Dec. 07, 2023

Signals Consortium Hosted by DART in Dallas, TX

Signals Consortium subject matter experts together at the 2023 Signals Consortium Meeting

The International Transportation Learning Center’s (ITLC) National Signals Maintenance Training Consortium convened in Dallas, Texas last month, hosted by Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and the Amalgamated Transit Union’s (ATU) Local 1338. Signals Consortium member agencies include BART, Capitol Metro, CATS, DART, GCRTA, LACMTA, Maryland MTA, Metra, Metro Transit, NFTA, PATCO, SacRT, SEPTA, Sound Transit, and VTA.

During the meeting, subject matter experts (SMEs) reviewed five interactive troubleshooting scenarios and modules for new track circuits and microprocessor technologies. The consortium group also determined the scope of work for 2024, which includes reviewing three priority 100-level courses (AF Track Circuits, Crossings, and Switch Machines) for updates and technical editing. The group will work together towards creating a standardized refresher training program, including the frequency and type of training and assessments.


Along with the scope of work for 2024, the consortium will continue assisting member locations in implementing training programs through course customization and Train-the-Trainer sessions. The Signals Consortium comprises 15 public transportation agencies and their unions who have worked with ITLC to develop over 400 hours of instructional material, draft an apprenticeship framework, and share best practices. The resulting program has been recognized by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) as a model training program under FRA Part 243–Minimum Training Standards.

Visit ITLC’s Transportation Learning Network  for courseware samples, and contact ITLC’s Project Manager of Instructional Design Julie Deibel-Pundt for more information.

TWC Webinars

Over the past few weeks, Transit Workforce Center (TWC) has hosted three webinars featuring staff members and guests from agencies and unions nationwide presenting on various topics in transit, sharing helpful resources, supporting transit industry-related programs, and engaging with industry stakeholders.  

ITLC’s fall webinar series began with “Train-the-Trainer Lesson Planning Webinar: Basics to Best Practices,” a September webinar on effective lesson planning, with more than 85 registered attendees, featuring professor, instructional designer, author, and consulting learning engineer Dr. Chuck Hodell. The webinar provided strategies for lesson planning basics and best practices for beginner transit trainers, while also offering helpful methods for overcoming inherent challenges. The webinar was facilitated by ITLC Learning Strategist Grant Young. Check out a recap of the event, and the webinar slides shared during the presentation.

ITLC's Grant Young and Dr. Chuck Hodell (top to bottom)

Then, in recognition of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) designated National Apprenticeship Week, TWC held a webinar on November 16 titled “Women in Frontline Transit Apprenticeships.” Over 100 attendees joined this event, which featured a presentation from the American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Working for America Institute Deputy Director Liz Weiss, followed by ITLC's Senior Policy Analyst Karitsa Holdzkom’s facilitation of a conversation with two mechanics in registered apprenticeship programs: Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA)/ATU Local 732's Bus Maintenance Apprentice Sabrina Glass-Ford and Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA)/TWU Local 208's Bus Maintenance Apprentice Judie Beasley. Both women shared their experiences, highlighting how apprenticeship programs not only represent an opportunity for women to enter the field, but they are also an opportunity for transit agencies to recruit women. During the webinar, attendees viewed maps illustrating the progress made by the industry, public transit agencies, and labor unions toward expanding registered apprenticeship programs. View a recording of the full webinar and the resources shared during the presentation.

