Topics

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Developing Transit Talent Pipelines

TransitCenter’s report explores the workforce challenges of transit bus mechanics and maintenance workers, which are essential for transitioning to zero-emissions buses and restoring pre-pandemic service. Agencies are struggling to maintain a steady pipeline for these positions due to retirements, attrition, and a changing labor market. The report determines that agencies should engage more actively with potential workers and encourage them to join the transit workforce, as well as finding new ways to prepare new workers and retrain current workers to meet current and future needs, particularly as technology for zero-emission buses continues to change and grow more widespread. The report recommends greater investment from transit agencies, state and federal government, and philanthropy to support transit jobs.

TransitCenter
May 2024
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Image of cartoon person, dollar sign, and reads

Critical Sector Job Quality Grants

Administering Agency: Department of Labor – Employment and Training Administration

Closing Date for Applications: July 15, 2024

Estimated Total Program Funding: $12,000,000
Award Ceiling: $3,000,000

Geographic Scope: National

Description: The purpose of this demonstration program is to support transformative efforts to improve job quality and availability of good jobs, particularly for the benefit of historically marginalized populations and communities that have experienced barriers to employment in good jobs. The primary focus of these demonstration grants is expanding job quality in the care, climate resiliency and clean energy transition, and hospitality sectors. In the transit industry, these funds could support job quality for those operating and/or maintaining zero-emission buses. These demonstration grants will support industry-led, worker-centered sector strategies built through labor-management partnerships aimed at improving job quality in key sectors.  These partnerships will address equity, job quality, and worker voice as they design training models and train workers for family-supporting jobs.  Projects under this announcement will fund both short-term capacity-building planning grants and longer-term implementation grants. 

Posted June 6, 2024 to TWC Resource Center. Please refer to the link below for the most up to date information from the funder.

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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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Passenger Ferry Grant Program

Administering Agency: Federal Transit Administration

Posted Date: Apr 17, 2023

Closing Date for Applications: Jun 17, 2023, 11:59 pm Eastern Time

Funding Range: Estimated Total Program Funding: $51,000,000

Geographic Scope: National

Description: The Passenger Ferry Program provides funding to improve the condition and quality of existing passenger ferry services, support the establishment of new passenger ferry services, and repair and modernize ferry boats, terminals, and related facilities and equipment. Under the Passenger Ferry Program only, recipients are permitted to use up to 0.5 percent of their grant award to pay for not more than 80 percent of the cost for workforce development activities and an additional 0.5 percent for costs associated with training at the National Transit Institute.

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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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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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3 Ways to Make Bus Driving a Better Job

This report highlights ways that bus driving can be improved for workers to help increase retention and recruitment. The report explains three specific ways: redesigning the job for health and success, raising pay and creating opportunities for advancement, and making a more flexible schedule.

The National Campaign for Transit Justice
March 2024
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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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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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Clean Bus Planning Awards

The Clean Bus Planning Awards (CBPA) program reduces barriers to zero-emission bus deployment by providing school and transit bus fleets with free technical assistance to develop comprehensive and customized fleet electrification transition plans. Applications may be submitted on a rolling basis.

Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
February 2024

CBPA is not an incentive program, and fleets do not receive direct funding—rather, selected applicants will be allocated technical assistance resources by NREL.

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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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Zeroing in on New Standards for the Zero Emission Bus (ZEB) Fleet

In this video, Bryan Sooter, P.E., Director of Standards at the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), and Bekhi Spika, VP and CRO of Spika Design & Manufacturing, have a conversation about ZEB standards, including how standards are created in public transportation; the challenges faced by transit agencies in getting prepared for an entirely new way of operating with entirely new technology in existing, new or modified infrastructure; the kinds of areas that new standards on ZEB can be expected to encompass; and the guidance on resources available from APTA for transit agencies shifting to ZEB fleets.

Spika Design & Manufacturing
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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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
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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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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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Recruiting Through Connection

This case study describes the OECC (Operators Engaging and Connecting Communities) program in Metro Transit, MN, which sends operators out to community events as a recruitment tool and to help the community understand the role of the operator.

