship Training Courses

This series of free online training courses will help transit providers and others plan for, create, and sustain registered apprenticeship programs. Several courses have already been released and others are forthcoming.

Jobs for the Future
March 2023
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Transit Workforce Shortage: Synthesis Report and Toolkit

The Transit Workforce Shortage Study builds a framework for APTA, its members, and its partner organizations to better understand the workforce shortage’s causes and provides best practices for recruiting, hiring, and retaining transit operations workers.

American Public Transportation Association
March 2023

APTA’s Transit Workforce Shortage Study combines information from a survey of public transit workers and interviews with public transportation agencies to provide insight into ways to address the national shortage of transit workers. The report provides information on actions agencies have taken to address the workforce shortage, and the toolkit provides step-by-step answers to workforce shortage scenarios agencies are facing every day.

This report builds on findings from the first interim report.

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How Neutral Third-Party Intervention Can Improve Retention in the Transit Industry

This study proposes methods that follow transformative mediation in order to improve hiring and retention at transit agencies and other companies by providing an organizational culture that respects each person’s dignity, identity, and opinions.

Mineta Transportation Institute
March 2023
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Grant Application Checklist for a Strong Transportation Workforce and Labor Plan

This checklist provides information on the components of an ideal labor plan when applying to DOT discretionary grants in order to best meet the criteria for a strong workforce. The checklist prompts grant applicants to consider their labor-management partnerships, workforce training and education, and hiring and retaining underrepresented workers.

US Department of Transportation
February 2023
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A Framework to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in Workforce Development in the Southeast States

This project developed a framework for creating an inclusive and functional workforce environment for transportation agencies in the southeast region. The project identifies existing gaps, predicts future needs, and captures the role transportation agencies, research centers, DOTs, and professional organizations can play to recruit, train, and maintain a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Development and Education Center
February 2023
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Trade and Transportation Talent Pipeline Blueprints: Building University-Industry Talent Pipelines in Colleges of Continuing and Professional Education

This report identifies the steps required to build talent pipelines that target in-demand trade and transportation occupations requiring specific degrees, certificates, and non-credit professional development and provides a literature review and labor market data analysis. It also includes documentation of methodology in planning a pilot program for Colleges of Professional and Continuing Education housed within each of the 23 California State University campuses.

Mineta Transportation Institute
February 2023
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Image of a cartoon hand cupped underneath a lightbulb; reads TWC resource

Realizing the Workforce Potential of Infrastructure Investments

This report details strategies for states to realize the workforce and job quality potential of infrastructure investments in critical sectors, particularly those poised for significant additional investments through the IIJA and IRA. The report explains specific funding streams on which states can capitalize and outlines a framework for priority actions that states can take to foster broad opportunity to benefit from good quality jobs connected to state spending in two of the most significant infrastructure sectors. The framework highlights examples of models and uses of these strategies from around the country, including a summary of instances of public infrastructure agencies embedding job quality and workforce aims into competitive procurement processes to influence private sector practices.

Markle; Eno Center for Transportation; National Association of State Energy Officials
February 2023
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Community Transportation Map and Database

The National Center for Mobility Management developed a national transit database depicting the approximate location of transit agencies and organizations across the United States. The database combines existing datasets with new research to create an exhaustive list of organizations that provide transportation services to communities across the country. It contains public transit providers, community action agencies, senior centers, and others that provide transportation.

National Center for Mobility Management
January 2023
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Labor-Management Partnerships

This page from the US Department of Labor explains the benefits of labor-management partnerships, successful examples of partnerships, how successful labor-management partnerships help workers and employers, and provides additional resources for support.

Department of Labor
January 2023
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Violence in the Transit Workplace – Prevention, Response and Recovery (Train the Trainer)

The goal of this course is to provide participants with knowledge and skills to deliver training to transit agency personnel on how to prevent, respond to, and recover from workplace violence. Prevention methods covered include implementing system and personal security measures, recognizing and reporting the warning signs of potentially violent behavior and using effective interpersonal skills for dealing with different, difficult and dangerous people.

National Transit Institute
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Making Connections 2022 – Conference Overview and Videos

The Transit Workforce Center hosted Making Connections 2022: The National Transit Workforce Conference in Washington, D.C. on December 13-14, 2022. This conference brought together participants from urban, suburban, rural, and tribal public transportation and industry stakeholders in plenaries, workshops, networking, and ongoing dialogue. Discussions and sessions featured topics including recruitment and retention, training, mentoring and apprenticeships, new technologies, preparing today’s and tomorrow’s workforce, and advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and access.

Transit Workforce Center
December 2022

Session materials from Making Connections 2022 are hosted on the TWC Resource Center. Please click here to view all related materials. A PDF copy of the conference schedule is linked below.

Opening Video: 

Recap Video: 

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Making Connections 2022 – Out of the Box Strategies: Using Partnerships to Strengthen Recruitment, Retention and the Advancement of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access

This session about DEIA advancement was presented as part of TWC’s Making Connections 2022 transit workforce conference in December, 2022.

Transit Workforce Center
December 2022

Session Summary: This session featured cutting-edge partnership strategies that advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and access while strengthening recruitment and retention. Representatives from transit labor and management, education, and national and local transit supporters and stakeholders provided a range of perspectives, while discussing innovative programs and initiatives along with their positive outcomes.

