July 2022
TWC Transit Workforce Development Spring Webinar Series – Recordings Now Available
The Transit Workforce Center (TWC) hosted a three-part workforce development webinar series this spring featuring presentations on best practices for recruitment, retention, mentoring, and the development of new and incumbent frontline transit workers. The three webinars were attended by a combined total of over 1,000 representatives from a range of transit stakeholders who were able to participate in the sessions during the question-and-answer sessions with key agencies, unions, non-profits, and government leaders. 

Federal Transit Administration Administrator Nuria Fernandez kicked off the series’ first webinar, emphasizing that transit systems serve as “America’s greatest connectors” and provide “a gateway to opportunity” for the riding public and frontline workers. Administrator Fernandez also thanked the webinar speakers for sharing their experience and expertise, recognized the contribution of frontline transit workers, and underscored the need to support and diversify the current workforce, as well as the importance of stakeholders working in partnership, especially in labor-management collaboration. 

Jack Clark, Executive Director of the International Transportation Learning Center, the organization operating the TWC, noted at the beginning of the series, “We are confronting many challenges, and with these challenges come significant opportunities.” He also emphasized that TWC is here to support the industry in grappling with these challenges and working to support and develop the transit workforce of the future.

The three webinar topics were:
  • Strategic Workforce Planning: Developing, Supporting, and Strengthening Your Incumbent Workforce
  • Recruiting and Developing Today’s Transit Workforce
  • Strategic Workforce Planning in Transit: Fundamentals of Mentoring

Recordings of all three webinars and accompanying slide shows can be accessed here.
Later this month, the TWC, in collaboration with key industry partners from government, management, labor, and nonprofits, will roll out the first phase of its national recruitment campaign toolkit. This toolkit will be continually updated with templates for advertising, image design, and social and traditional media outreach tips to help recruit a diverse workforce.
The first phase of the toolkit will include advertisements, videos, and case studies from agencies around the country that other agencies can review and adopt. As an evolving tool built on actual experiences in the field, all agencies, unions, and other organizations are invited to share with the TWC their materials and practices as we make our library of resources for all agencies--large, small, urban, rural, and tribal. To share methods and materials or seek assistance with your agency’s recruitment efforts, please contact Senior Communications Specialist David Stephen at [email protected].

Help Shape TWC’s Upcoming Transit Trainers’ Webinar Series

TWC will host a series of Transit Trainers’ webinars starting next month. Attendees who attend all three webinars and participate in activities will be eligible for a certificate of participation.

While we are in this planning phase, we want to get input from you on what topics you feel are a high priority.

Please fill out this short survey to give us your feedback.

On July 13, 34 individuals involved in their agency’s mentor program for frontline employees participated in the TWC’s Mentor Roundtable. This event allowed peer-to-peer learning and exchange with attendees: asking each other questions, sharing their best practices, and offering insights on how their program has benefited their agency and how to get the most out of a mentor program. Attendees recognized the value of a network of agencies running similar programs. They agreed to share their information so the dialogue could continue outside the event.

For more information on mentor training, please contact Karitsa Holdzkom at [email protected].
TWC Out and About
CTAA Expo 2022 – Louisville, KY
Transit Workforce Center staff traveled to the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) Expo 2022 the week of May 10 to engage with transit agencies and stakeholders from across the country on critical workforce development issues. Invited by CTAA Executive Director Scott Bogren to address the opening plenary, ITLC staff Amri Joyner and Pat Greenfield spoke about TWC's technical assistance services and major initiatives. Amri and Pat also staffed a table in the exhibition hall, responding to questions and ensuring attendees learned about the resources, information, and support the TWC can provide. Pat then facilitated a workshop on transit-community college partnerships with Jamaine Gibson, Director of Apprenticeships and Workforce Development for ATU International, IndyGo mentor coordinators, and a Dean from Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, and John Schiavone led a Zero Emission Bus technology session as one of CTAA’s all-day incentives.

Pictured (from left to right): Amri Joyner, Betty Jackson (FTA Acting Director, Office of Research Management, Innovation & Outreach), Patricia Greenfield
APTA Mobility Conference – Columbus, Ohio
Pictured (from left): (picture 1) Brian Sherlock, (picture 2) David Stephen and Kenyon Corbett
On May 1-4, 2022, TWC’s Kenyon Corbett and David Stephen attended the APTA Mobility Conference along with ITLC project partners Brian Sherlock, Safety Specialist of ATU International, and Christy Campoll, Senior Associate of RLS & Associates, focusing on Technical Assistance, Zero-Emission Buses and Bus of the Future.

David presented to APTA’s Workforce Development Committee on the technical assistance available to transit agencies through the Transit Workforce Center (TWC) and the front-line recruitment campaign being co-developed by the Federal Transit Administration. Kenyon gave a similar presentation to the Bus Maintenance Technical Committee. Brian and Christy Campoll of RLS Associates discussed work on the Bus of the Future project during a panel entitled, “Transit Worker Assaults, Bus Barriers, and FTA’s Crime Prevention Initiative.” The Bus of the Future project is a near complete transit bus redesign initiative focusing on operator, rider, and pedestrian safety through an improved operator compartment designed to prevent assaults, eliminate or dramatically reduce operator blind spots, and improve their sightlines to address pedestrian safety.

