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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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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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How to train for the Bus – The Zero Emission Bus (ZEB)

In this video, James Hall, Principal & Founder of ZEB Tech, and Bekhi Spika, Vice President & Chief Revenue Officer of Spika Design & Manufacturing, have a conversation about transitioning and training the transit workforce for zero-emission buses.

Spika Design & Manufacturing
February 2024
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Image of cartoon person, dollar sign, and reads

Low or No Emission and Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Competitive Programs FY2024

Administering Agency: Federal Transit Administration

Posted Date: Feb 8, 2024

Closing Date for Applications: 

Total Program Funding: $1,103,963,762

Geographic Scope: National

Description: The purpose of the Low-No Program is to support the transition of the nation’s transit fleet to the lowest polluting and most energy efficient transit vehicles. The Low-No Program provides funding to state and local governmental authorities for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses, including acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities.

The purpose of the Buses and Bus Facilities Competitive Program is to assist in the financing of buses and bus facilities capital projects, including replacing, rehabilitating, purchasing or leasing buses or related equipment, and rehabilitating, purchasing, constructing or leasing bus-related facilities.

Additionally, recipients are permitted to use up to 0.5 percent of their requested grant award for workforce development activities eligible under federal public transportation law (49 U.S.C. 5314(b)) and an additional 0.5 percent for costs associated with training at the National Transit Institute. For applicants proposing projects related to zero-emission vehicles for either program, 5 percent of the requested federal award must be used for workforce development activities.

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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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Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District’s Zero Emission Technology

Check out Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District’s (MTD) zero emission technology! In these videos, MTD unveils their zero-emission buses and their work to use fully solar-produced hydrogen.

Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District
February 2024
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Tribal Nations Funding Opportunities

This page provides an updated and filterable list of funding opportunities for electric vehicle development in tribal nations.

Joint Office of Energy and Transportation
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Zero-Emission Bus Maintenance Training Standards

This recommended practice provides guidance for developing zero emission bus maintenance training curricula and materials.

American Public Transportation Association
October 2023

This recommended practice is a guide for transit bus maintenance and maintenance training with a series of learning objectives that represent the knowledge and skills technicians should acquire as a result of zero-emission bus training. This recommended practice is divided into three modules. Level 100 identifies the knowledge and skills technicians will need to gain a basic understanding of how zero emission buses operate, how they compare/contrast with other buses, general safety precautions, and function of each major component. Level 200 expands on familiarization material offered in the previous module by providing technicians with more detailed information on ZEB safety, components, systems and theory of operation. Level 300 then focuses on ZEB troubleshooting techniques, related special tools, and the knowledge and skills that technicians will need to perform common ZEB maintenance and repair tasks.

The American Public Transportation Association developed this recommended practice with a joint labor and management work group, with assistance from the International Transportation Learning Center.

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Battery Electric Bus Familiarization Course

Transit Workforce Center
September 2023

This course provides participants with an overview and familiarization to battery electric bus (BEB) basics. This will include an overview of what a BEB is, and what makes it both similar and different from its standard transit counterparts. The course will include sections on BEB components and systems, details on its internal functions (CAN, High Voltage systems, battery packs, etc.), the management systems, and a quick glance at preventive maintenance tasks. The course will follow up with a module on some electrical fundamentals, safety features, considerations, risk and hazard assessment, PPE, and comes with demonstrations of actual technicians performing de-energization (LOTO) of a Proterra and New Flyer model bus, and concludes with the third module introducing details involved with BEB charging, including the details of current BEB charging technologies, emerging charging technologies and opportunities, electric vehicle charging standards, and common considerations in charging maintenance and charger safety precautions.

Disclaimer : This course is intended only as informal guidance on the matters addressed, and should not be relied upon as the sole method or manner for performing the tasks or work outlined in the materials.

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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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Growing Quality Green Jobs

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

Burning Glass Institute, Jobs for the Future
July 2023
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Engaging Frontline Employees in Adopting New Transit Technologies

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

National Center for Applied Transit Technology
April 2023
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Zero-Emission Bus Implementation Guidebook for California Transit Fleets

University of California Institute of Transportation Studies
April 2023

California is in the process of state and local efforts to reduce emissions of pollutants and climate-changing gases, particularly in the transportation industry, which has been experiencing challenges due to economic conditions and the ongoing global pandemic. To address the role of transit bus operations in meeting California’s aggressive greenhouse gas (GHG) and emissions, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has implemented an ambitious Innovative Clean Transit (ICT) regulation that requires all public transit agencies to gradually transition to a 100 percent zero-emission bus (ZEB) fleet. Beginning in 2029, 100% of new purchases by transit agencies must be ZEBs, with a goal for a full transition by 2040.