Moderator
  • Jess Guerra: Executive Director, Transportation Workforce Institute – Los Angeles Trade Technical College
Speakers
  • Mona Babauta: Deputy General Manager – Golden Gate Transit
  • Rich Diaz: Golden Gate Transit Mentor Coordinator – Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1575
  • Meghna Khanna: Senior Director, Systemwide Team, Mobility Corridors – Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Judy Shanley: Director – National Center for Mobility Management; Assistant Vice-President, Education & Youth Transition Programs, Easter Seals Director – National Center for Mobility Management
  • Tracy Spikes: Workforce Development Program Manager – Central Ohio Transit Authority
  • John Tkach: Executive Director – Keystone Development Partnership
  • Jarvis Williams: President – Transport Workers Union Local 208

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Making Connections 2022 – Transit Instructional Systems Design Boot Camp

This session about instructional systems design was presented as part of TWC’s Making Connections 2022 transit workforce conference in December, 2022.

Transit Workforce Center
December 2022

Session Summary: From Adult Learning Theory to measurable learning objectives to learning models that are proven to enhance understanding and retention – the highly interactive Transit Instructional Systems Design Boot Camp was designed to help participants gain a basic working knowledge of the full ISD process. Based on Chuck Hodell’s best-selling book, ISD From the Ground Up, this session introduced transit trainers and managers to the widely-used and theory-supported system of instructional design practice that provides the foundation for today’s transit classroom and field instruction.

Moderator
  • Julie Deibel-Pundt: Program Director, Instructional Design – International Transportation Learning Center/Transit Workforce Center
Speakers
  • Dennise Cardona: Digital Content Manager – University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • Chuck Hodell: Affiliate Professor – University of Maryland School of Pharmacy; Faculty Lecturer – Northeastern University; Academic Advisor – International Masonry Training and Education Foundation

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Making Connections 2022 – Growing Your Own Through Apprenticeship: A Joint Approach to Building Skills

This session about apprenticeship was presented as part of TWC’s Making Connections 2022 transit workforce conference in December, 2022.

Transit Workforce Center
December 2022

Session Summary: Apprenticeship programs create a foundation for strong, effective workforce development programs. The ability to build and sustain these programs requires strong labor-management partnerships, or, in the case of nonunion agencies, ongoing involvement of, and management engagement with, the frontline workforce. In this session, panelists from a diverse group of transit agencies presented examples of challenges met and lessons learned as they designed and implemented their apprenticeship programs. Attendees heard how apprenticeship can support a variety of frontline transit occupations and the benefits that apprenticeship offers.

Moderator
  • Jamaine “G” Gibson: Director of Apprenticeships and Workforce Development – Amalgamated Transit Union
Speakers
  • Dexter Bishop: Elevator/Escalator Journeyman – Amalgamated Transit Union/Local 689
  • Stephanie Deiger: Chief Human Resources Officer – Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority
  • Brian Funk: Chief Operating Officer and Deputy General Manager – MetroTransit Minneapolis
  • Michael Hanssen: Supervisor of Technical Skills Training – Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
  • Alec Johnson: Bus Operator Apprenticeship Coordinator – MetroTransit Minneapolis/Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005

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Making Connections 2022 – Hands-On Instructional Training for Transit Trainers

This session about hands-on instructional training was presented as part of TWC’s Making Connections 2022 transit workforce conference in December, 2022.

Transit Workforce Center
December 2022

Session Summary: Hands-on instructional training is a critical piece to any organization’s training program. This workshop addressed hands-on training and its importance, best practices, lessons learned, and how to create effective hands-on training. Workshop participants observed hands-on welding simulation. The goal of this session was for participants to leave with the knowledge and resources to make hands-on training impactful and meaningful!

Moderators
  • Kristen Ribaudo: Instructional Systems Design Consultant – International Transportation Learning Center/Transit Workforce Center
  • Grant Young: Instructional Systems Design Consultant – International Transportation Learning Center/Transit Workforce Center
Speakers
  • Ed Hogan: Chief Welding Instructor – Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority
  • Grace Kuka: Welding Instructor – Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority

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Making Connections 2022 – Designing an Impactful Training Program: Linking Program Design to Classroom Learning and On-The-Job Training for Transit Frontline Workers

This session about program design was presented as part of TWC’s Making Connections 2022 transit workforce conference in December, 2022.

Transit Workforce Center
December 2022

Session Summary: This workshop covered the basic building blocks of program design. Participants evaluated the pieces needed to develop a robust program that enables trainers to link good program design to effective classroom and on-the-job learning. This workshop was relevant to those looking to build new programs or refine current programs.

Moderator
  • Grant Young: Instructional Systems Design Consultant – International Transportation Learning Center/Transit Workforce Center
Speakers
  • Mike Glaeser: Manager, Bus Maintenance Training – Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
  • Colleen May: Senior Director of Training – Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority
  • Danielle Wallace: Apprenticeship and Pathways Manager – King County Metro Transit

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Making Connections 2022 – Moving Forward Together: Creating and Sustaining Successful Labor-Management Partnerships

This session about labor-management partnerships was presented as part of TWC’s Making Connections 2022 transit workforce conference in December, 2022.

Transit Workforce Center
December 2022

Session Summary: Across the country, strong labor-management partnerships underlie many of the most effective public transportation recruitment, retention, career development, and advancement programs. In this session, experienced subject-matter experts from transit and from government discussed the importance and impact of these partnerships, provided program examples and outcomes, and highlighted key components in establishing and maintaining these relationships.

