November 2023

SAVE THE DATE FOR

MAKING CONNECTIONS 2024

November 11-13, 2024

Baltimore, MD

The Transit Workforce Center (TWC) is excited to announce the Making Connections conference making its much-anticipated return, November 11-13, 2024, in Baltimore’s vibrant Inner Harbor! Monday, 11/11 will offer optional pre-conference in-depth half-day and full-day workshops, along with activities recognizing and honoring veterans, and the full conference will follow on 11/12 and 11/13. Join us to hear from and engage with public transportation stakeholders across the industry on all aspects of workforce development, including new developments and cutting-edge strategies. Like Making Connections 2022, this event will be a wonderful opportunity to collaborate, share, and learn from peers. Details regarding the agenda, registration, and more will be coming your way soon.

Watch a recap of the successful Making Connections 2022 conference in Washington, D.C.

Upcoming TWC Webinar: Childcare  Approaches to Meet the Challenges for Today’s Frontline Pubic Transportation Workforce


Join TWC for our next webinar: “Childcare – Approaches to Meet Challenges for Today’s Frontline Public Transportation Workforce,” on Wednesday, November 29, from 2:00-3:00 PM EST. Be part of a conversation that tackles one of the most pressing challenges in the transit workforce — the need for accessible and affordable childcare. In this session, representatives from various agencies and organizations will share their approaches to creating childcare solutions tailored for their transit employees. Presenters will delve into the inception of their programs, their ongoing hurdles, and the successes that have marked their journey. Pre-register to secure your space for this webinar. Do you have burning questions? Don’t hold back! Email them in advance to  sgleason@transportcenter.org.

Register Here!

Battery Electric Bus Familiarization Course & APTA ZEB Training Standards Are Now Available  

As part of a national effort to prepare frontline technicians with the training needed to meet the challenges and demands of electric-propulsion buses, two significant resources are now available – TWC’s Battery Electric Bus Familiarization Course and APTA’s ZEB Training Standards.

Battery Electric Bus Familiarization Course


TWC's comprehensive Battery Electric Bus (BEB) Familiarization Course is designed to equip technicians with baseline knowledge of electric vehicle fundamentals, safety practices, and charging technologies. The course is based on extensive development and piloting work carried out throughout 2022 and 2023 and builds upon a series of 2020 TWC webinars: BEB Overview; High Voltage Safety Considerations; and Battery Charging Approaches.


Course materials include a participant guide, PowerPoints presentations, an instructor guide, hands-on exercises, video demonstrations, and assessments that allow participants to review technical content, participate in live vehicle demonstrations, and become familiar with BEB charging equipment and handling personal protective equipment (PPE). TWC team members James Hall, Brandon Liu, and John Schiavone 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).

Technicians performing maintenance on a battery electric bus. Courtesy of LA Metro.

“TWC’s familiarization course is absolutely essential to provide the foundational skills that technicians will need as they transition from traditional 12- and 24-volt electrical systems to ZEBs with upwards of 800 volts,” says Senior Bus Equipment Maintenance Instructor at LA Metro Obed Mejia. “The ready-to-deliver course will provide technicians with critical foundational information to prepare them for product-specific training that follows.”


TWC is now collaborating with the National Transit Institute (NTI) and other industry partners to deliver the course onsite at agency locations, as well as disseminating course materials to those agencies seeking to deliver the course themselves. The BEB Familiarization Course, the ZEB Workforce Transition Resources, and additional information are all available on TWC’s website

APTA Zero Emission Standards Released 


TWC also took part in a broad collaboration with APTA, resulting in the final release of APTA’s Zero Emission Bus (ZEB) Maintenance Training Curriculum Recommended Practice. This recommended practice (RP) is a guide for developing ZEB maintenance training, which includes a series of learning objectives that represent the knowledge and skills technicians should acquire as a result of zero-emission bus training. 

 

These standards were developed with critical contributions from the Zero Emissions Bus Maintenance Training Working Group, co-led by Chair Obed Mejia from LA Metro and Vice-Chair Kyin Kyu from AC Transit/ATU Local 192, coordinating a robust group of contributors representing labor, management, OEMs, and government experts in this field, all listed in the report. Kudos also to the Project Team, led by APTA’s Lisa Jerram, along with ITLC’s James Hall, Brandon Liu, and John Schiavone. Vice-Chair of the Working Group Kyin Kyu, who is also Lead Journeyman Heavy Duty Bus Mechanic/ZEB at AC Transit, says, “We’ve taken the ZEB Training RP that we’ve developed and matched it against our own training materials to make sure we have all subjects fully covered – it’s proved very valuable.”


The ZEB Maintenance Training Standards are available for download. Contact Brandon Liu at bliu@transportcenter.org for additional information or questions regarding both resources.

TWC Celebrates National Apprenticeship Week – Frontline Transit Occupations  


In honor of National Apprenticeship Week, TWC is celebrating the tremendous progress made in apprenticeship for transit occupations. Since 2005, ITLC/TWC staff have worked to promote apprenticeship for frontline transit occupations. Working with transit agencies across the country, U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), and the Urban Institute, ITLC/TWC developed National Guidelines for Apprenticeship Standards for five occupations and submitted them for approval by the USDOL Office of Apprenticeship.


​The purpose of National Guidelines for Apprenticeship Standards is to provide policy and guidance to local sponsors in developing Standards for Apprenticeship for local approval and registration. ​The following frontline transit occupations have been approved by USDOL for use in a Registered Apprenticeship Program.

