Nov. 02, 2023

Strengthening the ITLC Team

ITLC is excited to announce the addition of Maurice Beard as Senior Workforce Development Advisor, marking another step in the organization's ongoing journey to support the advancement of workforce development in public transportation.

Maurice brings a wealth of experience and expertise to ITLC, with a career that spans over three decades in the industry. Beginning as a bus operator at Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) in San Jose, California in 1991, he decided to focus on the training aspect of bus operations.

After ten years as an operator, Maurice took on the position of Line Instructor, becoming a pivotal part of VTA’s Training Department. In 2009, he was promoted to Transportation Supervisor, working to ensure that operators received full support. Two years later he moved to the Training Department as a full-time Technical Trainer, proctoring new operator classes and supervising the line instructor program. Maurice was then promoted to Technical Training Supervisor in 2014, and he and his staff of trainers kept VTA’s operators up-to-date with the latest news and training techniques. He retired from VTA in December of 2021 and now assists the ITLC team with his industry knowledge and skills.

ITLC's Senior Workforce Development Advisor Maurice Beard

Along with the addition of Maurice to the staff, ITLC also congratulates David Stephen on his promotion to Communications Manager. In his new role, he will oversee an expanded ITLC communication team, coordinate ITLC’s broad range of outreach and communications activities, and lead several major initiatives, including the Transit Workforce Center’s National Transit Frontline Worker Recruitment Campaign.

TWC Releases BEB Familiarization Course

In its latest contribution to support the industry’s critical workforce transition, Transit Workforce Center (TWC) has released its comprehensive Battery Electric Bus Familiarization Course designed to equip transit workers with baseline knowledge of electric vehicle fundamentals, safety practices, and charging technologies. Transitioning from work with 12- and 24-volt electrical systems in traditional diesel and CNG buses to Zero-Emission Buses (ZEBs), with upwards of 800 volts, requires a significant commitment to additional skills training and development. TWC 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.

The course is based on extensive development and piloting work throughout 2022 and 2023 and builds upon a series of 2020 TWC webinars: BEB Overview; High Voltage Safety Considerations; and Battery Charging Approaches. The course materials include the participant guide, PowerPoints, instructor guide, hands-on exercises, video demonstrations, and assessments that allow participants to review technical content and actively experience being around a Battery Electric Bus (BEB), charging equipment, and handling personal protective equipment (PPE). TWC team members James Hall, John Schiavone, and Brandon Liu spearheaded the course’s development, supported by valuable contributions from: Alexandria Transit Company (DASH); DC Circulator; Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro); Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA); Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (CapMetro); and Maryland Department of Transportation – Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT-MTA). 

TWC is now collaborating with its partners on disseminating course materials and providing related support. The BEB Familiarization Course, the ZEB Workforce Transition Resources, and additional information are all available on TWC’s website.

Please contact Brandon Liu at [email protected] for additional information or with any questions. 

ITLC’s Executive Director Delivers Keynote Address at Metro Transit’s Graduation Ceremony

As the keynote address speaker at Metro Transit's (Minneapolis/St. Paul) October 26 bus operator apprenticeship graduation ceremony, ITLC Executive Director Jack Clark delivered words of praise to the thirty graduates, calling them "skilled professionals” who serve the critical role of "holding the community together, building community." Jack echoed Metro Transit's General Manager Lesley Kandaras' comment to the graduates that the operators are indispensable as the agency's ambassadors and its public face. Amalgamated Transit Union’s (ATU) Local 1005 Bus Apprenticeship Coordinator Alec Johnson introduced Jack, noting that ITLC was the "organization to thank for helping us to become the second bus operator apprenticeship in the country." Jack, in turn, emphasized that Metro Transit’s unique two-year operator apprenticeship is a recognized national program.


Jack also asked the operator mentors to stand, acknowledging that they "gave of themselves very freely" in "passing on their knowledge and skills and creating a legacy." Others who addressed and congratulated the graduating operators included ATU Local 1005 President Ryan Timlin and Director of Apprenticeship, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry Erin Larsen. 

View the Jack’s keynote address and Alec's introduction in the video below. 

TCRP Research Project Grant Awarded to ITLC

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) has selected ITLC as the project team leader for Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Project J-11/Task 46, Zero-Emission Vehicles: New Tech, New Skills, New Jobs.” ITLC is pleased to embark on this important research, which aims to develop helpful resources for public transportation agencies to incorporate into workforce transition planning for operating and maintaining zero-emission fleets. ITLC has partnered with Planning Communities to complete this 18-month research project. 

