ITLC Update
Next week, the Transit Workforce Center (TWC) will hold the third webinar in the series on strategic workforce development, Fundamentals of Mentoring.

Mentor programs provide a powerful and effective tool for workforce development and retention. For maintenance occupations, mentors deliver hands-on training support, putting skills in diverse workplace contexts beyond the classroom. For bus operators, mentors provide guidance that addresses real world situations, building and expanding on basic training and creating ongoing support for each new operator. In every transit agency across all occupations, seasoned employees have stores of knowledge waiting to be shared. Without mentorship, this knowledge can be lost when workers retire or move on.
A well-structured mentorship program, designed in partnership with the workers, ensures this expertise is passed on. Strong mentorship programs also provide mentors with leadership opportunities and mentees with the skills and confidence they need to succeed, increasing expertise and morale throughout the organization. In this webinar, attendees will:
  • Develop an understanding of the key elements of a successful mentorship program
  • Hear from labor and management leaders at established transit mentor programs about the impact of mentorship programs in their agencies
  • Learn about the skills used by an effective mentor
  • Listen to the experiences of current mentors and mentees
  • Michael Hursh, General Manager, AC Transit
  • Stuart Bass, Principal, Progress Worx
  • Jamaine Gibson, Director of Apprenticeships and Workforce Development, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) International
  • Anton Pierson, Mentor, ATU Local 1005/Metro Transit
  • Kevin Philpotts, Apprenticeship Coordinator, Transit Workers Union (TWU) 234/SEPTA
  • Dionna McCane, ATU Mentorship and Apprenticeship Coordinator, ATU Local 1070/IndyGo
Public Transit
The Washington Post – June 10, 2022
Around the country, many transit systems are in survival mode still, looking to increase ridership and deal with all sorts of concerns, including rising COVID cases, operator shortages and supply chain issues. But we need to get back onto our systems again.
The American Prospect – June 10, 2022
The transportation workforce instability and a worker-friendly job market both brought on by COVID show no signs of letting up. Flight attendants flee regional carriers for higher pay, better routes, and other perks with legacy airlines. Bus drivers quit in droves, forcing transit systems to offer signing bonuses, while merchant marine crews grapple with endless weeks working on ships waiting to get into clogged ports. What could make this work more unsettling? A proposed Department of Health and Human Services pre-employment drug testing regime that could render millions of employees in safety-sensitive positions—pilots, flight attendants, railway engineers, mariners, and truckers and others—ineligible for work or send them out of the industry altogether.
The Pew Charitable Trusts - June 13, 2022 
Across the country, transit agencies are trying to deal with reduced ridership, revenue losses and teleworking by making changes aimed at luring riders back and attracting new ones. Some agencies are eliminating or reducing fares or making weekly or monthly transit passes cheaper. Some have redesigned routes or extended service during off-peak hours and weekends. Some are dangling perks, such as gift cards or sweepstakes.
Transit Partners
Mass Transit – June 14, 2022
Ivy Tech Community College, IndyGo and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1070 are partnering to provide IndyGo diesel apprentices with a pathway to a technical certificate from Ivy Tech in diesel technology. By using a prior learning assessment, the agreement allows an IndyGo Apprenticeship Program graduate who successfully completes the Bus Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship Program to receive up to 24 credits after completing 16 credit hours at Ivy Tech. That will go toward a technical certification in diesel technology, giving more students options to pursue a credential or degree that will provide a high wage, high demand career in Indiana’s workforce. 
Transit Talent – June 12, 2022
Including the word "regional" in Port Authority's new name, Pittsburgh Regional Transit, was not an attempt to simply create a snappy acronym. It was done to reflect the agency's growing importance in public transit across southwestern Pennsylvania. With its base in Allegheny County and with Pittsburgh as the economic engine of the region, PRT is in a position to take a leading role in improving the transit experience for riders in a multi-county area. The name change was announced at a news conference Thursday.
The Land – June 9, 2022
The GCRTA recently redesigned its services to try to improve riders’ connections to work, but there’s only so much that traditional fixed routes can do to get people to every single job center out there. Because of that, Maribeth Feke, director of programming and planning for GCRTA, said her agency is piloting a new “micro mobility” program called ConnectWorkS that could serve as a model for future efforts to get people to jobs at industrial centers through public transit.
Metro Magazine – June 10, 2022
SamTrans will be introducing a mix of BEB and FCEB at the launch of its Zero Emission Bus (ZEB) fleet deployment to assess how the two technologies perform under different conditions, which can serve which routes better, and what it would require to meet their infrastructure needs. Ultimately, SamTrans will develop a plan for full ZEB conversion of the fleet by 2034, six years before the state mandated conversion in 2040.
Labor News
The Guardian – June 10, 2022
Workers represented by labor unions earn 10.2% higher wages than their non-union peers, have better benefits and collectively raise wages industry-wide, according to a report released by the House and Senate committees on Friday and first shared with the Guardian. According to the report, by the joint economic committee of Congress and the House education and labor committee, unionized workers are also 18.3% more likely to receive employer-sponsored health insurance, and employers pay 77.4% more per hour worked toward the cost of health insurance for unionized workers compared with non-unionized workers. Labor unions have also contributed to narrowing racial and gender pay disparities; unionization correlates to pay premiums of 17.3% for Black workers, 23.1% for Latino workers and 14.7% for Asian workers, compared with 10.1% for white workers. Overall, female union workers receive 4.7% higher hourly wages than their non-union peers and in female dominated service industries, union workers are paid 52.1% more than non-union workers.
Workforce Development
Metro Magazine – June 10, 2022
Creating a talent pipeline for existing and new employees, the program provides a career track for personal and professional advancement at Amtrak. The grant follows a launch of Amtrak’s Apprenticeship Pilot Program earlier this year, which aimed to create a talent pipeline for existing and new employees. The grant will allow the team to more rapidly expand the program across additional crafts and locations.
Upcoming Webinars
APTAU – June 16, 3:00 pm ET
As transit agencies and transit businesses advance diversity, equity and inclusion in their own organizations, they are often confronted with the question "why are we doing this?" This webinar is designed to answer that question based on business objectives and goals. In other words, it is possible to see a return on investment (ROI) for DEI efforts if you approach it systematically. APTA has engaged Patti Phillips, an ROI researcher, to walk to through the basics. You will also hear from two transit systems that have aligned their organizational goals with their DEI efforts.
TRB – June 21, 2:30 pm ET
The demand for public transportation investments far exceeds the funds available. While states and communities seek additional revenue sources to maintain current transit assets and serve rapidly changing travel markets, they need methods to help decide where to allocate their limited resources. TRB will host a webinar that will explore practical advice to improve the prioritization process for public transportation projects. Presenters will focus on methods used to prioritize transit capital projects and on cross-modal decision-making, specifically the comparison of public transit and non-transit projects.
International Transportation Learning Center