Transit Workforce Center
November 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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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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Bus Operator Workforce Management: Practitioner’s Guide

This report, produced by the Eno Center for Transportation, International Transportation Learning Center (ITLC), and Huber & Associates, is a practitioner’s guide that provides recommendations and resources enabling transit agencies to better assess, plan, and implement their operator workforce management programs. A link to a related TRB webinar is also included.

Transit Cooperative Research Program
August 2023

Contributor(s): National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Transportation Research BoardTransit Cooperative Research Program; Robert Puentes; Philip Plotch; Brianne Eby; Paul Lewis; Karitsa Holdzkom; Xinge Wang; Douglas Nevins; Kenyon Corbett; Melissa Huber

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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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Collaborative Planning: A Look at the Partnership between Metro Transit and Heartland Bike Share in Omaha, NE

In Omaha, Nebraska, the city’s public transit provider Metro Transit and non-profit bikeshare provider Heartland Bike Share have been collaborating on ways to make biking and transit more connected and more appealing in their community. This case study examines the partnership and how transit and micromobility integration can benefit a city, support both modes, and provide more options for travelers.

Shared-Use Mobility Center
July 2023
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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

Hiring and Retention Strategies Whitepaper: A Perspective from Florida Transit Agencies

This study examines what transit agencies are doing to address hiring and retention challenges, what strategies are working, and what problems still need to be solved. The report includes six case study sites from Florida transit agencies and one non-Florida transit agency, that were selected due to a variety of characteristics, including partnerships and implemented service changes.

Center for Urban Transportation Research
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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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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Air Quality in Transit Buses

This report provides a summary from a TRB Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Insight Event about the air quality in transit buses, particularly since the start of the pandemic. Since then, an increased understanding of infectious disease in confined spaces and the role of droplets and particles in transmission has been increasingly important to the bus industry. At this event, senior transportation executives; representatives from federal, state, and local government; and representatives from technology, consulting, academia, and engineering to discuss opportunities and the challenges of implementing air quality control in buses.

Transportation Research Board
May 2023

Contributor(s): National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Transportation Research BoardTransit Cooperative Research Program; Laura Williams

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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
RESOURCE TYPE: , | TRANSIT MODE:

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
RESOURCE TYPE: , | TRANSIT MODE: ,

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
RESOURCE TYPE: , | TRANSIT MODE:

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.

RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

Bus Operators—New Strategies for Maintaining the Workforce

This webinar discusses the ideas, best practices, and resources that will enable transit agencies to better plan, implement, and assess their operator workforce management programs as described in the Bus Operator Workforce Management: Practitioner’s Guide. Presenters discussed workforce needs assessment, recruitment, selection and on-boarding, training, mentoring, and retention and motivation.

Transit Cooperative Research Program
March 2023

Webinar agenda and presenters

  1. Bus operator training and retention – Xinge Wang, International Transportation Learning Center
  2. Lessons from Florida – Trish Collins, Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority
  3. Lessons from the Midwest – George F. Fields, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
  4. Question and answer session moderated by Robert Puentes, Eno Center for Transportation

RESOURCE TYPE: , | TRANSIT MODE:

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
RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

How To Support Good Jobs and Workforce Equity on Federal Infrastructure Projects

Center for American Progress
March 2023

This report from CAP describes strategies to ensure that the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) spending meets workforce equity and quality goals:

  • Include clear, robust workforce standards in procurement communication and evaluation.
  • Build agency capacity to collaborate and prioritize workforce standards.
  • Provide technical assistance to achieve desired policy results.
  • Measure and report workforce outputs and outcomes.

RESOURCE TYPE: , | TRANSIT MODE:

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.

RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

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
RESOURCE TYPE: , | TRANSIT MODE:

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
RESOURCE TYPE: , | TRANSIT MODE:

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
RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

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
RESOURCE TYPE: , | TRANSIT MODE:

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
RESOURCE TYPE: , | TRANSIT MODE:

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.

RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

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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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
RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

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
RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

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.

RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

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

RESOURCE TYPE: , | TRANSIT MODE:

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

RESOURCE TYPE: , | TRANSIT MODE:

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
RESOURCE TYPE: , | TRANSIT MODE:

Program Design Framework for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Registered Apprenticeship

This framework offers employers and Registered Apprenticeship sponsors field-informed program design elements and considerations for building systems, processes, partnerships, and practices that can drive diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in Registered Apprenticeship programs.

Jobs for the Future Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning
September 2022
RESOURCE TYPE: , | TRANSIT MODE:

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
RESOURCE TYPE: , | TRANSIT MODE:

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
RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

A Guide to Starting or Joining a Registered Apprenticeship Program

This publication provides an overview of registered apprenticeship, the benefits of registered apprenticeships to the employer, and the basic steps to get started.

You can also consult with your state office on registered apprenticeship for technical assistance and support for questions on the apprenticeship model, guidance on each phase of developing a program, connections to training providers, and advice on available funding sources to support apprenticeships: https://www.apprenticeship.gov/about-us/state-offices

Intelligent Partnerships
April 2022
RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

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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The Road to Zero Emission Buses — National Coordinated Effort to Prepare Frontline Technicians

Transit Workforce Center
March 2022

Transitioning from work with the 12- and 24-volts electrical systems in traditional diesel and CNG buses to Zero Emissions Buses (ZEBs), with upwards of 800 volts, requires a significant commitment to additional skills training and development. The Transit Workforce Center is producing critical resources as part of a nationally coordinated effort to help prepare frontline technicians with the training needed to meet the challenges and  demands of this new technology. This document summarizes our ZEB resources.

RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

Transit Workforce Center Resources and Best Practices for a Zero Emission-Workforce Fleet Transition Plan

A supplemental resource to aid agencies seeking to develop and implement a carefully planned joint labor-management workforce strategy for the transition to a zero-emission fleet in partnership with its workforce.  Examples of best practices, lessons learned, and other resources are provided to help transit agencies examine and address their workforce needs and are not intended to be all-inclusive given the unique circumstances of that transit agencies face.

Transit Workforce Center
March 2022
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FTA Standards Development Program: Rail Transit Roadway Worker Protection

This report reviews existing standards and best practices and develops use cases, a risk assessment matrix, and high-level concepts of operations (CONOPS) for Rail Transit Roadway Worker Protection (RWP). The project evaluates current industry practices and technologies in use for roadway worker protection and conducts a risk/hazard analysis of current practices using an industry-representative survey.

Federal Transit Administration
February 2022
RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

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
RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

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
RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

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.

RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

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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Montgomery County Bus Fleet Management Plan

The Montgomery County Bus Fleet Management Plan features a particularly in-depth zero-emission fleet transition plan, including an assessment of greenhouse gas emissions in the county, implementation challenges associated with zero-emission buses, and recommendations for fleet transition. The plan also dives into maintenance facilities, energy costs, and future infrastructure needs.

Montgomery County Department of Transportation
June 2021
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Wayside Worker Protection Technology—TrackSafe Phase II Research & Demonstration (Report 0194)

This report outlines research and demonstration of a roadway worker protection (RWP) warning technology developed by Bombardier Rail called TrackSafe. The system was installed at the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) and was designed to reduce the hazards of working within a transit rail right-of-way (ROW).

Federal Transit Administration
May 2021
RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

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
RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

A Zero-Emission Transition for the U.S. Transit Fleet

This report offers a roadmap for federal lawmakers in support of making a complete transition to zero-emission vehicles in transit, including an accounting of estimated agency costs, key assumptions underpinning those figures, acknowledgement of limitations, and workforce development considerations.

