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Making Connections 2022 – Program Overview

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.

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.

Transit Workforce Center
December 2022
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Making Connections 2022 – Engines to Inverters: Preparing Technicians for ZEB Deployment

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

Transit Workforce Center
December 2022

Session Summary: As transit agencies integrate zero-emission technologies into their fleet, many are experiencing difficulties in preparing their frontline workforce to properly maintain and operate the equipment. In this workshop, panelists explored lessons learned, best practices, and available resources to upskill their technician and maintenance workforce and prepare the future frontline workers to safely and effectively work with ZEB technologies. Presentations by industry experts, early-adopters, and successful rollouts offered insight for an audience seeking guidance on first steps and follow-through.

Moderators

James Hall: Program Manager, Technical Training – International Transportation Learning Center/Transit Workforce Center

Lisa Jerram: Director of Bus Operations and New Vehicle Technologies – American Public Transportation Association

Speakers

Joseph Gamez: Assistant Chief Maintenance Officer Maintenance Training – New York City Transit, Department of Buses

Walter Kirkland: Service Manager – StarMetro Tallahassee

Obed Mejia: Senior Bus Equipment Instructor – Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

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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 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 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 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 – Driving Bus Operator Recruitment and Retention: Challenges, Opportunities and Innovation

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

Transit Workforce Center
December 2022

Session Summary: A headline issue confronting all transit systems today – how to attract and retain bus operators in a tight labor market. This lively session began with presentations from the TCRP F-28 research team and TransitCenter on their recently published national research findings on recruiting, developing and retaining transit bus operators.  Labor and management industry practitioners from multiple locations then shared their recruitment approaches and strategies that have been most effective on the ground, and TWC staff summarized the National Transit Frontline Worker Recruitment Campaign.

Moderators

Rob Puentes: President and CEO – The ENO Center for Transportation

Speakers

Julia Castillo: Executive Director – Heart of Iowa Regional Transit Agency

James Duff: Assistant Vice President, Human Resources – Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Jeff Hazen: Executive Director – Sunset Empire Transportation District

Steve Jovel: Transportation Superintendent – Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

Robin Phillips: Executive Director – National Rural Transit Assistance Program

Harpreet Singh: JWI Director – Amalgamated Transit Union Local 265

David Stephen: Senior Communications Specialist – International Transportation Learning Center /Transit Workforce Center

Chris Van Eyken: Program Manager – TransitCenter

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

This session 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 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 – Designing Safety: Bus of the Future and Beyond

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

Transit Workforce Center
December 2022

Session Summary: In the hierarchy of health and safety protections, engineering controls are at the top. This session addressed the critical issues of operator assaults and operator safety through the lens of safety by design, with a major focus on the significant planning work that has been done to create an effective operator barrier against assault and respiratory hazards. Other advances in safety-related design, such as blind-spot elimination for protection of pedestrians, ergonomics and accessibility, were also reviewed.

Moderators

Jack Clark: Executive Director – International Transportation Learning Center/Transit Workforce Center

Speakers

Christy Campoll: Senior Associate – RLS & Associates Inc.

Brian Sherlock: Safety Specialist – Amalgamated Transit Union

Mohammed Yousuf: Director, Office of Infrastructure, Safety and Asset Innovation – Federal Transit Administration

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

This session 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 – Considerations on the Future of Human-Automation Teaming in the Transit Workforce

As part of the plenary session on “Navigating New Directions: Emerging Technologies and the Future of Transit Workforce” at Making Connections 2022, Carnegie Mellon researchers presented on a study released in spring 2022 on bus automation, examining issues related to the practical safety and operational limitations of deploying driverless buses in transit systems while citing many technologies that can enhance safety and improve driver performance.

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

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

Transit Workforce Center & Federal Transit Administration
December 2022

Session Summary: The Federal Transit Administration, assisted by the Transit Workforce Center, is developing a strategic plan to support, strengthen and advance the transit industry’s workforce development programs. In this working session, participants heard about the current draft version of the plan and provided feedback and input that will shape the final document and direction.

Speakers

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

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Making Connections 2022 – Drive to Revive: Preparing Operators for ZEB Deployment

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

Transit Workforce Center
December 2022

Session Summary: As transit agencies integrate zero-emission technologies into their fleet, many are experiencing difficulties in preparing their frontline workforce to properly maintain and operate the equipment. In this workshop, panelists explored lessons learned, best practices, and available resources to upskill their operator workforce and prepare the future frontline workers to safely and effectively work with ZEB technologies. Presentations by industry experts, early-adopters, and examination of successful rollouts offered insight for an audience seeking guidance on first steps and follow-through.

Moderator

Maurice Beard: Technical Training Supervisor [retired] – Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

Speakers

Dinero Washington: President/Chief Executive Officer – Shreveport Transit Management (SporTran)

Richard Gwin: Training Specialist – Sacramento Regional Transit District

Alphonza Clements: Executive Board Member – DASH/ATU Local 689

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Making Connections 2022 – Online Training and Learning Technologies

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

Transit Workforce Center
December 2022

Session Summary: The Online Training and Learning Technologies Workshop addressed how online training is evolving, strategies to start or expand an online training program, and ways to incorporate learning technologies, regardless of training program size. The session included an exciting snapshot of how cutting-edge learning technologies are successfully being used in the transit industry today.

Moderator

Grant Young: Instructional Systems Design Consultant – International Transportation Learning Center/Transit Workforce Center

Speakers

Julie Deibel-Pundt: Program Director, Instructional Design – International Transportation Learning Center/Transit Workforce Center

Michael Flocchini: Training and Education Manager – AC Transit

Todd Marks: Founder, CEO and President – Mindgrub Technologies

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Making Connections 2022 – Mentoring: A Great Route to Frontline Workforce Development

This session 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 explored how transit agencies can use structured mentoring programs and mentor training as an effective approach to deal with the challenges of recruiting, supporting, training, and retaining drivers and technicians. Current and former mentors and mentor program coordinators from labor and management discussed the fundamentals of mentoring, the mentoring process and its impact on employees and agencies, along with the varied ways mentoring can and should be an integral part of any training or apprenticeship program.

Moderator

Stu Bass: Principal – Progress Worx; Founding Director – Keystone Development Partnership

Speakers

Raul “Kiko” Diaz: Senior Assistant Business Manager – San Diego Metropolitan Transit System/IBEW Local 465

Rich Hibbs: Co-Director – California Transit Works

Dionna McCane: Mentorship and Apprenticeship Coordinator – IndyGo

Ibrahim Ouattara: Workforce Development Manager – IndyGo

Troy Thornton: Mentor/Bus Operator – Golden Gate Transit/Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1575