Moderators
  • Brian Turner: Founding Director – International Transportation Learning Center
Speakers
  • Shirley Block: President/Business Representative – Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757
  • Jamaine “G” Gibson: Director of Apprenticeships and Workforce Development – Amalgamated Transit Union
  • Andrew Hasty: Senior Advisor – U.S Department of Labor’s Office of Labor Management Standards; Commissioner – Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
  • Nate Holton: Director of Labor Relations – TriMet
  • Denise Jenkins-Agurs: Chief People Officer – IndyGo
  • Charles Jenkins: Director – New York City Transit Training & Upgrading Fund/Transport Workers Union Local 100
  • Darnice Marsh: Labor Management Partnership Coordinator – U.S. Department of Labor

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Making Connections 2022 – Meeting Industry Needs: Feedback Session on FTA’s Draft Strategic Workforce Development Plan

Transit Workforce Center & Federal Transit Administration
December 2022

Feedback collected during this session and in subsequent engagements informed the development of FTA’s National Transit Workforce Development Strategic Plan 2023 to 2028, which has since been released.

Speakers
  • Mary Leary: Acting Associate Administrator for Research, Demonstration and Innovation – Federal Transit Administration

This handout was shared with participants in a feedback session held during TWC’s Making Connections 2022 transit workforce conference in December, 2022.

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Enhanced Transit Safety and Crime Prevention Initiative FTA Funding Sources Factsheet

To help ensure the continued safety of our nation’s public transit systems, FTA launched the Enhanced Transit Safety and Crime Prevention Initiative to provide information and resources to help transit agencies address and prevent crime on their systems and protect transit workers and riders.

Federal Transit Administration
November 2022
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Expanding Apprenticeship: Return on Investment (ROI)

This is the landing page for Apprenticeship ROI resources on the WorkforceGPS website (sponsored by the Employment and Training Administration of the US Department of Labor). It is updated periodically and includes recent publications released as part of the evaluation of the American Apprenticeship Initiative. These resources attest to the value of apprenticeship programs for organizations and for workers.

WorkforceGPS
November 2022
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Employers can support workers’ economic mobility and their own bottom lines

This article provides a concise description of several strategies employers can use to create clear advancement pathways in their workplaces, which will help attract and retain quality candidates. It discusses research around what modern-day employees are looking for in a workplace and a position. It also links to a related article, which provides an overview of the framework created by Jobs for the Future (JFF) to describe the components of a good job.

WorkRise
November 2022
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Online Learning and Learning Technologies Webinar

On October 25, 2022, TWC hosted an exciting webinar that explores online training, best practices in training delivery, and exciting trends in online technology for the transit industry.

Transit Workforce Center
October 2022

TOPICS:

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Building Pathways to Infrastructure Careers: Framework for Preparing an Infrastructure Workforce

This resource provides a framework for all workforce stakeholders, including infrastructure project leads, to engage the public workforce system in implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law with strong workforce commitments and proven strategies that produce high-quality education, training, and employment opportunities for all workers.

U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration
October 2022
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How to Maintain a Frontline Workforce in 2022

TransitCenter
October 2022

This blog post considers steps taken by transit agencies in New York City and San Diego in order to bolster and maintain their frontline workforces in the aftermath of the pandemic and years of labor shortages in the transit industry. The post describes actions like increasing wages, easing CDL requirements, and increasing recruitment efforts.

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Steps for Transportation Workforce Diversity Outlined in TRB’s Research

This blog post highlights resources for improving inclusion and diversity in the transportation workforce.

Transportation Research Board
October 2022
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Women in the Workplace 2022

Women in the Workplace is the largest study on the state of women in corporate America. In 2015, LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company launched the study to give companies insights and tools to advance gender diversity in the workplace. The summary from WTS International outlines the report’s implications for the transportation workforce.

LeanIn.Org; McKinsey & Company; WTS International
October 2022
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Transit Workforce Shortage: Root Causes, Potential Solutions, and the Road Ahead

American Public Transportation Association
October 2022

Public transit providers across North America face a shortage of operators and mechanics during a period of economic instability and reshuffling exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, agencies’ ability to respond to the worker shortage has been hampered by inadequate information about its causes and effects. The Transit Workforce Shortage Study builds a framework for APTA, its members, and its partner organizations to better understand the workforce shortage’s causes and provides best practices for recruiting, hiring, and retaining transit operations workers. The study is comprised of two phases. This document, the Interim Findings Report, synthesizes the findings from Phase 1, which included a survey of transit agencies and background research into the macro causes of the shortage.

This report was followed by a full synthesis report and toolkit.

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Attracting, Retaining, and Developing the 2030 Transportation Workforce

This report provides a guide with specific strategies and action plans to help agencies identify and address workforce needs through 2030 and beyond.

National Cooperative Highway Research Program
October 2022

State departments of transportation are responsible for providing a safe, efficient, and effective transportation system of infrastructure and services. To meet these responsibilities, transportation agencies need a highly skilled workforce with the expertise required to identify and address current transportation needs while also being prepared to address the challenges of the future.

Contributor(s): National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Transportation Research BoardNational Cooperative Highway Research Program; Candace Blair Cronin; Allison Alexander; Grace Arnold; Juan Carlos Batarse; Kelly Dray; Sasha Iliev; Jessica Jenkins; Erik Smallwood; Rachel Smart; Jake Streng; Mara Campbell; Susan Gallagher; Tyler Reeb; Tom O’Brien; Glenn McRae

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Improving the Safety, Health, and Productivity of Transit Operators Through Adequate Restroom Access

This report presents a catalog of good practices, tools, and resources that provide a foundation for implementable strategies to improve restroom access, primarily for transit vehicle operators. The report compiles research from 100 transit agencies on current and best practices; the impact of restroom access on health, safety, and operations, and lessons learned.