ITLC Presents at APTA’s TRANSform Conference

Last month, ITLC’s Deputy Director Xinge Wang, Senior Workforce Development Advisor Maurice Beard, Program Manager for Technical Training James Hall, Senior Policy Analyst Karitsa Holdzkom, Researcher Douglas Nevins, and Communications Manager David Stephen traveled to Orlando for the 2023 American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) TRANSform Conference. David, Doug, and Karitsa provided updates on the Transit Workforce Center (TWC) to APTA’s Workforce Development Committee. Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Associate Administrator for Research, Demonstration and Innovation Mary Leary also presented on FTA’s workforce initiatives, including TWC. In addition, Xinge presented at the Bus Maintenance Training Committee and Zero-emission Fleet Committee on TWC’s effort to assist with the development of national ZEB maintenance training recommended practices and the BEB familiarization course just released.

James co-led a panel discussion with LA Metro's Senior Technical Trainer for Bus Maintenance Obed Mejia, on “What to Cover in Your Zero Emission Bus Maintenance Training Curriculum”.  James and Obed discussed the new APTA Recommended Practices for Zero Emission Buses and how session participants could use these new standards to plan and develop training curriculum.

Karitsa presented during the “Workforce Development Mini-Guides Meet and Greet” session. She was joined by the United Safety and Survivability Corporation’s Executive Vice President Raymond Melleady, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Vice President of Training and Workforce Development Geisha D. Ester, Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s (DART) Vice President of Human Resources Rosa Medina-Cristobal, Proterra’s General Manager Mike Finnern, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Senior Director of Countywide Planning and Development Meghna Khanna, and TriMet’s Manager Scott Erickson who covered the various topics included in APTA’s Workforce Development Mini-Guides.

Front row, from left to right: APTA's Director of Workforce Development Cherise Myers, APTA's Vice President of Workforce Development Carita Ducre, DART's Vice President of Human Resources Rosa Medina-Cristobal, CTA's Vice President of Training and Workforce Development Geisha D. Ester, ITLC's Senior Policy Analyst Karitsa Holdzkom, and LA Metro's Senior Director of Countywide Planning and Development Khanna Meghna

Back row from left to right: Trimet's Manager Scott Erickson, Proterra's General Manager Mike Finnern, United Safety and Survivability Corporation's Executive Vice President Raymond Melleady, and APTA's Senior Director of Educational Services - Workforce Development Joseph W. Niegoski

ITLC Participates in Future Fuels Roundtable

On October 6, ITLC Program Manager James Hall and World Resources Institute’s (WRI) Senior Manager of eMobility Strategy and Manufacturing Engagement Stephanie Ly attended the National Council for Workforce Education’s (NCWE) Future Fuels Roundtable in Baltimore. The Future Fuels Roundtable provided insight and guidance on partnered college initiatives for zero-emission workforce development in transportation, with presentations by colleges, universities, technical schools, and organizations about their zero-emission educational programs. Discussions centered on how these programs could be used in various industries. In the brainstorming session that followed on the curriculum needed for courseware developers, James reported on the work he and others had done on the since-completed ZEB Recommended Practices, followed by appreciative comments by NCWE’s Executive Director Girard Melancon.

Upcoming Webinar

Women in Frontline Transit Apprenticeships - Nov. 16

Join TWC virtually on November 16 at 1:30 pm ET to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week. TWC will highlight transit agencies' tremendous progress implementing apprenticeship programs for various transit occupations. The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) announced that the theme for November 16 is Women in Registered Apprenticeship. In recognition of this day, TWC is hosting a webinar on Women in Frontline Apprenticeships.

This event will include:

  • Presentations about the benefits of registered apprenticeship for women, transit agencies, and the larger community
  • A panel of women in registered apprenticeship programs at transit agencies across the country
  • Opportunities to ask TWC staff and panelists questions
Register Here!

Federal News

Federal Transit Administration Seeks Input on New Training Requirements to Improve Rail Safety Oversight

Federal Transit Administration - Oct. 23, 2023

Transit Partners

New Recommended Practice for Zero Emission Bus Training

American Public Transportation Association – Oct. 26, 2023

CTA Budget Focuses on Staffing to Restore Service, And Capital Improvements



Assaults Against MTA Workers, Spitting Incidents on The Rise This Year: Report – Oct. 20, 2023

International Transportation Learning Center


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