Center for Transportation and the Environment
May 2021
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Inclusive Apprenticeship: A Summary of What We Know about Apprentices with Disabilities

This report summarizes current information on experiences of people with disabilities in apprenticeship, drawing on the research literature, interviews with experts on inclusive apprenticeship, and administrative and survey data. This report’s goal is to synthesize information about inclusive apprenticeship and provide insights about best practices to deepen both researchers’ and practitioners’ understanding.

Urban Institute
May 2021
RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

Bus Electrification: The Role Agencies Can Play in Workforce Equity

In this webinar, speakers discuss the issues of procurement, manufacturing, job creation, and job equity associated with fleet electrification.

Eno Center for Transportation
April 2021

Speakers:

  • Christy Veeder, PhD, National Program Director, Jobs to Move America
  • Brianne Eby, Senior Policy Analyst, Eno Center for Transportation

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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
RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

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

RESOURCE TYPE: , | TRANSIT MODE:

A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program and Transit Cooperative Research Program have jointly issued NCHRP Research Report 963/TCRP Research Report 225: A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies, which was created to improve transportation agency responses to a pandemic.

The Playbook concentrates on what needs to be done, when and by whom. It briefly addresses planning for a pandemic, a topic addressed in greater depth in NCHRP Report 769: A Guide for Public Transportation Pandemic Planning and Response. It summarizes effective practices currently used by transportation agencies based on interviews with state departments of transportation and transit agency leaders and operational personnel, supplemented with national and international research results.

The Playbook contains several sections focused on the transit workforce, including Chapter 4, “Challenges,” and the “Employee Impact” section of Chapter 5.

National Cooperative Highway Research Program and Transit Cooperative Research Program
January 2021

Contributor(s): National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Transportation Research Board; National Cooperative Highway Research Program; Transit Cooperative Research Program; WSP USA Solutions – Deborah Matherly; Patricia Bye; Janet Benini

RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

Guidebook for Deploying Zero-Emission Transit Buses

The TCRP Research Report 219: Guidebook for Deploying Zero-Emission Transit Buses is designed to provide transit agencies with information on current best practices for ZEB deployments and lessons learned from previous deployments, industry experts, and available industry resources.

Transportation Cooperative Research Program
January 2021

Contributor(s): National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Transportation Research BoardTransit Cooperative Research Program; Meredith Linscott; Amy Posner

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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.

RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

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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MTS Zero-Emission Bus Fleet Transition Study

This study, performed by the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) for the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), creates a plan for a 100% zero-emission fleet by 2040 to be in compliance with the Innovative Clean Transit (ICT) regulation enacted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The results of the study will be used to inform MTS Board members and educate MTS staff of estimated costs, benefits, constraints, and risks to guide future planning and decision making.

Center for Transportation and the Environment; AECOM; Fiedler Group
September 2020
RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

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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Bus Maintenance and Bus Testing Program Peer-to-Peer Exchange

This report presents a summary of the bus maintenance worker training peer exchange, hosted by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Significant shifts in the types of transit buses being procured (e.g., from traditional buses to alternative fuel/low- and no-emission buses) require new and different types of frontline worker training. Through the peer exchange, stakeholders, including industry representatives, shared knowledge about bus maintenance worker training and discussed best practices for developing the next generation of highly-skilled bus technicians.

Federal Transit Administration
May 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
RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

Building a Business Case for Increasing Diversity in the Transportation Workforce

This TR News article describes the importance of cultivating diversity in the transportation industry. It describes the current and future state of diversity in the country and workforce at large, and reviews existing research on the workplace benefits of diversity. It also provides several strategies for fostering diversity in the transportation industry and examples of transit stakeholders that have used those strategies.

Transportation Research Board
October 2019

Authors: Stephanie Ivey, Meredith Powers, and Adriana Clark

RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

Innovative Transit Workforce Development Program: Key Lessons Learned

This report summarizes the impacts and lessons learned of individual project models, identifies transit workforce needs, and develops recommendations for the continuation or improvement of FTA’s workforce development efforts and investments.

