March 7, 2024

ITLC Welcomes Kristen Ribaudo to the Team 

ITLC is excited to announce the addition of Senior Instructional Designer Kristen Ribaudo to the team. Kristen has supported ITLC as a consultant over the past six years, leading the Rail Car Consortium in developing a standardized training program for rail vehicle maintainers. She has also helped grow and lead the increasingly in-demand Train-the-Trainer programs.  


Reflecting on joining ITLC full-time, Kristen notes, I have been fortunate to work with many wonderful SMEs from all over the country. Now, I'm excited to develop those relationships even further! Our consortium members' willingness to share their knowledge has been invaluable to our collaboration and course development.” 


Before joining ITLC, Kristen taught high school ESOL and designed English learning programs for an international organization. In her free time, Kristen enjoys traveling and exploring new places with her family. Kristen’s addition to the team will further strengthen ITLC’s work with training and workforce development for the transit industry. 


To contact Kristen, email her at [email protected].  

ITLC’s Jack Clark Appointed to the President’s NIAC Expanding Workforce Committee 

ITLC congratulates Executive Director Jack Clark on his appointment to the President’s National Infrastructure Council (NIAC) Expanding Workforce Subcommittee. The White House has tasked the Subcommittee with developing and accessing recommendations on helpful measures the federal government can take to improve U.S. infrastructure resilience and security. 

Jack looks forward to addressing critical workforce challenges and opportunities and applying his decades-long expertise in workforce development and sector-based systems to the Subcommittee. Reflecting on his appointment, Jack stated, “The skilled workforce is aging; new technologies create the need for different skills; too few young people know that a career in public transportation can offer meaningful work and a family-supporting wage. For those of us who know this about transit, it’s important to understand that those same outlines of this workforce crisis extend to other lifeline infrastructure sectors.”

Jack credits ITLC Senior Fellow Dr. Beverly Scott, who serves as co-chair of a workforce subcommittee for the presidentially-appointed National Infrastructure Advisory Commission (NIAC) for continually emphasizing this critical point. “When Bev asked me to contribute to that subcommittee as a subject matter expert on workforce needs, I agreed enthusiastically. Infrastructure careers generally make a difference for society and provide attractive wages and benefits. We need to make sure that message comes across loud and clear. I look forward to contributing to NIAC’s mission.” 

Unveiling Insights Into Transit Workforce Data 

Last week, ITLC’s Transit Workforce Center (TWC) hosted a webinar, "Transit Workforce Data Dashboard: Harnessing the Power of Data for Transit Workforce Development," with over 200 participants in attendance. The webinar focused on TWC’s recently updated Transit Workforce Data Dashboard and spotlighted the launch of the Agency Explorer tab.   

ITLC’s Deputy Director Xinge Wang and the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Senior Transportation Program Specialist for Workforce Development and Student Programs Betty Jackson opened the webinar, providing a summary of what TWC does for the transit workforce and noting the significance and innovation the Dashboard represents, which FTA has supported throughout its development. 

FTA's Betty Jackson

ITLC's Xinge Wang

Following the opening, ITLC's Research Associate Shayna Gleason provided an overview of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and National Transit Database (NTD) data sources used to build the dashboard. Researcher Doug Nevins then demonstrated a range of Dashboard features, highlighting demographic trends and future staffing projections in transportation occupations. Research Associate Michaela Boneva walked attendees through the newest feature, the Agency Explorer, which facilitates seamless access to agency-level NTD employment data and robust filtering and search options. 

ITLC's Doug Nevins

In an engaging Q&A session, TWC’s research team took turns answering questions participants raised. Attendees were curious about possible additional data sources and analysis, like retention and turnover rates, cost of living adjustments, and overtime. Participants described the dashboard as “terrific,” “user-friendly,” and “functional.” 

View the webinar recording and associated resources shared during the presentation.

TWC’s Apprenticeship Academy Shines in the Sunshine State 

TWC held an inaugural Apprenticeship Academy in partnership with the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in Tampa. The two-day program was designed to help public transit agencies in Florida develop registered apprenticeship programs for technicians and coach operators. Participating labor-management partners were: City of Gainesville Regional Transit System (RTS) and ATU Local 1579; Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART) and ATU Local 1593; Broward County Transportation Department and ATU Local 1591; Votran (Volusia County) and Teamsters Local 185; Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works and TWU Local 291; and Palm Tran (Palm Beach County) and ATU Local 1577. 


For the introductory panel on day one, TWC’s Senior Workforce Development Advisor Maurice Beard and Senior Policy Analyst Karitsa Holdzkom presented an overview of the registered apprenticeship model and its benefits for career advancement in public transit to seven agencies and their unions in attendance. After the opening, Maurice and Karitsa were joined by others, as TWC’s Executive Director Jack Clark facilitated a discussion that included Career Source Tampa Bay’s Karoline Guerrero and Mario Rodriquez, Florida Department of Education’s Steven Lindas, Hillsborough Community College’s John Meeks, a presentation from the Florida Office of Apprenticeship, and information on funding for apprenticeships. 