This plan provides resources and advice for transitioning to a ZEB fleet, including deployment and performance assessments, supportive policies, fueling solutions, training practices for operations and maintenance, and grant program resources. Agencies outside of California can take also take advantage of this resource, which included federal and non-governmental training programs.

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Making Connections 2022 – Conference Overview and Videos

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

Transit Workforce Center
December 2022

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

Opening Video: 

Recap Video: 

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Making Connections 2022 – Engines to Inverters: Preparing Technicians for ZEB Deployment

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

Transit Workforce Center
December 2022

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

Moderators
  • James Hall: Program Manager, Technical Training – International Transportation Learning Center/Transit Workforce Center
  • Lisa Jerram: Director of Bus Operations and New Vehicle Technologies – American Public Transportation Association
Speakers
  • Joseph Gamez: Assistant Chief Maintenance Officer Maintenance Training – New York City Transit, Department of Buses
  • Walter Kirkland: Service Manager – StarMetro Tallahassee
  • Obed Mejia: Senior Bus Equipment Instructor – Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

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Making Connections 2022 – Driving Bus Operator Recruitment and Retention: Challenges, Opportunities and Innovation

This session about bus operator recruitment and retention was presented as part of TWC’s Making Connections 2022 transit workforce conference in December, 2022.

Transit Workforce Center
December 2022

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

Moderator
  • Rob Puentes: President and CEO – The Eno Center for Transportation
Speakers
  • Julia Castillo: Executive Director – Heart of Iowa Regional Transit Agency
  • James Duff: Assistant Vice President, Human Resources – Dallas Area Rapid Transit
  • Jeff Hazen: Executive Director – Sunset Empire Transportation District
  • Steve Jovel: Transportation Superintendent – Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
  • Robin Phillips: Executive Director – National Rural Transit Assistance Program
  • Harpreet Singh: JWI Director – Amalgamated Transit Union Local 265
  • David Stephen: Senior Communications Specialist – International Transportation Learning Center/Transit Workforce Center
  • Chris Van Eyken: Program Manager – TransitCenter

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

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

Transit Workforce Center
December 2022

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

Moderator
  • Maurice Beard: Technical Training Supervisor [retired] – Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
Speakers
  • Dinero Washington: President/Chief Executive Officer – Shreveport Transit Management (SporTran)
  • Richard Gwin: Training Specialist – Sacramento Regional Transit District
  • Alphonza Clements: Executive Board Member – DASH/ATU Local 689

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Electric Vehicle Maintenance Best Practices

This best practice spotlight article on electric vehicle maintenance provides recommended practices and case studies from transit agencies that have successfully implemented these vehicles into their fleets.

National RTAP, Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC), and Transit Workforce Center (TWC)
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
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How to Improve EV Battery Performance in Cold Weather

This article provides advice and recommendations to transit agencies for maintaining electric vehicle battery performance in cold weather.

Government Fleet
July 2022

National Transit Frontline Worker Recruitment Campaign

Across the United States, whether large, small, urban, rural, or tribal, transit agencies are facing the challenge of recruiting and retaining drivers, mechanics, and technicians who can operate and maintain the buses of our public transit systems.  To help support local transit efforts, TWC is developing the #ConnectingMyCommunity national frontline worker recruitment campaign, coordinated with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and industry, labor, and community partners from around the country.

Transit Workforce Center
July 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.

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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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Providing Training for Zero Emission Buses: Recommended Expanded RFP Language

This document includes recommended language for agencies to build robust training procurement into their ZEB Request for Proposals. It is intended to be used as a starting point for agencies to tailor their training procurement to suit their specific needs.

International Transportation Learning Center; Jobs to Move America
February 2022
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Zero Emission Transit Bus Technology Analysis Volume 2

This report, Volume 2, is the second edition of the Zero Emission Transit Bus Technology Analysis (ZETBTA) which includes results from the fuel-cell electric bus (FCEB), battery electric bus (BEB), diesel hybrid bus, and conventional diesel bus technologies control fleet. It integrates lessons learned and best practices gleaned from AC Transit’s extensive experience in deploying ZEB technologies, including developing innovative workforce training programs, data integration and management, and transit deployment viability.

AC Transit
December 2021
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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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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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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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Electrifying Transit: A Guidebook for Implementing Battery Electric Buses

This guidebook assists stakeholders with interest in deploying battery-electric buses by describing decisions and considerations required for successful BEB implementation. It includes information about the benefits and barriers of BEBs, BEB basics, charging infrastructure, operation and maintenance, and costs.