Federal Transit Administration
September 2019
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Tool for Measuring the Cost of Turnover

This Cost of Turnover Tool is a simple, “back of the envelope” calculator to help estimate how much it costs to replace staff. The tool can be useful for transit agencies looking to understand the costs of a low retention rate, or those looking to calculate the return-on-investment of mentoring or apprenticeship programs.

Aspen Institute
March 2019
RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

FTA Annual Report on Technical Assistance and Workforce Development for FY 2018

This annual report to Congress provides information on Fiscal Year 2018 technical assistance, standards, human resources and training projects to improve public transportation as authorized by federal public transportation law (49 U.S.C. § 5314). The report also includes information on FTA’s process for making allocations for FY 2019.

Federal Transit Administration
February 2019
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Innovative Transit Workforce Development Projects of 2012: Summative Evaluation

This report provides the results of the Innovative Transit Workforce Development Program Evaluation of projects awarded in Fiscal Year 2012. FTA awarded a total of $7,048,898 for 16 workforce development projects. Recipients included transit authorities, higher education institutions, Native American tribes, and nonprofit organizations.

Federal Transit Administration
February 2019
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Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies

This report is a synthesis of the current state of practice associated with the implementation of transportation workforce planning and development strategies at state departments of transportation (DOTs) and associated local and tribal technical assistance programs (LTAPs/TTAPs). The synthesis includes a literature review and survey results of both state DOTs and LTAPs, as well as case studies of five state DOTs, presenting an in-depth analysis of processes and considerations, challenges, lessons learned, and keys to success.

National Cooperative Highway Research Program
January 2019

Contributor(s): National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Transportation Research BoardNational Cooperative Highway Research Program; Robert Puentes; Alice Grossman; Brianne Eby; Alex Bond

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Not Just an Ache: Examining the Rate of Musculoskeletal Pain in City Bus Drivers

This paper examines the rates of musculoskeletal discomfort in a sample of 957 city bus drivers at King County Metro. The researchers conducted a survey demonstrate that city bus drivers experience very high rates of musculoskeletal pain in at least one area of the body. The paper includes policy recommendations, such as the provision of active-suspension seats in the agency’s fleet of buses and better placement of key controls in the drivers’ workstation, as well as considerations for further investigation.

Mineta Transportation Institute
November 2018
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Tools and Strategies for Eliminating Assaults Against Transit Operators

This TCRP report documents policies, practices, and operating procedures related to preventing, mitigating, and responding to operator assaults. The varied format, scale, and implementation of policies and procedures set by transit agencies can shape mitigation approaches. Relevant skills and training required by transit operators to address this issue vary as well.

Transit Cooperative Research Program
May 2018

Volume 1 documents the materials used to develop the report and Volume 2, the user guide, provides potential countermeasures and strategies to prevent or mitigate assaults against transit operators, including an operator assault risk management toolbox, vulnerability self-assessment tool, route-based risk calculator, as well as supportive checklists, guidelines, and methodologies.

Contributor(s): National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Transportation Research BoardTransit Cooperative Research Program; Countermeasures Assessment and Security Experts, LLC and Transportation Resource Associates, Inc.

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Knowledge Management Resource to Support Strategic Workforce Development for Transit Agencies

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Research Report 194: Knowledge Management Resource to Support Strategic Workforce Development for Transit Agencies explores the importance of knowledge management (KM), which is an organization’s process for collecting, storing, and sharing organizational information and knowledge, and provides guidance on implementing KM strategies in transit agencies. In addition, the guidance includes action plans for developing particular aspects of KM, analysis of KM strategies at several transit agencies, and a catalog of KM technology tools and resources.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
January 2018

Contributor(s): National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Transportation Research Board; Transit Cooperative Research Program; Candace Blair Cronin; Allison Alexander; Elora Majumdar; Chelsey Thompson; Brock Wolf; Ream Lazaro; Valerie Lazaro

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Addressing Difficult Customer Situations

This report considers issues surrounding difficult customers or passengers and the variety of circumstances that can arise when they utilize transit system facilities or vehicles. It identifies current practices used by transit agencies to prevent, prepare for, and deal with these incidents, including training programs for operators and other staff.