Transit Cooperative Research Program
October 2022

A toolbox accompanying the report includes helpful resources such as restroom inventory, planning, and cost estimation tools, as well as templates for restroom access policies and contract language.

Contributor(s): National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Transportation Research BoardTransit Cooperative Research Program; Robin Mary Gillespie, City University of New York; RLS & Associates Robbie Sarles

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ATTAIN Rail/Signals/Traction Power and Facilities/Elevator-Escalator Committees Meeting

This recorded meeting of the ATTAIN committees for Rail/Signals/Traction Power and Facilities/Elevator-Escalator serves as a resource for transit industry stakeholders and includes presentations on apprenticeship and case studies of successful programs across the country.

Transit Workforce Center
September 2022

The American Transit Training and Apprenticeship Innovators Network (ATTAIN), run by the Transit Workforce Center (TWC), is a peer network created for transit agencies and labor unions to explore new apprenticeship programs or enhance existing programs for their frontline workforce.

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TWC mini case study

Recruiting Seniors and Retirees at Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority

Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority; Transit Workforce Center
September 2022

Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (CCRTA) in Massachusetts serves 15 towns within a 400 square miles area in an area where the population triples in the summer with seasonal residents. CCRTA runs seven year-round fixed route lines, several on-demand and hybrid on-demand services, and three summer shuttle services. In 2021, CCRTA served approximately 2.5 million people with 98 drivers.

Faced with driver shortages, CCRTA and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1548 worked together and negotiated driver raises and $1,000 bonuses paid after 90-days. In addition, a six-step salary scale to reach the top pay grade was reduced to two steps. Drivers can now reach the top pay level within two years.

Barnstable County’s senior population is among the largest per capita in the country, and CCRTA has instituted hiring initiatives aimed toward the senior and retiree population. In connecting with this population, CCRTA has taken a variety of actions, including:

  • Reaching out through Cape Cod Elder Services to communicate CCRTA’s interest in hiring seniors. CCRTA’s Human Services Transportation Manager sits on this organization’s board, facilitating ongoing contact.
  • Targeting recruitment of retiring teachers, firefighters, police, and school bus drivers. Cape Cod RTA staff visited schools, fire houses, police stations, and municipal offices to share recruitment information.
  • Visited each town on Cape Cod, talked with local retirement agency officials, and posted and mailed banners and notices.
  • Overall increase in the agency’s traditional and social media presence generally, including advertising explicitly aimed at seniors, including on social media. Developed advertising, messaging, and imagery to make seniors and retirees feel welcome. To see samples of advertising, visit Cape Cod RTA Jobs on Facebook, the ad on their website’s front page,  and see the video, featuring older drivers, on the CCRTA career page.
  • Emphasizing the short time it takes to reach the highest salary level, a compelling message for seniors and retirees, who often value salaries more than benefits, as well as the ability to reach the highest level within their time at the agency.
  • Offering various employment options, including full-time and part-time, and seasonal. The agency has found that individual needs lead to varied choices; they estimate their senior employees have split 50-50 in what scheduling option they choose.
  • Providing full CDL training, testing and additional agency-specific training for all employees without CDLs. The agency pays for all training.
  • Offering options for non-CDL drivers, who operate smaller vans. The agency encourages the CDL route because it gives drivers more flexibility in shifts and allows them to work and get paid at a higher rate.
  • Currently exploring working with the Barnstable County Retirement Commission to arrange for a notice about CCRTA employment options to be part of the Commission’s information packet when an employee puts in for retirement.

CCRTA values its older workforce and their commitment to the job; through its efforts, it has been able to hire a dozen seniors and retirees as drivers. The agency notes that with this population, it is reasonable to expect excellent attendance, while also allowing for the potential of more short-term disability and time for medical appointments. COVID-19 saw CCRTA lose about half of its senior workforce, given seniors’ sensitivity to exposure. However, CCRTA is renewing its recruitment efforts in this area through the various methods noted.

For more information, contact:

Penny Grossman, H.R. Manager – Pgrossman@capecodrta.org – 508-385-1430, ext. 106

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TWC mini case study

Come Drive with (B)us – Akron METRO Operator Recruitment Event

Akron METRO Regional Transit Authority; Transit Workforce Center
September 2022

Organizations

Akron METRO Regional Transit Authority (METRO): Transit agency serving Summit County, Ohio and the city of Akron, with a fleet totaling 231 vehicles: 140 large buses and 91 smaller paratransit vehicles. METRO employs 425 team members.

Stark State College:  Local event venue and partner in advertising campaign. METRO is currently in the final stages of an agreement with Stark State to supplement its CDL training program.

Program Summary

METRO’s “Come Drive with (B)us” event was a major initiative designed to recruit bus operators.  Held at Stark State College, the event featured on-site bus-related activities, interviews and job applications.  Extensive outreach activities before the event through diverse outlets, combined with the themed ad campaign, brought 99 interested participants and resulted in 71 contingent offers. The key “draw” to this event was the ability to test drive our vehicles on a closed course alongside our staff.  METRO’s idea was that if the thought of driving a bus was keeping people from applying, they could offer a nontraditional mechanism to overcome that hesitancy.  Once that challenge was overcome, the process could focus on the soft skills related to empathy and great customer service that are critical to success.

