Center Update
Center Presents on Standard-Based Training and Apprenticeship for Frontline Technicians at NTI Conference

Seventeen people representing transit agencies and community colleges attended the Center's March 31 workshop on  Standards-based Training and Apprenticeship for Frontline Technicians at the Transit Trainers Workshop sponsored by the National Transit Institute in Long Beach, California.  The presentation focused on the full system of training and qualification developed for rail car technicians through the recently completed TCRP E-7 project Establishing a National Transit Industry Rail Vehicle Technician Qualification Program, but Center Deputy Director Jack Clark noted that the system is relevant for all transit maintenance occupations.  Lively discussion followed the presentation, with a lot of questions and sharing of information on effective joint apprenticeship programs.  Participants wanted to know more about good practice on mentoring and generally expressed eagerness to learn more about how the industry standards for training could be implemented in their locations

Much of the discussion carried over the following day in a workshop on a TCRP funded project to develop a national training and certification program for transit maintenance instructors. Brian Lester of EDSI Consulting presented on behalf of the project team led by the Transportation Learning Center. Mentoring came up again as a major area of concern.  One trainer summed it up well, "you have mentoring going on whether you recognize it or not."  Some locations shared experience in getting strong Train the Trainer provisions in procurement language when buying buses.  One participant said that this is an excellent means to continually develop training staff.  Just as the previous day's discussion highlighted big demographic changes in the overall workforce, the consensus from this workshop was that a system of training and qualifying instructors is essential because the transit industry training staff is facing a "silver tsunami" of coming retirements.

Related Links:
PowerPoint Presentation
Passing on the Legacy: The Benefits of Mentoring in Transit Training
Training for Transportation Technicians: Which Delivery Methods Work Best?
Working Together: A Systems Approach for Transit Training
Public Transportation
Roll Call - April 7, 2014
Public transit advocates were blindsided when House Republicans introduced a five-year highway bill two years ago that proposed eliminating the Highway Trust Fund's transit account. The proposal would have ended the guaranteed cut of federal motor fuel tax dollars that has been set aside for urban rail and bus systems since the Reagan administration.
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The Hill - April 3, 2014
In 1980, an organization convened and voted to include the following in its platform:  ...Many urban centers of our nation need dependable and affordable mass transit systems... The role of the federal government should be one of giving financial and technical support... a consistent and dependable source of revenue should be established. Mass transportation offers the prospect for significant energy conservation... it is vital that adequate public and private transportation facilities be provided.
Railway Age - April 7, 2014
A new report, "The Northeast Corridor and the American Economy," produced by the Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission (NEC Commission) details how the Northeast Corridor (NEC), carrying 750,000 daily Amtrak and commuter/regional rail passengers, "is a critical national asset, an economic engine for the U.S., and contributes about $50 billion a year to the national economy."  The report, accessible by clicking here, also calculates that a loss of the NEC for a single day would cost nearly $100 million in transportation-related impacts and productivity losses.
Transit System/Partnerss
Forbes - March 31, 2014
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Progressive Railroading - April 8, 2014
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Vancouver Sun - March 31, 2014
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Mass Transit Magazine - April 8, 2014
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Railway Track and Signal - April 1, 2014
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Green News
Railway Age - April 7, 2014
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Workforce Development
Nonprofit Quarterly - April 1, 2014
When Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin discussed workforce development at the National Governors Association, which she currently chairs, who could argue with her contention that education and training were critical components of workforce development in order to help people find paths into middle class incomes and lifestyles?  
Building Transportation Infrastructure
Railway Age - April 7, 2014
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