United States Agency for International Development; National Renewable Energy Laboratory
April 2021
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ASE Transit Bus Test Study Guide

The Official ASE Study Guide for Transit Bus Tests is designed to help technicians prepare for the ASE certification tests, which identify and recognize those Transit Bus Technicians who demonstrate knowledge of the skills necessary to diagnose, service, and repair various systems on transit buses.

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)
January 2021
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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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Mountain Line Zero-Emission Bus Implementation Plan

This is the Zero Emission Bus (ZEB) Implementation Plan prepared by the Northern Arizona intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (referred to as Mountain Line) in contract with the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) with the aim of identifying a zero-emission roadmap for full-scale deployment.

Center for Transportation and the Environment; AECOM
December 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
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Battery Electric Bus Familiarization Webinars

The International Transportation Learning Center presents three distance-based courses to help transit bus technicians gain fundamental understanding of battery electric bus (BEB) technology. These courses are recorded from live online sessions.

International Transportation Learning Center
June 2020

In each session, experts from various BEB manufacturers presented on specific topics, with over 400 participants attending. Each session is introduced by John Schiavone, who moderated many questions from participants. Please click through the drop-down options below to view the recorded sessions, slides and presenters’ notes, and sample tests and test answers.

LEARN MORE
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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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Battery Electric Buses—State of the Practice

This report documents current practices of transit systems in the planning, procurement, infrastructure installation, operation, and maintenance of battery electric buses (BEBs). The synthesis is intended for transit agencies that are interested in understanding the potential benefits and challenges associated with the introduction and operation of BEBs.

Transit Cooperative Research Program
March 2018

Contributor(s): National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Transportation Research BoardTransit Cooperative Research Program Synthesis ProgramSynthesis ProgramTransit Cooperative Research Program; Jason Hanlin; Darby Reddaway; Julia Lane

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Bus Maintenance Apprenticeship Framework

The Bus Maintenance Apprenticeship Framework was developed by the National Bus Maintenance Apprenticeship Committee and approved by the U.S. DOL. It is a competency based framework that includes all of the tasks an apprentice should be able to demonstrate as a result of the training. Tasks are based on the ASE task list and APTA training standards. It is only a guide, locations can add or remove tasks to suit their individual operations.

The framework spreadsheet was developed by ITLC as a more in-depth and customizable version of the Bus Maintenance Apprenticeship Framework. Note the various tabs at the bottom for each Job Function.

International Transportation Learning Center; The Urban Institute
January 2018
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Transit Coach Operator Competency-Based Framework

This is the full Competency-Based Occupational Framework for Registered Apprenticeship for transit coach operator/bus operators.

The Urban Institute & International Transportation Learning Center
August 2017
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National Guidelines for Apprenticeship Standards for Bus Maintenance Technicians

​These National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) Apprenticeship Standards have as their objective the training of Bus Maintenance Technicians skilled in all phases of bus maintenance. The NJATC and its affiliated Local Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees recognize that in order to accomplish this, there must be well-developed on-the-job learning combined with related instruction. This recognition has resulted in the development of these Apprenticeship Standards.

Developed by the Intl. Transportation Learning Center and National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship.

Approved and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship on 8/25/2010.

International Transportation Learning Center & National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC)
August 2010
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Digital Multimeter Reference Guide

This reference guide explains how to use a digital multimeter, including glossaries, safety precautions, and related resources.

International Transportation Learning Center
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Electrified Transportation Pro+ Training and Certification Program

The objective of the Electrified Transportation Pro+ program is to ensure that all individuals across all transportation industries are trained in Electrified Vehicle Systems and Technologies consistently to one standard. The training is completed in preparation to perform the practical and written exams for earning the corresponding Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 Certifications.

Electrified Transportation Pro+
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Transit Bus Certification Tests

This Test Series identifies and recognizes Transit Bus Technicians who demonstrate knowledge of the skills necessary to diagnose, service, and repair various systems on transit buses. Technicians can use the Official ASE Study Guide for Transit Bus Tests to prepare.

Automotive Service Excellence
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West Coast Center of Excellence in Zero Emission Technology

SunLine Transit Agency’s West Coast Center of Excellence in Zero Emission Technology (WCCOE) is a workforce development program focused on deploying and operating zero emission buses in public fleets. Funded by the FTA, this center provide training, best practice information and access to technology and software geared towards the planning, procurement and deployment of zero emission buses.

SunLine Transit Agency

Course offerings include:
• Leadership and Employee Relations
• Zero Emission Bus Overview
• Zero Emission Bus Operations
• Zero Emission Bus Maintenance
• Financial Management
• Zero Emission Bus Procurement
• Zero Emission Bus Policies and Regulations
• Planning for ZEB Operation