Key Program Elements

  • Pre-event publicity
    • Pop Art themed ad campaign (viewable on Facebook; an example is attached below as a PDF)
    • Free and purchased advertising through social media, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter posts
    • Information on METRO’s website
    • Print ads in local daily and weekly publications
    • Two digital billboards, and flyers on buses and posters at METRO’s transit center
    • A radio ad on several local radio stations
    • Two days before to the event, Stark State College promoted the event on their digital sign, readable from the expressway
    • Four radio personalities from four different stations drove the bus two to three weeks prior to the event and promoted on the air, including one station that put together its own video.
    • Television interviews that resulted in a full story and a variety of mentions of the event on other stations
    • Creating two bus wraps with the pop art feel (see PDF below) on careers, though not event-specific
    • Outreach to past applicants
    • Videos of three in-house of staff driving for the first time, along with videos featuring County Executive and Representative Casey Weinstein, and an invite video from METRO’s CEO
  • Event activities and design (see PDF of signage below)
    • Participants were told to bring a valid driver’s license
    • Four clearly-marked stations for applicants to go to where they had the opportunity to:
      • Apply
      • Interview
      • Secure a mobility device
      • Drive a bus
    • Every applicant moved through all four stations
    • At final stop, attendees received:
      • Bag of information
      • Swag
      • Digital and paper copies of the CDL training booklet for them to start studying
    • Event planning activities
      • Started six to eight weeks before event
      • Committee was made of HR, Marketing, Operations, Maintenance and Safety/Security
      • Eighteen staff members worked the day of the event – five working check-in/applications, five doing on-site interviews, two working the mobility station, five running the “test drive” station, and one runner to move between all stations to relieve backlog
      • Used seven 40 foot buses (2 spares) and 2 paratransit vehicles

Outcomes

  • Ninety-nine event attendees interviewed and were able to test drive
  • Twenty-five additional people applied who could not attend; follow up interviews were planned
  • 71 of the 99 were moved through to a “contingent offer” pending background checks with a start date of September 26th
  • Twenty-three of the 99 had areas of their application that required reviewing before proceeding

For more information on this event, contact: Jarrod Hampshire – Chief Operations Officer, METRO RTA 330.808.0144

More recruitment advertising materials and resources can be found here.

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Recruiting and Retaining the Best: Transit Workforce Best Practices

This blog post from Transportation for America details successful strategies and best practices employed by transit agencies to empower their operator and maintenance workforces.

Transportation for America
September 2022
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Transportation Learning Network (TLN)

The Transportation Learning Network (TLN) is part of an industry-wide effort aimed at strengthening transit training programs. It is designed and maintained by the International Transportation Learning Center, and provides a platform for accessing industry specific training materials – both for direct self-led online learning and also for download by trainers to use in a classroom or field settings. Topics covered include maintenance of transit elevators and escalators, signals, railcar and traction power.

International Transportation Learning Center
September 2022
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Wire Women: Lighting it Up

This illustrated publication tells the stories of women who are undertaking apprenticeship to become union electricians. This resource could be used by transit agencies, unions, or apprenticeship programs as promotional material or for educational purposes.

Sharon Szymanski
September 2022
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Advancing Racial Equity through Federally Funded Public Transit, Bicycle, and Pedestrian Projects

This report provides data sources and tools to quantify racial equity and environmental justice in transportation-related projects. It also describes how the data can be used to speak to the equity priorities of grants available through the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act.

Urban Institute
September 2022
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TWC mini case study

Second Chance Transit Programs

Several transit agencies across the country have established Second Chance programs to support formerly-incarcerated individuals as they reenter the workforce; these programs set pathways into frontline transit positions, often focusing on driver recruitment. These initiatives involve active collaboration between transit agencies and departments of corrections.  Agencies have also worked with other partners, including their local unions, state and local workforce development agencies, ex-offender support programs, and local community organizations.  

August 2022

Basic descriptions of some current state and local programs can be found at the links below.

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TWC mini case study

IndyGo’s Employment Opportunities Page

The IndyGo transit agency, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, offers high-quality career information on its website. This resource summarizes effective elements of the career page.

IndyGo
August 2022

IndyGo’s career page helps site visitors to understand what it’s like to work at the agency and how to apply.  The page also highlights key job benefits and emphasizes the opportunity to serve the community. Overall, the employment section of IndyGo’s website demonstrates a number of key communication elements that support effective outreach to potential applicants.  These elements include:

  • An easily accessible and identifiable section on the website.  “Employment” has its own clickable category, not a subcategory that may be harder to locate.
  • Clear statements about IndyGo’s mission, emphasizing community service, connection, and working together to make a difference in people’s lives.  These messages attract a range of potential target audiences, and they make clear the difference between a public service career, as opposed to other careers applicants may be considering.
  • A detailed list of benefits, with additional specific benefits for drivers noted.  Among those benefits, the list includes unique aspects of the driver position that distinguishes it from other potentially competing careers (e.g., long-haul trucking), noting benefits such as “all local work.”
  • Highlighted aspects of the driver position that emphasize the connection with and support provided to riders.
  • A thoughtful list of questions for potential applicants to consider about themselves and the type of work they might want before they decide to move ahead with the application.
  • Detailed information on how and where to apply, basics of how to prepare for and what to bring to an interview, and important specifics about the steps of the hiring process and initial orientation and training programs.
  • IndyGo’s Why I Drive segment on their website includes a video featured in the National Frontline Workforce Recruitment Campaign Toolkit video library elsewhere on this website.  That link on IndyGo’s website also features brief worker profiles, another summary of benefits, and a note on IndyGo’s Second Chance Initiative.
  • IndyGo’s website includes a prominent option to translate the site into Spanish.