On the conference’s final day, Kenyon spoke at the “Managing and Guiding your Operations Teams to Success: The Essentials and New Technologies” panel.
Florida Professional Development Workshop & Transit Safety and Operations Summit – Tampa, Florida

Executive Director Jack Clark and Senior Communications Specialist David Stephen attended the 2022 Florida Public Transportation Association (FPTA)/ Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)/ Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) Professional Development Workshop & Transit Safety and Operations Summit held on June 6-8, 2022 in Tampa. This unique professional development workshop offered opportunities for Florida's public transportation supervisors, front-line employees, and other key staff in operations, maintenance, marketing, planning, and administration. These workshops offered opportunities to learn from industry experts, attend professional development training, gather information about innovative industry research, and network with peers, including David’s presentation of the components of TWC’s upcoming national recruitment toolkit for frontline transit workers. The summit was open to all Florida public transit professionals interested in promoting and improving transit system safety and operations.
2022 APTA Rail Conference -
San Diego, California
Pictured (from left to right): Liz Smith, George Fields, Veronica Vanterpool, Xinge Wang, and Mary Leary
The 2022 APTA Rail Conference, held June 5-8, featured several events spotlighting the technical assistance work of the Transit Workforce Center (TWC). Deputy Director Xinge Wang joined a panel of diverse speakers in a powerful and inspiring set of presentations and exchanges with the audience, focusing on Building the Future Workforce Pipeline - Successful Programs Targeting Those Less Served. Another event included APTA Chair Jeff Nelson and was moderated by FTA Deputy Administrator Veronica Vanterpool. The discussion started with Mary Leary, FTA Deputy Associate Administrator, TRI, introducing the newly created TWC and its goals, followed by Xinge parsing out the current challenges and opportunities in developing the transit industry workforce and how the TWC is addressing them. 
By the Numbers
A Brief Numerical Snapshot of TWC Technical Assistance and Outreach

Since its creation in September 2021, Transit Workforce Center has provided workforce development support in a number of forms, including through responses to individual technical assistance requests, presentations at industry gatherings across the country, webinars, and website resources. While numbers do not tell our whole story, they provide a sense of the scope of some of our core support work. 
Some of what TWC has accomplished, by the numbers: 
  • 2,934 total participants served through TWC’s hosting or participation in 20 industry events, including conferences and webinars 
  • 871 attendees at the three TWC strategic workforce development webinars featuring best practices in strategic workforce development for incumbent workers, for new hiring and outreach, and for mentoring 
  • 213 individual technical assistance (TA) requests received and resolved from the transit industry on career pathways/pipelines, hiring, recruitment and retention, training and development (apprenticeship), labor-management partnership, workforce data, safety and health, etc.
  • 1,409 website visits since the launch of TWC website https://transitworkforce.org/ in its inaugural six-week period 
  • 110 resources hosted on the online Resource Center covering a variety of topics related to transit workforce development
Let us know how we can help with workforce development at your transit organization. For information and assistance on workforce development for the frontline transit workforce, visit our website for resources and contact TWC directly at [email protected] or 1-855-888-NTWC. 
Earlier this year, the TWC Resource Center launched from the all-new TransitWorkforce.org website and now houses more than 100 entries. Resources offered include training materials, research reports, tools, case studies, and the three-part webinar series TWC offered earlier this year.
Other highlights of the website include a calendar of upcoming transit events, resources on zero emission buses (ZEBs), apprenticeship development, and a research brief on bus driver recruitment challenges.
Please contact us if you would like assistance using the Resource Center or are looking for resources on a particular topic. We continue to update the Resource Center and welcome suggestions for topics or specific resources to add.
News You Can Use

People with Disabilities: An Important Yet Often Overlooked Recruitment Pool

Often overlooked in efforts to recruit a diverse transit workforce is the pool of potential employees with disabilities. To address these challenges, Easterseals, a partner of the National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM), with the support of national experts, including TWC, developed an information brief to offer strategies to university personnel and the transportation industry hiring professionals on recruiting and retaining individuals with disabilities for transportation sectors. 

Individuals with disabilities represent a viable recruitment pool for the transportation sector. However, a lack of knowledge about recruiting and retaining individuals with disabilities and administrative structures that can “silo” disabled workers into units disconnected from workforce development opportunities may be a challenge for transportation hiring managers. In a recent study conducted by NCMM, an FTA-funded national technical assistance center, researchers found little emphasis by university transportation programs on strategies to educate future transportation planners about disability topics. In addition, university professionals were not knowledgeable about the methods their department or university used to recruit students with disabilities into transportation preparation programs. 

NCMM can provide free technical assistance to support transportation professionals to enhance the diversity of their workforce to include individuals with disabilities. This piece was contributed by Judy Shanley, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President of Education & Youth Transition.

TransitCenter Releases Report on National Bus Operator Shortage

On July 20, the TransitCenter released its new report, "Bus Operators in Crisis," which diagnoses the causes behind the national bus operator shortfall and advances solutions at the agency, state, and federal levels. As a result of operator shortages, agencies have had to cancel bus trips in many cities, leaving riders stranded.

The effects of these shortfall-related trip cancellations and service cuts are disproportionately felt by the Black and brown riders who are the core users of transit systems across the country, many of whom are essential workers.

"Bus Operators in Crisis" makes the case that transit agencies must improve job quality by providing better compensation, more flexibility, and safer working conditions to tackle shortfalls. The report also highlights the important role that states and the federal government should play, including implementing a national recruitment strategy. TWC is working with the FTA and partners to start rolling this out later this summer. 
Coming Soon:

The TWC’s Making Connections conference in Washington, D.C., will be scheduled later this year. We are looking forward to announcing and seeing you there!

Transit Workforce Center