On day two, TWC staff and Amalgamated Transit Union’s (ATU) International’s Director of Apprenticeships and Workforce Development Jamaine Gibson facilitated an in-depth discussion on the logistics of registered apprenticeship based on occupation. Attendees split into one group for bus maintenance apprenticeship and one for bus operator apprenticeship to specify how the programs are developed and implemented. Two facilitators for each group simplified the steps required to create a program that works for their agency so that the Florida Office of Apprenticeship can approve it as a registered program. 

Participants left the Academy with a game plan to implement upon returning to their agencies, a process that, as CUTR’s Workforce Development Manager Stephanie Lewis commented, is “helping agencies grapple with real needs and real challenges.” TWC staff scheduled follow-up meetings with each labor/management group to continue helping agencies and their unions as they work towards a registered apprenticeship program.  

To learn more about the Apprenticeship Academy or registered apprenticeship programs in public transit contact Karitsa Holdzkom at [email protected]

ATU's Jamaine Gibson, CUTR's Stephanie Lewis, TWC's Jack Clark, Karitsa Holdzkom, and Maurice Beard

Increasing Demand: TWC Train-the-Trainer Sessions Take Center Stage 

In January 2024, TWC instructors delivered Level 1 and Level 2 courses to 38 transit trainers from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and the Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT).  

Following the SEPTA Train-the-Trainer sessions, TWC Instructors Frank Burnett and Allie Franklyn traveled to California, delivering a Train-the-Trainer Level 1 class to eight SacRT trainers. Train-the-Trainer Level 1 gives participants the knowledge, skills, and confidence for facilitating instructor-led training and engaging learners. 

SacRT Level 1 Train-the-Trainer participants

Earlier this month, TWC instructors Dennise Cardona, Arnett Powell, and Kristen Ribaudo delivered three Train-the-Trainer Level 2 sessions to 28 trainers at SEPTA in Philadelphia. Train-the-Trainer Level 2 builds on Level 1 by giving experienced trainers the skills to define, design, and develop an effective and engaging training course. Participants will apply this new knowledge by developing courseware materials and assessments for a course of their choosing. 

Evaluations of both programs were enthusiastic, exemplified by one participant’s observation: “I was more comfortable participating because I never felt like I would be judged. Both lead by example and are very knowledgeable.”

For more information on Train-the-Trainer classes or scheduling for future sessions at your agency, contact Kristen Ribaudo at [email protected].  

SEPTA's Train-the-Trainer Level 2 participants

Federal News

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Retirement of Federal Transit Administrator 

Federal Transit Administration – Feb. 7, 2024 


Biden-Harris Administration Announces Availability of $1.5 Billion in Federal Funding to Modernize Bus Fleets and Deploy Clean Transit Buses Across America 

Federal Transit Administration – Feb. 8, 2024 


Working People Need Congress to Fund Mass Transit

Newsweek Feb. 4, 2024 

Transit Partners

Pittsburgh Regional Transit Optimistic That Hiring Eight More Trainers Will Reduce Driver Shortage

Pittsburgh Union Progress – Feb. 25, 2024

Stopping AVs From Replacing Bus Operators, Mechanics, and, Other Transit Workers

Transport Workers Union – Feb. 23, 2024

C-Tran’s Incoming CEO Started Career as Bus Driver, has Worked as Transit Manager Since 2021

The Columbian – Feb. 23, 2024

How Are You Celebrating the Public Transit Workforce?

Passenger Transport – Feb. 21, 2024

These 22 Graduates Will Make the Wheels on the Bus go Round

StarTribune – Feb. 20, 2024

Driver Shortage Limits Metrobus Service Expansions 

Miami Today – Feb. 13, 2024 

Metro Transit Workers Say Improving Transit Starts with Better Working Conditions 

Workday Magazine – Feb. 13, 2024

Athens Struggles with Bus Driver Shortage, Searches for Solutions 

RedAndBlack – Feb. 5, 2024 


COTA and TWU Local 208 Approve Three-Year Labor Contract Providing Industry-Leading Wages for Frontline Employees 

COTA – Jan. 31, 2024 

Frontline Workers Lead the Way at "Mentors In Motion” 

California Transit Works! – Jan. 30, 2024 

APTA - The Transit Authority Mentoring: A Tool for Employee Engagement & Retention #2 

APTA – Jan. 30, 2024  

APTA - The Transit Authority Mentoring: A Tool for Employee Engagement & Retention #1 

APTA – Jan. 24, 2024 

International Transportation Learning Center


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