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Train-the-Trainer Level 1:  Adult Learning Theory and Teaching Techniques

The International Transportation Learning Center’s week-long, highly engaging train the trainer course teaches subject matter experts the skills to convey their vast knowledge to others in a classroom setting. Topics include: adult learning theory, teaching techniques and presentation skills. Participants will spend most of the week applying what they’re learning through rounds of practice teaching in a classroom, lab and field setting. They’ll also give and receive feedback from peers – one of the most important skills of a trainer!

Subsequent learning opportunities include Train-the-Trainer Level 2: Creating Courseware that Works.

International Transportation Learning Center
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Train-the-Trainer Level 2: Creating Courseware that Works

This week-long, interactive course, Train the Trainer Level 2, builds on Train the Trainer Level 1 by giving experienced trainers the skills to define, design and develop an effective and engaging training course and accompanying courseware and assessments, incorporating established adult learning principles. Participants apply this new knowledge by starting to develop materials for a course of their choosing, which would ultimately be taught at their location.

International Transportation Learning Center
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Veterans in Registered Apprenticeship

This fact sheet provides an overview of how veteran-specific public benefits can be applied to support a veteran’s completion of a registered apprenticeship program. It also provides links to resources for more detailed information on apprenticeship resources for service members, employment resources for veterans, and more.

ApprenticeshipUSA
August 2022
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Pathway to Promote Diversity within Public Transit Workforce

Considering the transit industry’s existing diversity and inclusion toolkits and guidelines, this project emphasizes lessons from in-depth interviews with leaders from 18 transit agencies across the country.  The report highlights: the critical factors that impact the current level of diversity and career mobility within transit agencies; how diversity efforts help explore resources and provide opportunities for effective and robust employee engagement; and the significance of evaluation systems in creating a more transparent recruitment process that initiates structural shifts, resulting in better recruiting.

Mineta Transportation Institute
August 2022
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Mentor Training

Transit Workforce Center

This workshop is designed for employees or journeyworkers designated as mentors to support on-the-job learning for apprenticeship programs. The content includes a review of mentor roles, an introduction to learning styles, and a facilitated discussion about communication and problem solving. The second half of the workshop includes role playing exercises for the participants to practice what they learned. The instructor leads the participants through a structured review of that experience and review of the mentoring concepts presented. The program acknowledges the wisdom of the mentors and encourages them to view themselves as ambassadors for the apprenticeship and advocates for the apprentices.

Please follow the link below for additional details and to submit a mentor training request.

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Strategic Workforce Planning in Transit: Fundamentals of Mentoring

Transit Workforce Center
June 2022

This is the third in the Transit Workforce Center’s webinar series on strategic workforce development planning in transit. Labor and management leaders from across the country discussed the impact of mentorship programs in their agencies.

Mentor programs provide a powerful and effective tool for workforce development and retention. For maintenance occupations, mentors deliver hands-on training support, putting skills in diverse workplace contexts beyond the classroom. For bus operators, mentors provide guidance that addresses real world situations, building and expanding on basic training and creating ongoing support for each new operator. In every transit agency across all occupations, seasoned employees have stores of knowledge waiting to be shared. Without mentorship, this knowledge can be lost when workers retire or move on. A well-structured mentorship program, designed in partnership with the workers, ensure this expertise is passed on. Strong mentorship programs also provide mentors with leadership opportunities and mentees with the skills and confidence they need to succeed, increasing expertise and morale throughout the organization.

Linked below are a video recording of the webinar, the associated slides, and a webpage where all past TWC webinars are available.

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TWC mini case study

The Power of Partnership: Automotive Technology/Collision Career Technical Education Program

This multimedia case study details an internship program developed by the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) and Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 208. This resource contains a brief written summary, presentation slides, and video of a COTA-TWU Local 208 presentation. The entire June 7, 2022 TWC webinar, Recruiting and Developing Today’s Transit Workforce, can be found here. The complete webinar recording includes a question and answer session, beginning at 51:53, that covers more detail on this and other recruitment initiatives.

Transit Workforce Center; Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA); Transport Workers Union Local 208
June 2022

To meet its need for vehicle maintenance technicians, COTA leadership partnered with TWU Local 208 and Columbus City Schools to provide a Vehicle Maintenance Internship Program, helping students already enrolled in an automotive program to develop additional technology competencies and prepare them for entry level positions. The COTA Vehicle Maintenance Internship Program provides career technical center high school students who have completed their junior year in a participating career-technical program the opportunity to work as paid interns in the Vehicle Maintenance Department at COTA. Students receive classroom training, hands-on training, laboratory experiences, and are partnered with mentors in preparation to enter the workforce as entry level automotive/collision technologies service technicians. From this foundation, COTA has now established a state-registered pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship program to support vehicle technician hiring, retention, and workforce development.

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Strategic Workforce Planning in Transit: Recruiting and Developing Today’s Transit Workforce

This is the second in the Transit Workforce Center’s webinar series on strategic workforce development planning in transit. TWC’s first webinar examined workforce development for the incumbent workforce. This second webinar focuses on how transit agencies and partner organizations are working to meet the significant recruitment challenges across the country and how to best turn these challenges into opportunities to reach, attract, and retain a diverse workforce. Two transit agencies and their labor partners discuss their innovative outreach and recruitment programs, including mentoring, pre-apprenticeships, and community college partnerships, followed by a presentation from a national organization leader who has coordinated cross-sectoral recruitment initiatives with agencies across the U.S.

