June 2023

A Note from the Executive Director


It’s a very exciting time at TWC, and we have a lot of new developments to share. Our new Transit Career Stories initiative introduces you to the journeys of just a few of the remarkable people who work in our industry serving our communities, and there will be more to come. Our new Transit Workforce Data Dashboard complements these individual stories in a user-friendly and visual form. We’re also updating you on our most recent work on Zero Emission Buses and Apprenticeship and Mentoring, along with a request for your ideas for a newly developing project on transit workforce supportive services. 

 

The next edition of Pulse will be in September to bring you the latest news and to celebrate TWC’s second anniversary. In the meantime, we look forward to a great summer of our projects. We will continue to nurture and grow the projects you’re reading about now, as well as many others, so look for ongoing updates from us, and continue to use our website as a resource. Please let us know about your new initiatives; you can reach us anytime at twc@transportcenter.org. Thank you all for your work to move our industry forward, and I wish you all a wonderful summer! 


Jack Clark

Executive Director, Transit Workforce Center

Operated by the International Transportation Learning Center (ITLC)

Announcing:

Transit Career Stories

As part of TWC’s comprehensive national transit career awareness campaign, which began with the National Transit Frontline Worker Recruitment Toolkit, the Transit Workforce Center is excited to bring you the first installment of an ongoing series, Transit Career Stories. This series will feature workers describing what they do, their career pathways into and throughout the industry, and what makes their work interesting, exciting, and rewarding for them and the community. 

Kyisha Bond's Iyai Presentation

Kyisha Bond’s compelling story helps inaugurate this series. Read about what led to her joining the first cohort of IndyGo's Bus Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship Program by heading to TWC's new blog page.

Kyisha Bond's ATTAIN Appearance

Along with Kyisha, on May 3, four notable panelists participated in a webinar co-hosted by ITLC/TWC and Introducing Youth to American Infrastructure’s (Iyai), “Youth Careers in Transit - Exploring a World of Opportunity.” View their segments below, as well as the Q&A, to learn about their career paths in public transportation. Click here for the full presentation. 

Inez Evans

President and CEO, IndyGo (Indianapolis)

Marvin Alfred

President, ATU Local 113 (Toronto)

Andrew Falotico

Health and Safety Representative,

ATU Local 113 (Toronto)

Desiree Patrice

Deputy Chief of Capital Transformation,

MBTA (Boston)

Q & A Session

from Iyai's Lunch & Learn Webinar

Visualizing Transit Workforce Data  


TWC has launched its latest data-based resource, the Transit Workforce Data Dashboard. This dashboard was developed to help public transportation agencies and their partners meet the challenges of effectively preparing the workforce for the future. It features data-rich visualizations that capture key information on employment in occupations related to transportation and projections of future workforce needs.

 

“Public transit in America is moving into new and exciting places,” said Xinge Wang, Deputy Director of ITLC/TWC. “With the Transit Workforce Data Dashboard, agencies can make decisions using a consolidated hub of statistics that will help them create and sustain these great transit jobs, as well as cultivate a diverse and well-educated workforce.”

 

The dashboard combines information from several public data sources with unique analyses that help paint a picture of worker demographics, wage rates, employment trends, and more. TWC will continually update the dashboard with new releases from its data sources and expand analyses to additional topic areas.

 

For inquiries related to the Transit Workforce Data Dashboard, please email twc@transportcenter.org.

TWC's ZEB Initiatives Supporting Workforce Development  


Electric propulsion, whether by batteries or hydrogen fuel cell technology, is prominent within public transit as agencies realign their priorities to be more environmentally responsible. As agencies increase their Zero Emission Bus (ZEB) purchases, TWC is taking important steps to ensure that frontline workers are adequately prepared to maintain these highly sophisticated vehicles. 

 

Building on the success of its battery electric bus (BEB) familiarization webinar, attended by over 400 technicians and instructors, TWC is preparing a more comprehensive two-day course, complete with engaging at-vehicle exercises and assessments. The BEB familiarization course will be offered nationwide to provide technicians with the foundational understanding they’ll need before receiving manufacturer-specific training. ITLC/TWC is also developing a course to improve basic electrical/electronic skills and another to assist bus operators in driving ZEBs more effectively. 