Transit Cooperative Research Program
March 2017
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Maintenance Technician Staffing Levels for Modern Public Transit Fleets

This report identifies existing tools and practices used to determine optimum maintenance technician staffing levels and provides an analysis of variables that influence maintenance technician staffing needs. A Microsoft Excel maintenance staffing calculator and user guide is available.

Transit Cooperative Research Program
August 2016

Contributor(s): National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Transportation Research BoardTransit Cooperative Research Program; Ken Mall; June Sekera; the Transportation Learning Center and Transit Resource Center

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Innovative Transit Workforce Development Projects of 2011

This report provides the results of the Innovative Transit Workforce Program Evaluation of projects awarded in fiscal year 2011. The evaluation was conducted via review of updates and final report submitted by grantees and telephone interviews with grantees.

Federal Transit Administration
April 2016
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Selected Public Workforce Development Programs in the United States: Lessons Learned for Older Workers

This report provides a selective review of public workforce development programs in the United States over the past 80 years, placing special emphasis on the importance these programs have to older Americans. It discusses how the public workforce system developed, how it operates today, significant programs and target groups, common employment services and job training strategies, and what is known about program effectiveness.

American Association of Retired Persons
March 2015
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Developing Best-Practice Guidelines for Improving Bus Operator Health and Retention

This TCRP report addresses some of the health and safety issues common throughout the transit industry, and describes approaches that transit organizations in the United States and Canada have taken to address health problems faced by transit employees. The report is supplemented by a presentation, Making the Case for Transit Workplace Health Protection and Promotion, and an Excel worksheet, Transit Operator Workplace Health Protection and Promotion Planning, Evaluation, and ROI Template, that may assist transit agencies with implementing and carrying out transit-specific programs to protect the health of bus operators and other employees.

Transit Cooperative Research Program
August 2014
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National Apprenticeship Guidelines for Transit Elevator-Escalator Maintenance Technician

​The purpose of these National Guidelines for Apprenticeship Standards (National Guideline Standards) is to provide policy and guidance to local Sponsors in developing these Standards for Apprenticeship for local approval and registration. ​These National Guideline Standards developed by the Sponsor are certified by the U. S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship as substantially conforming to the requirements of Title 29, CFR parts 29 and 30. State Apprenticeship Agencies recognized by the Office of Apprenticeship to register local programs, and/or local laws and regulations, may impose additional requirements that must be addressed in the local apprenticeship standards.

International Transportation Learning Center & National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC)
January 2014
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Promoting Employment in Transit Construction Projects by Members of Minority and Low Income Communities

This report summarizes research investigating the participation of members of low-income and minority populations in employment generated by transit projects and identifies practices to increase their participation. It features four in-depth case studies of light rail projects.

Federal Transit Administration
July 2013
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Rail Transit Track Inspection Practices

TRBs Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 107: Rail Transit Track Inspection Practices offers information across a range of older and newer U.S. rail transit agencies on track inspection practices and policies.

Issues addressed in the report include agency staffing, agency organization and characteristics, track inspection program criteria, training and certification, procurement, and track safety practices.

Contributors: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Transportation Research Board; Transit Cooperative Research Program; John F. Zuspan

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
January 2013
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Building a Sustainable Workforce in the Public Transportation Industry—A Systems Approach

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 162: Building a Sustainable Workforce in the Public Transportation Industry—A Systems Approach provides a guidebook that addresses contemporary issues in workforce development, retention, and attraction, and public transportation image management.

The guidebook provides practical tools to transit agencies on a variety of workforce issues including workforce strategies that enhance organizational processes, performance metrics to evaluate the impact of workforce strategies, image management techniques that improve perceptions of the public transportation industry, and benchmarking processes that allow for continuous organizational improvement.