Transit Workforce Center
June 2022

Linked below are a video recording of the webinar, the associated slides, and a webpage where all past TWC webinars are available.

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Who Rules Transit?

This report examines who makes key decisions at transit agencies and who is affected by these decisions. The report provides case studies of agencies that have taken steps to give transit riders and workers more power in the decision-making process.

TransitCenter
April 2022
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Higher Education Practices to Prepare Future Transportation Professionals Regarding Disability, Accessibility, and Mobility Management

This National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM) Information Brief provides the results of a NCMM study regarding mobility management, disability, and accessibility content in higher education preparation programs. This brief offers recommendations regarding how to integrate such content, as well as information on the recruitment and retention of individuals with disabilities in the transportation industry.

Please click the link below to view NCMM’s Mobility Management in Practice Series; this brief is listed among several 2022 publications.

National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM)
April 2022
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Workforce Shortages Impacting Public Transportation Recovery

This policy brief summarizes results from a survey the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) conducted with transit agencies in early 2022. The majority of responding agencies reported difficulties with hiring, with bus operator recruitment being the biggest challenge.

American Public Transportation Association
March 2022
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Transit Workforce Center

The Transit Workforce Center (TWC) is the Federal Transit Administration’s first ever national technical assistance center for transit workforce development. Its mission is to help urban, suburban, tribal, and rural public transportation entities recruit, hire, train, and retain the diverse workforce needed now and in the future.

This fact sheet summarizes the TWC’s mission, initiatives, and services.

Transit Workforce Center
March 2022
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FTA Annual Report on Technical Assistance and Workforce Development for FY 2021

This statutorily required annual report provides information on FTA’s Technical Assistance and Workforce Development Program (49 U.S.C. § 5314), including technical assistance, workforce development, standards, human resources, and training projects active in Fiscal Year 2021. The report also describes FTA’s process for making upcoming allocations for FY 2022.

Federal Transit Administration
January 2022
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California Transit Training Consortium (CTTC)

The California Transit Training Consortium, founded as the Southern California Regional Transit Training Consortium, is comprised of community colleges, universities, transit agencies, and public and private partners collaborating to design, develop, and deliver technical training for the improvement of the transit workforce in California.

California Transit Training Consortium

TOPICS:

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Managing the Labor Shortage at Transit Agencies

This article examines labor shortages in the public transit industry. It focuses on the following points:

  • Transit agencies across the United States are experiencing a significant shortage in labor, that the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened. This shortage is negatively impacting the services they provide to the public.
  • Employees at transit agencies have a significantly higher median age than employees in other industries.
  • Transit agencies should use data and information to consider recruiting and retaining employees for the long term.

Shared-Use Mobility Center
November 2021
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Promoting Interest in Transportation Careers Among Young Women

This research developed and tested a school-based intervention that uses pro-environmental framing and exposure to women transportation role models to help attract more women to transportation careers. The paper explains how this method increased student awareness that the transportation industry can provide green and sustainable careers, particularly for female students.

Mineta Transportation Institute
November 2021
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Workforce and Talent Management Study

This study provides an in-depth examination of the U.S workforce development system and offers nine recommendations to inform future policy development and keep the critical infrastructure workforce nimble in the face of change. The recommendations are guided by the principle that all workers must have equitable access to the education, training, and resources necessary to begin and advance in critical infrastructure careers

National Infrastructure Advisory Council
September 2021

The Education/Career Readiness Continuum graphic on page 11 of the report might be useful to agencies considering comprehensive workforce development plans.

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Building and Growing Apprenticeship with Equity in Mind

This toolkit was created to help those whose work involves designing and running pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs to intentionally encourage and support the inclusion of apprentices who reflect the full
diversity of our communities — in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, primary language, disability, age, sexual orientation, and other factors.

High Road Alliance
September 2021
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Diversity and Inclusion in Registered Apprenticeship

This case study examines the NUL Consortium’s strategies for providing technical assistance to employers as they seek to promote and diversify their Registered Apprenticeship programs. It includes a best practices toolkit detailing EEO compliance, affirmative action planning, and NUL’s employer DEIA training. It seeks to serve as a replicable guide for industry, equity, and opportunity partners, community-based organizations, and other groups or individuals with similar goals.

National Urban League
July 2021
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Identifying Current and Future Training Needs of the Public Transportation Industry

This report documents a study commissioned by the National Transit Institute (NTI) as part of its work to address training needs. The study investigates skills gaps among the workforce of the U.S. public transportation industry, identifies strategies to address those gaps, and explores approaches to more successfully recruit and retain the full spectrum of the transit workforce, from frontline to technical to professional staff.

Federal Transit Administration; National Transit Institute
June 2021
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High School Students on Track for Transportation Careers

Mineta Transportation Institute
June 2021

This report provides an overview of the Mineta Summer Transportation Institute, one of the National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI) Programs, which recruits high-school students from diverse ethnic backgrounds, exposes them to a variety of academic and practical experiences in the transportation field in the Bay Area, and provides participating students with a variety of science, technology, and employment skills. The report shares program history, demographics, activities, etc.

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FTA Annual Report on Technical Assistance and Workforce Development for FY 2020

This statutorily required annual report provides information on FTA’s Technical Assistance and Workforce Development Program (49 U.S.C. § 5314). It provides information on technical assistance, workforce development, standards, human resources, and training projects active in FY 2020. The report also includes information on FTA’s process for making upcoming allocations for FY 2021.

