An afternoon workshop focused specifically on “The Next Gen Mechanic,” with an emphasis on recruiting women into non-traditional skilled trades jobs. Jim Beck, an experienced mechanic who leads training at Gold Coast Transit, moderated the panel. He also highlighted efforts at his own agency to develop mentoring programs, work with high schools and community colleges for recruitment. He profiled several women who have succeeded in transit careers as mechanics and leaders at Gold Coast. Michael Flocchini from AC Transit spoke to the highly successful and long-standing joint apprenticeship program there. He stressed the need for partnership with labor and addressed emerging instructional technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality. Brad Menil from San Joaquin RTD recounted fairly recent experience in establishing an apprenticeship program there. Again, mentoring proves crucial and working with the workforce makes it succeed. Jack Clark from ITLC closed out the panel with examples of best practice programs in addition to those covered by other panelists. 

Community Transportation Association of America EXPO, November 7-11
ITLC staff Amri Joyner, Kenyon Corbett, Karitsa Holdzkom, and Pat Greenfield attended the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) EXPO in Richmond, VA, participating in a range of workshops on critical issues and innovative programs in transit operations across the United States. Driver workforce challenges, including recruitment and retention, were among the topics covered in the workshops that staff attended, in addition to in-depth discussions on mobility management, passenger assistance, transitioning to new technologies, and addressing equity issues, while maintaining and increasing ridership and diversifying funding sources.