The guidebook is separated into modules that may be used independently or together in the form of the fully integrated guidebook.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
January 2013

Contributor(s): National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Transportation Research Board; Transit Cooperative Research Program; Candace Blair Cronin; Allison Alexander; Brian Cronin; Christopher Riches; Jennifer Stern; Ream Lazaro; Valerie Lazaro

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Professional Certification and Credentialing Program for the Transit Industry

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Research Results Digest 100: Professional Certification and Credentialing Program for the Transit Industry explores the findings of a literature review and a gap analysis of the efficacy of four transit-specific professional development programs. The report also examines potential strategies that might be used to deploy and maintain a transit industry certification and credentialing program.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
April 2011

Contributor(s): National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Transportation Research Board; Transit Cooperative Research Program

Rail Vehicles Maintenance Training Standards

​In response to the transit industry’s need for rail vehicles maintenance training, the Transportation Learning Center partnered with APTA, transit agencies and unions representing transit workers to develop these joint labor-management training guidelines and recommended training practices.

 

American Public Transportation Association (APTA) & International Transportation Learning Center
June 2010
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Guidebook for Recruiting, Developing, and Retaining Transit Managers for Fixed-Route Bus and Paratransit Systems

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 139: Guidebook for Recruiting, Developing, and Retaining Transit Managers for Fixed-Route Bus and Paratransit Systems explores resources for fixed-route bus, general public demand response, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit systems resources to assist in the recruitment, development, and retention of managers.

Transit Cooperative Research Program
March 2010

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

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Jointly Sponsored Training Systems In American Industries

​This paper examines recent developments in credentialing in jointly sponsored training and qualifications systems across the United States. This paper builds on previous work on building trades joint apprenticeship and training programs, describes their structure and activities, and documents their superior performance.

Written in collaboration with Robert W. Glover, the University of Texas at Austin.

International Transportation Learning Center
February 2009
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Working Together: A Systems Approach for Transit Training

​Transit faces a critical skills challenge driven by changing technologies, shifting workforce demographics and record-breaking growth in ridership. Working Together: A Systems Approach for Transit Training outlines how constructive training partnerships provide the most effective way for the transit industry to address its skill challenges.

International Transportation Learning Center
January 2009

Current Practices of Rail Vehicle Technician Training and Measures of Competency

This 2009 ILTC brief summarizes findings from a survey on best practices in rail car maintenance, based on recommendations from the RCRP E-7 Panel. ​

International Transportation Learning Center
January 2009
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Innovative Practices in Transit Workforce Development

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Research Results Digest 88: Innovative Practices in Transit Workforce Development examines innovative practices in workforce development in several cities in Canada, France, and Belgium.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
June 2008

Contributor(s): National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Transportation Research Board; Transit Cooperative Research Program

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Developing a Joint System of Training and Apprenticeship in American Transit

This paper reviews training innovations and lessons that may be applicable to the transit industry from practices used in other industries. It draws on a rich body of experience of joint apprenticeship and training  programs, as well as employer-sponsored training.

Prepared with Robert W. Glover, the University of Texas at Austin.

International Transportation Learning Center
September 2007
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Public Transportation Operating Agencies as Employers of Choice

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 103 documents principles, techniques, and strategies that are used in workforce recruitment, development, and retention. The report includes a companion document, “Communications Strategy and Implementation Plan, Positioning the Public Transportation Operating Agency as an Employer of Choice” that describes strategies and solutions that offer the greatest potential for positioning public transportation operating agencies as an employer of choice.

Contributors: Watson Wyatt Worldwide and Focus Group Corporation

Transit Cooperative Research Program
January 2004
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The Workforce Challenge

This report compiles research about the issues facing the transportation workforce, including changing skills, an aging workforce, and low prioritization of training. The report recommends working to expand existing federal and academic resources, create an institutional focus for the issue, and establish human resources management as a strategic function within the transportation community.

Transportation Research Board
January 2003

Rail Signals Training Content and Standards

An overview of ITLC’s signals training course  (2 modules—level 100 and 200)​.

International Transportation Learning Center