Federal Transit Administration
May 2021
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Preparing for and Capturing Video Footage for Instructional Video

International Transportation Learning Center
March 2021

Digital and video instruction are two ways in which transit agencies can enhance their current training methods for their frontline employees. In a previous skill booster event, we showcased video editing software Filmora™. But before you can edit video, you need to capture it. As videography expert and the presenter of this session Kenyon Corbett says, “there is no replacement for good audio and video.”

This video uses real-world examples to demonstrate the Dos and Don’ts of capturing video and audio for instructional videos. It also outlines how best to prepare for this process.

This is one of several skill booster events held by the International Transportation Learning Center (ITLC). Other webinars can be found by filtering by resource type.

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APTA Transit Workforce Readiness Guide

APTA’s Transit Workforce Readiness Guide is a highly interactive and easy-to-use online resource for executives and their staff to assist organizations in building a more diverse talent pipeline by attracting high school students, especially those coming from underserved communities, into entry-level transit positions.

American Public Transportation Association
March 2021
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Here to Stay: Black, Latina, and Afro-Latina Women in Construction Trades Apprenticeships and Employment

This brief discusses the experiences of early career Black, Latina, and Afro Latina women in the trades. The COVID crisis has put a spotlight on the concentration of Black, Latina, and Afro-Latina women in low-wage jobs, including in many essential healthcare and retail jobs. The skilled construction trades have given many women an alternative to the poorly paid jobs in the service sector that many had to turn to before finding the trades. Skilled construction trades provide opportunities to build careers that are both challenging and fulfilling, pay a family sustaining wage with benefits, and can be accessed through ‘learn as you earn’ apprenticeships.

Chicago Women in the Trades; Institute for Women's Policy Research
March 2021
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Effective Lesson Plans in Transportation

This research focuses on developing a suite of standards-aligned, rigorous lesson plans for secondary school teachers centered on transportation issues, such as the societal impact of autonomous vehicles, transportation safety, and traffic flow. It includes a report and lesson plans.

Mineta Transportation Institute
February 2021
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Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry

This TCRP Research Report 228 examines industry diversity programs, including how inclusion has been incorporated, and what policies, plans, and practices have been successfully implemented.

Transit Cooperative Research Program
January 2021

The report was discussed in a related TRB webinar.
Contributor(s): National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Transportation Research Board; Transit Cooperative Research Program; David Keen; Janine Kyritsis; Ellen Meiser; Mara Rosales

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Advancing Opportunities for Women through Apprenticeship: A Case-Based Resource Guide

The Advancing Opportunities for Women through Apprenticeship case-based resource guide provides a framework for meaningful expansion of apprenticeship programs for women. The guide includes case studies on four high-quality, women-inclusive pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs in a range of industry sectors.

Department of Labor

The case studies were developed through on-site visits to the program locations; interviews with program staff, partners, and current and former participants; and a review of program materials and data. They provide information and insights related to partnership development, program design, and outcomes that outline how pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs can help women access family-sustaining jobs and quality career pathways. The guide identifies common strategies across the four programs to help others learn how to create programs that successfully open pathways to in-demand jobs for women through apprenticeships.

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How Women Fare in the Transit Industry

This webinar provides an overview of the barriers and solutions to including more women in the transit industry. Panelists discuss strategies to support women in transit and share examples of transit agencies that have effectively implemented programs to attract, retain, and advance women in the industry.

Transportation Research Board
September 2020
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FTA Annual Report on Technical Assistance and Workforce Development for FY 2019

This statutorily required annual report provides information on FTA’s Technical Assistance and Workforce Development Program (49 U.S.C. § 5314). This annual report provides information on any technical assistance, workforce development, standards, human resources, and training projects active in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.

Federal Transit Administration
July 2020
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Empowering a Resilient Transit Workforce

This webinar identifies critical labor market benchmarks and addresses ways to cultivate a more resilient and empowered transit workforce, particularly in the post-COVID world. The speakers delve into resiliency challenges and education and training solutions.

Eno Center of Transportation
June 2020
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Advancing Frontline Workforce Development Meeting: Synthesis

This report synthesizes findings from a two-day gathering of more than two dozen transit industry labor and management representatives who engaged in in-depth discussions on frontline workforce training needs across the U.S. The purpose of the meeting was to identify immediate, short-term, and long-term training needs for the frontline public transportation workforce in the U.S. and ways to connect apprenticeship and formal training programs to support these needs.

National Transit Institute; Federal Transit Administration; International Transportation Learning Center
February 2020
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Innovative Transit Workforce Development Projects of 2015: Summative Evaluation

This report provides the results of an evaluation of Innovative Transit Workforce Development Program projects awarded in Fiscal Year 2015. Based on a competitive application process, FTA awarded 16 workforce development projects to transit authorities, higher education institutions, Native American tribes, and nonprofit organizations individually or as a consortium.

Federal Transit Administration
February 2020
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Attracting, Retaining, and Advancing Women in Transit

This TCRP report explores the strategies that have been deployed in transit and other related industries in order to attract, retain, and advance women in a variety of roles. It includes a survey of current representation of women, barriers faced, and diversity initiatives in the transportation industry, as well as case studies from several major transit agencies.

Transit Cooperative Research Program
January 2020

Contributor(s): National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Transportation Research BoardTransit Cooperative Research Program; ICF Allison Alexander