TWC has created and compiled resources to help transit agencies and their unions learn more about apprenticeship and develop their own programs.

 

The American Transit Training and Apprenticeship Innovators Network (ATTAIN), run by TWC, is a peer network created for transit agencies and labor unions to explore new apprenticeship programs or enhance existing programs for their frontline workforce. Through ATTAIN, TWC will promote apprenticeship, advance frontline worker training, facilitate peer exchange, and provide technical assistance to agencies and unions interested in developing apprenticeship programs for their frontline workforce.

 

ATTAIN meeting recordings and presentations:


For other recognitions of National Apprenticeship Week, see FTA’s webpage, including a kickoff video from Acting U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Julie Su, and the Amalgamated Transit Union’s National Apprenticeship Week video, introduced by International President John Costa.  

ATU celebrates National Apprenticeship Week.

Talking Bus Operator Mentorship: Unlocking the Potential of New Bus Operators through Mentoring


TWC staff had the privilege of talking to mentors of graduating operators at both WMATA and IndyGo at their respective bus operator graduations. Hear about the value and impact of these programs from operator mentors, ATU’s Director of Apprenticeships and Workforce Development Jamaine Gibson, and IndyGo’s President and CEO Inez Evans in the video below.  

Bus operator mentors from IndyGo (pictured left) and WMATA (pictured right)

discuss the value of mentorship programs.

Transit Workforce Data Dashboard Updated and Expanded with New Data Visualizations


Last month, TWC rolled out significant enhancements to the Transit Workforce Data Dashboard. The Dashboard now features multiple charts capturing workforce trends from 2017 to 2021, including changes in full-time and part-time employment levels and average wages. Users can explore a variety of interactive charts to compare employment in different categories, such as vehicle operations or heavy rail maintenance. Find these new updates in the Employment Trends and Wages, Education, & Training tabs of the Transit Workforce Data Dashboard page. 

TACL Survey

The Transportation Technical Assistance Coordination Library (TACL) Task Force is conducting a survey aiming to gather feedback on how to improve user experience. Your input will help us enhance the library to serve your needs better.

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 are some examples of where TWC staff have been and what they have been doing off-site and online:


September

  • Jack Clark and David Stephen joined transportation representatives from New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine in Killington, Vermont for the 2023 Tri-State Transit Conference. David presented on workforce recruitment and retention at one of the opening breakout sessions, while Jack delivered an afternoon keynote address on TWC projects and services. 
  • At the Midwest Transit Conference in Kansas City, Pat Greenfield and Sudan Smith staffed a table to share TWC resources and information. Pat also presented during the “Strategies for Recruitment and Retention - Creating Programs and Partnerships That Work” plenary session.
  • Sudan Smith and David Stephen attended the 52nd Annual Legislative Conference presented by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) in Washington D.C. David spoke during the “Revving Up Change: Charging Forward for Transportation Equity” session. 
  • Jack Clark led a panel on "Joint Labor and Management Partnership Solutions to Public Transit Workforce Needs" in Philadelphia at the U.S. Department of Labor's (USDOL) "ETA Vision 2030” convening.
  • Maurice Beard, Shayna Gleason, and David Stephen traveled to Anchorage for the National Transportation in Indian Country Conference to learn about tribal transit and life in tribal communities in the “lower 48” and Alaska.
  • Pat Greenfield and Karitsa Holdzkom presented during the webinar "Succession Planning - A Frontline Worker Perspective” at the Missouri Public Transit Association's Education Series.
  • James Hall, Brandon Liu, Doug Nevins, and Xinge Wang attended ZEBCon in San Diego, where TWC featured its new Battery-Electric Bus (BEB) Familiarization Course.


October

  • Maurice Beard, James Hall, Karitsa Holdzkom, Doug Nevins, David Stephen, and Xinge Wang traveled to Orlando for the 2023 American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) TRANSform Conference. Xinge presented on TWC’s effort to assist with developing a national ZEB maintenance training and the newly released BEB familiarization course during the Bus Maintenance Training Committee and Zero-Emission Fleet Committee. Karitsa took part in the “Workforce Development Mini-Guides Meet and Greet” session, and James co-led a panel discussion on “What to Cover in Your Zero Emission Bus Maintenance Training Curriculum.” 
  • James Hall attended the National Council for Workforce Education’s (NCWE) Future Fuels Roundtable in Baltimore, where he reported on the work he and others completed on the ZEB Recommended Practices.
  • Jack Clark was a guest at Metro Transit’s Bus Operator Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony in Minneapolis, where he delivered the keynote address.
  • At the Arkansas Public Transportation Conference in Eureka Springs, Michaela Boneva and Shayna Gleason staffed a table and engaged with conference attendees. In addition, Shayna shared a joint presentation on “Attracting & Retaining a Strong & Stable Workforce.”
  • Maurice Beard, James Hall, Sudan Smith, and David Stephen visited New Orleans for the 2023 Louisiana Public Transit Conference. David spoke on recruitment and retention, while James and Maurice presented on “Preparing Your Workforce for Zero Emission Vehicles.” TWC staff also staffed a table to promote TWC.

 

November

  • David Stephen and Xinge Wang were featured speakers on the opening day of the 2023 Solutions Summit during the transportation section of a webinar on climate solutions. They discussed the importance of outreach to underrepresented communities and the role transit plays in climate solutions.

 

For more detail on many of these presentations, subscribe to ITLC Update

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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