Any training methods are only as good as the standards they are built on, with clear learning objectives that define the knowledge and skills workers need to acquire as a result of the training. Working with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), ITLC/TWC has developed a set of comprehensive training standards for all ZEBs. The new standards will be useful to any organization developing ZEB technical training to ensure that the subject matter is comprehensive and appropriate. 



For more information on ZEB fleet transition information and recommendations related to ZEB procurement language, see the information and links in TWC's Resource Center

Tools You Can Use 

 

Apprenticeship FAQ Page 

TWC has taken note of some of the most frequently asked questions about apprenticeship and has developed responses and shared them on the TWC website. Although these questions and responses do not capture every apprenticeship program’s nuances or the specific needs of every transit location, they are a great place to start. Also available are links to resources that will provide a deeper dive into certain aspects of apprenticeship. TWC thanks the individuals and agencies who took the time to review these FAQs and provided important feedback. 


If a question about apprenticeship isn’t answered on the FAQ page, TWC is always here to provide direct technical assistance at twc@transportcenter.org

 

Operator Mentoring Factsheet 

Several transit agencies and unions have expressed their interest in instituting formal operator mentoring programs, but quantitative evidence on the success of such programs has been scarce, and it can be challenging to make the case to leadership without data to back up the argument. To support efforts in the field, TWC has created the Transit Operator Mentoring Fact Sheet to share some of the good news from agencies that have developed robust operator mentoring programs. Agencies noted better retention rates, fewer absences, and other positive changes among operators who have had mentors. 


To learn more about mentoring programs, check out TWC’s resource center. In addition, check out the webinar on mentoring or request training for the mentors at a specific agency. 

Need Your Input 

 

Request for Supportive Services Information  

Is your agency/union engaged in efforts to provide supportive services—like childcare or housing—for frontline employees? TWC is eager to hear about programs that aim to support each transit employee as a whole person, both on and off the job. If you have a promising approach you'd like to share, please email Shayna Gleason at sgleason@transportcenter.org

Out and About


TWC staff members frequently travel to industry events around the country to present, share resources, and engage with industry stakeholders. To request TWC's participation in an event, please send an email to twc@transportcenter.org. Here’s where TWC staff have been in the past few months: 


March 

  • At the New Mexico Transit Managers' Leadership, Bus Roadeo, Conference, and Expo in Albuquerque, James Hall moderated a panel discussion on transit fleet transition to zero-emission vehicles, with presentations by Maurice Beard and labor and management leaders from UTA.  



April 

  • David Stephen and Annmarie Carmody attended the North Carolina Public Transit Association’s Conference and Expo in Concord, NC. David presented TWC’s National Transit Frontline Worker Recruitment Toolkit and Campaign at a workshop session, and David and Annmarie staffed an exhibit table, sharing TWC resources with attendees. 



May  

  • David Stephen attended Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) El Mundo Boston Latino Career Expo and the “Destination: Opportunity” MBTA Employment Fair, where he met with MBTA staff as part of TWC’s ongoing technical assistance.  
  • David Stephen presented TWC's national recruitment toolkit at the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) Expo 2023 in Oklahoma City, and he and Sudan Smith provided resources and engaged in discussions with attendees throughout the meeting at TWC’s exhibit table. 
  • Jack Clark moderated the plenary panel, “The Bus Operator Crisis and Other Workforce Challenges,” at the opening session of the Virginia Transit Association Conference in Virginia Beach, with ATU International Vice President Yvette Trujillo, TransitCenter’s Chris Van Eyken (TransitCenter), and Transit Consultant Patrick Parents. Jack also addressed VTA’s leadership breakfast, while Karitsa Holdzkom staffed the TWC table, connecting with representatives from multiple transit agencies.  

The Transit Workforce Center is FTA’s first technical assistance center for frontline workforce development, operated by the International Transportation Learning Center.  

Transit Workforce Center

1-855-888-NTWC

twc@transportcenter.org.

www.TransitWorkforce.org

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