AFL-CIO Working for America Institute's Liz Weiss presenting during TWC's “Women in Frontline Transit Apprenticeships” webinar

ITLC's Karitsa Holdzkom (top left), COTA/TWU Local 208's Judie Beasley (top right), and MARTA/ATU Local 732's Sabrina Glass-Ford (bottom)

Finally, on November 29, the ITLC/TWC team hosted “Approaches to Childcare Support in the Transit Industry” with more than 120 participants. The webinar featured an overview and discussion of key issues led by ITLC Research Associate Shayna Gleason, who introduced Prairie Hills Transit’s (Spearfish, SD) Executive Director Barb Cline and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 - New York City Transit Training & Upgrading Fund’s Director Charles Jenkins. Barb and Charles discussed their organization’s childcare programs representing two different models—in-house child care and a voucher system—and then engaged in a lively audience discussion facilitated by ITLC's Communications Manager David Stephen. TWC plans to continue exploring and featuring conversations about a range of childcare solutions utilized by partners throughout the industry. View the full webinar and webinar slides shared during the presentation.

Panel speakers in a joint discussion during TWC's “Approaches to Childcare Support in the Transit Industry” webinar, including TWU Local 100 - New York City Transit Training & Upgrading Fund’s Charles Jenkins (top left), Prairie Hills Transit’s (Spearfish, SD) Barb Cline (top right), and ITLC's David Stephen (bottom left) and Shayna Gleason (bottom right)

Join Our Team

Zero-Emission Vehicle Program Specialist

As ITLC’s project teams continue to expand, ITLC is seeking a full-time applicant to fill a vital role as a Zero-Emission Vehicle Program Specialist. The ideal candidate will have expertise in Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEV) to aid and develop workforce training on ZEVs, ensuring that ITLC’s ZEV initiative meets industry needs and supports the organization goals.

View Full Job Description

Event Planner 

ITLC seeks an experienced, detail-oriented, and dedicated Event Planner to help plan Making Connections 2024 – The National Transit Workforce Conference, to be held November 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. 

View Full Job Description

If you’re interested in being part of the ITLC team, please email your resume and cover letter to Joyce Williams: [email protected].

ITLC Covering Industry Events Across the U.S.

GCRTA Celebrates Mentor Programs

On November 17, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCTRA) and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 268 held an intensive day-long session on their Positive Impact Program (PIP), highlighting the success of their mentorships, with a focus on operator mentoring, across rail, paratransit, and bus. GCRTA's General Manager and CEO India Birdsong Terry and ATU Local 268's President William Nix kicked off the session, joined by ATU's International Director for Apprenticeships and Workforce Development Jamaine Gibson, and labor and management leads from rail, paratransit, and two bus garages. All participants addressed how labor and management have worked together to make this program a success. Mentors were celebrated and received certificates recognizing the completion of their mentor training programs, and a newly-established bus maintenance apprenticeship program was acknowledged. Observers from Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA), Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), and Metro Transit (St. Louis) attended, as well as ATU Local 697 from TARTA and TWU Local 208 from COTA. In addition, as part of its preparatory work on a video about PIP, GCRTA interviewed ITLC's Executive Director Jack Clark, who participated in the event, on mentorship. 

Check out Jack's full interview below.

GCRTA's interview with Jack Clark

GCRTA PIP event session

Talking Mentorship and Recruitment in Arkansas

On October 24, ITLC’s Research Assistant Michaela Boneva and Research Associate Shayna Gleason traveled to Eureka Springs, Arkansas for the 2023 Arkansas Public Transportation Conference, where they staffed an exhibit booth, and Shayna jointly presented a session with Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District’s (MTD) Mentor Program Coordinator Valerie Campo on “Attracting and Retaining a Strong and Stable Workforce.” Shayna provided an overview of successful transit recruitment strategies used across the industry, and Valerie focused on the bus operator mentor program she worked on developing, describing how it works and the significant and positive impact it has had generally, as well as specifically on MTD’s operator retention rate. Discussion with the audience after the presentations included a number of questions about how agencies can kickstart an operator mentorship program of their own. 

Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District’s (MTD) Valerie Campo presenting at the 2023 Arkansas Public Transportation Conference

ITLC's Shayna Gleason sharing TWC's overarching goals to conference attendees during the Attracting & Retaining a Strong & Stable Workforce" session

Recruitment and Fleet Transition in Louisiana

ITLC's Senior Workforce Development Advisor Maurice Beard, Communications Manager David Stephen, Communications Associate Sudan Smith, and former Program Manager for Technical Training James Hall traveled to New Orleans in late October for the 2023 Louisiana Public Transit Conference, where they staffed an information table and made two workshop presentations. David discussed TWC's National Transit Frontline Worker Recruitment Toolkit and its resources supporting recruitment strategies, while Maurice and James jointly presented on “Preparing Your Workforce for Zero Emission Vehicles,” covering workforce fleet transition for bus mechanics and operators. 

ITLC's David Stephen presenting at the 2023 Louisiana Public Transit Conference during the "Frontline Transit Worker Recruitment" session

ITLC's Sudan Smith staffing an exhibit table during the expo portion of the 2023 Louisiana Public Transit Conference

ITLC's Maurice Beard (left) and James Hall (right) performing a joint presentation during the "Preparing Your Workforce for Transition" session

Zero Emission Vehicles at California Transit Association

In early November, ITLC’s Senior Workforce Development Advisor Maurice Beard, Research Assistant Michaela Boneva, and Executive Director Jack Clark attended the 58th Annual California Transit Administrations (CTA) Fall Conference, hosted by Foothill Transit, Access Services, and the City of Pasadena. Jack served as a panelist in a discussion titled "Generation ZE: Preparing Our Frontline Workforce for ZEV." CalStart’s National Transit Bus Program Manager Mike Hynes moderated the discussion, featuring ZEB Tech's Principal and Founder James Hall, and the California Transit Training Consortium’s (CTTC) Executive Director Maggie Pear as panelists. The interactive session covered a range of issues, including California’s need to increase its skilled workforce in both maintenance and operations personnel in order to meet state requirements of converting all in-state sales of passenger cars and trucks, including heavy-duty vehicles, to zero-emission by 2035 and 2045.

ITLC staffed an exhibit booth in the expo hall, where conference attendees stopped by to ask how TWC and ITLC could assist with workforce development, technical assistance, and zero-emission workforce transitions. A number of attendees expressed particular interest in TWC's newly released BEB Familiarization Course.

ITLC's Jack Clark speaking on a panel during the "Generation ZE: Preparing Our Frontline Workforce for ZEV" discussion, alongside CalStart’s Mike Hynes, ZEB Tech's James Hall, and CCTC's Maggie Pear

ITLC Staff Featured as Guest Speakers for the 2023 Solutions Summit

Early last month, ITLC’s Communications Manager David Stephen and Deputy Director Xinge Wang were featured as guest speakers on the opening day of the 2023 Solutions Summit during the transportation section of a webinar on climate solutions. They discussed the role transit plays in climate solutions and the importance of outreach to underrepresented communities.

Transit Workforce Development

California State Workforce Board Secures $5 Million Federal Training Grant to Prepare Transit Maintenance Workers for Zero Emission Buses

Amalgamated Transit Union – Nov. 03, 2023

Apprentice Program Recognizes Skills, Builds Community  

Metro Transit – Nov. 2, 2023

Federal News

Transit Worker Hours of Service and Fatigue Risk Management – Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Federal Transit Administration – Oct. 30, 2023

Transit Partners

Baltimore, MD: Biden Administration, Gov. Wes Moore Announce Emphasis on Working with Labor Unions, Technical Schools on Infrastructure Projects

Mass Transit – Nov. 14, 2023

Metro’s First 60-Foot Electric Buses Hit the Street

WMATA – Nov. 13, 2023

Metro Transit Welcomes 83 New Operators

Missouri Public Transit Association – Nov. 7, 2023


Assaults on Transit Workers Have Tripled in the Past 15 Years. Income Inequality and Societal Tensions Have Contributed.

Urban Institute - Nov. 28, 2023

PA: SEPTA Violence Inspires Farry, Tartaglione Bill Protecting Transit Workers

Mass Transit - Nov. 20, 2023

International Transportation Learning Center


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