This conference brings together industry practitioners from around the country to engage in dialogue on issues critical to transit, including frontline worker recruitment and retention, bus redesign, new technologies, automation, training, and the future of transit work. For an overview of the agenda, click here.  

Opening Plenary: A Dialogue with FTA on Transit Workforce Development 

In this opening plenary session, the International Transportation Learning Center/Transit Workforce Center and our local transit hosts, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689 will welcome you to Washington, D.C. and Making Connections 2022: The National Transit Workforce Conference. Following an overview of the conference program and events, Federal Transit Administration Deputy Administrator Veronica Vanterpool will deliver the keynote address, and then sit down with ITLC/TWC to respond to questions submitted by attendees concerning transit workforce development.

Welcome: Jack Clark, Executive Director, International Transportation Learning Center

Keynote Address: Veronica Vanterpool, Deputy Administrator, Federal Transit Administration

Meet our Hosts

Randy Clarke

General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

Raymond Jackson

President, Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 689

Featured Plenaries

Rethinking Recruitment: Converting our Challenges to Opportunities

As we all know, transit, along with almost every other industry across the country, is facing significant recruitment challenges. Join leading industry thinkers and practitioners from transit labor and management, education, and the nonprofit sector in a "big picture" examination and interactive discussion about questions we should be asking and how we might change our thinking and approaches to the inter-related issues of recruitment and retention, so we can meet today's workforce needs and build a strong foundation for our future.


Moderator: Karen Philbrick, Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute


  • Paul Skoutelas, President, American Public Transportation Association
  • India Birdsong Terry, General Manager & Chief Executive Officer, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
  • Yvette Trujillo, Executive Vice President, Amalgamated Transit Union

Navigating New Directions: Emerging Technologies and the Future of Transit Workforce

Like every other sector of the US (and world) economy, public transportation continues to face challenges of how to adapt to new and emerging technologies as innovations advance at a rapid pace. This session will focus tightly on the relationship between new technologies and frontline transit work. Carnegie-Mellon researchers will report on a study released in spring 2022 on bus automation, examining issues related to the practical safety and operational limitations of deploying driverless buses in transit systems while citing many technologies that can enhance safety and improve driver performance. Panelists will respond to that report and also discuss the growing role of technology in delivering transit services, implementing microtransit and Mobility as a Service, and labor standards for the frontline workers delivering these mobility services.

Moderator: Gregory Regan, President, Transportation Trades Department (TTD), American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)

Opening Presentation:

  • Sarah Fox, Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Nikolas Martelaro, Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University


  • Holly Arnold, Administrator, Maryland Transit Administration
  • Conan Cheung, Chief Operations Officer, Los Angeles Metro
  • John Costa, President, Amalgamated Transit Union
  • Madeline Janis, Executive Director, Jobs to Move America
  • John Samuelson, International President, Transport Workers Union of America

How Do We Pay for All These Good Workforce Development Programs?

Participants will have spent a day and a half networking and learning from peers and industry leaders about innovative approaches to recruitment, retention, training for the transit operators and technicians, ZEB transition, apprenticeship and more. All these ideas sound great, and some locations seem to have made a lot of them work. When I get home, how does my agency figure out how to pay for all this? Panelists will address what federal and state grants can provide, what current legislation and policy allows, why partnerships with local workforce boards and state apprenticeship agencies can help your training budgets. The discussion will also challenge local decision makers to examine their own priorities on workforce development.


Moderator: Scott Bogren, Executive Director, Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA)


  • Molly Bashay, Policy Advisor, Department of Labor
  • Jeff Rosenberg, Director of Government Affairs, Amalgamated Transit Union
  • Dr. Beverly Scott, Founder and Director, Introducing Youth to American Infrastructure
  • Paige Shevlin, Strategic Advisor, Department of Transportation
  • Featured Workshop

Networking Reception

After sessions conclude on Tuesday, join us for a networking reception with food and beverages as you make your way around the room to talk with peers, industry leaders, sponsors, and invited Congressional members. 


Training to Support the Transit Workforce Apprentice Programs

-    Upjohn Institute: Return on Investment in Workforce Development Programs (2012 research)

-    National Apprenticeship: Return on Investment

-    Workforce GPS: Expanding Apprenticeship: Return on Investment (ROI)

   National Fund for Workforce Solutions: Apprenticeship is a Win-Win for Workers and Employers

Transit Partners

Biden-Harris Administration Announces $600 Million from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to Replace Aging Railcars Across the Nation

Federal Transit Administration

Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, FTA is supporting transit agencies as they modernize their systems. The Rail Car Vehicle Replacement program provides $600 million to improve reliability, accessibility & safety on rail systems. 


Procurement with Purpose: Improving Equity and Job Quality through Public Procurement

Aspen Institute – December 8, 2:00-3:00 p.m. EST

The US government is the largest purchaser of goods and services globally, spending over $600 billion annually. Public procurement exceeds $1.6 trillion annually when state and local governments are included. These investments help create and support millions of jobs. But is this spending creating good jobs? Are contracts being awarded promoting racial and gender equity? Government agencies often consider the social impacts of procurement decisions. But as millions of jobs pay below a living wage, and those posts are most commonly held by women and workers of color, more must be done to address the job quality crisis. Public procurement is a powerful tool that can help.

The Weekly Update will now be bi-weekly. Look for our next regular edition on December 1, and visit to sign up for the TWC e-newsletter “TWC Pulse.”

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