Center Update
NIAC Releases Report on Infrastructure Workforce Readiness
On September 22, the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) issued its report on workforce readiness for infrastructure sectors. The report offered nine detailed recommendations on improving workforce readiness, organized into near-term, mid-term and long-term priorities. Overall, the Commission report called for a ”K to Gray” system to prepare people for continuing workforce changes, provide career ladder opportunities and the chance for lifelong learning.

NIAC organized a call to approve the report and allow comments from additional stakeholders. ITLC Board Chair and ATU International President, John Costa, was one of the public commenters on the call. Reflecting the emphasis in NIAC’s findings, Costa urged an expansion of registered apprenticeship in technical infrastructure careers. He specifically cited his work in leading ITLC and in creating a new National Transit Workforce Center in partnership with the Federal Transit Administration. A copy of ATU International President Costa’s letter can be found here. Dr. Beverly Scott, a senior fellow and founding Board member for ITLC, co-chaired the committee that developed the report. ITLC Executive Director Jack Clark served on a study group that met over several months to collect data and draft recommendations for the NIAC committee. Madeline Janis, a current ITLC Board member and the Executive Director of Jobs to Move America, also offered public comment to advocate for the implementation of the report, focusing on the lack of investment in workforce training when purchasing components of the nation’s critical infrastructure.
To view the presentation from the call, click here.
Upcoming Webinars
Urban Institute – September 23, 2:30 pm ET
Workforce trends in automation and digitalization, accelerated by the pandemic, pose risks to workers in low-wage jobs and occupations. Economic development organizations have a unique role to play in connecting displaced workers to good jobs and opportunities to reskill and achieve greater economic mobility. Join the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and WorkRise for a discussion about how economic development organizations can create pathways into higher-wage, in-demand jobs. This webinar will build upon findings from The Future of Work and Inclusion, a new report published by IEDC’s Economic Development Research Partners program, and highlight additional examples of community strategies focused on the future of work and inclusion.

Capital Bike and Better Transit Alliance – September 28, 3:00 pm ET
Christof Spieler is the author of one of Island Press' best-selling transit books, “Trains, Buses, People: An Opinionated Atlas of US and Canadian Transit”. This second edition of the book was published on August 24th. Updated features in this revised edition include information on fares, governance, funding, and stations, plus a new section on inclusivity to help all readers understand how to welcome riders regardless of race, gender, income, or disability. Eight metropolitan Canadian areas have been added and all the U.S. regions have been updated. Spieler asserts that "we need to have the right conversations about transit. We need to talk about what matters—to focus on the quality of service, not the technology that delivers it." This webinar will focus on having productive conversations about public transit, walking and cycling.
UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies – September 30, 3:30 pm ET
COVID-19 has exacerbated trends of increasing transit ridership and increasing costs that existed before the pandemic. What changes will be short-lived? Which may change transit for the longer term?
eLearning Learning – October 5, 12:30 pm ET
The sad reality is that most eLearning courses require learners to sit through a disappointing experience, where information is poorly organized, the content isn’t relevant, and the interactions seem contrived and without purpose. This is compounded even more when the slideshow-like presentation is interrupted with several poorly written quiz questions and cheesy animations to make it all seem “fun.” In this session, we will explore many of the reasons why most eLearning fails and the components that contribute to bad eLearning design. we will also explore how bad eLearning design can negatively affect the learning experience. Finally, this session will walk you through several practical methods you can immediately apply to fix your bad eLearning courses.
UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies – October 7, 3:30 pm ET
Transit's finances have been temporarily boosted by a series of federal stimulus bills. California's budget surplus has also provided additional funding for transit. But what happens after agencies exhaust these one-time infusions of funds?
Next City - October 13, 1:00 pm ET
Transportation systems are vital to cities and their residents. They connect communities to each other, to local amenities, and to economic opportunities. But these networks can also divide, cutting people and communities off and concentrating adverse effects in some areas while sparing others. Even a quick glance at mid-20th-century urban planning in the U.S. shows how transportation decisions ripped apart Black and brown communities in order to build interstates that better connected white suburbs to downtown cores. We can and need to do better— and data can help. Hear from Replica General Counsel Kiran Jain about one of the most powerful tools public agencies can use to assess inequities in the built environment — and how Replica, a data platform for the built environment, is working with cities to create more equitable infrastructure.
Public Transportation
ITS International - September 20, 2021
“We are asking public sector and private sector organizations to commit to taking two actions to increase the number or influence of women," Chace says.
"Examples are things like having diverse hiring panels: when you're hiring for positions, committing to interview diverse candidates; or things like creating a sponsorship program for women in your company and committing to increase the number of women on your boards.” 
Next City - September 22, 2021
The pandemic recovery has been hamstrung by one major problem: Shortages of virtually everything, from raw materials to people. And the labor shortage also includes a shortage of bus drivers.
Transit Partners
CBS Philly - September 21, 2021 
SEPTA said the goal is to “identify a longterm vision, as well as shorter-term improvements to services, schedules, and fare policies that make Regional Rail more convenient.” “With Reimagining Regional Rail, nothing is off-limits,” SEPTA CEO Leslie S. Richards said. “We are rethinking frequency, route lengths, fares, connections to buses and rail transit and more — all in the name of making Regional Rail more useful to more people.”
Metro Magazine – September 20, 2021
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced that Siu Ling Ko has assumed the role of VP and chief mechanical officer, subway car equipment, for the division of New York City Transit responsible for maintaining and overhauling the agency's fleet of subway cars and track maintenance vehicles. Ko, a 34-year veteran of NYC Transit’s Subway Car Equipment division, is the first woman to hold this position.
Mass Transit – September 20, 2021
As the pandemic took hold of Portland in 2020, TriMet was hit hard: the metro-area transit agency saw a nearly 70% drop in ridership as people began working from home and Oregon faced a lockdown for the coronavirus. But even as ridership slowly ticks upward, agency leaders have seen a shortage of workers joining the company — a problem they haven’t historically had.
Mass Transit – September 21, 2021
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will build its first all-electric bus garage in northwest Washington, D.C. The Northern Bus Garage Reconstruction Project, which will take approximately four years to build, will include the infrastructure and equipment needed to run 100 percent electric vehicles. WMATA’s Board of Directors committed to transition to a full zero-emission fleet by 2045 and will start purchasing zero-emission only vehicles by 2030.
Workforce Development
Brookings - September 16, 2021
The politics of the federal infrastructure debate will quickly transition to implementation challenges at the federal, state, and local level—challenges around engaging, hiring, and training the next generation of infrastructure workers. Now is the time to start developing and testing new approaches to strengthen a long-term talent pipeline, and not just scramble to fill short-term jobs.
International Transit News
Sustainable Bus – September 21, 2021
950 zero-emission buses are already on the road or on order in London. With the market now more mature and expanding in the UK, TfL can guarantee that it will only purchase new zero-emission buses, so that a fully zero-emission bus network can be delivered three years earlier in 2034. However, the UK Government is aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 68 per cent by 2030. “With Government support, TfL can bring London’s bus fleet into the scope of delivering on that target and achieve a fully zero-emission fleet by 2030”, Mayor says.
Building Transit Infrastructure
Route 50 - September 21, 2021
About 30% of existing infrastructure jobs are considered hard to fill and it takes longer to hire workers for these types of positions compared to other industries, researchers with the National League of Cities found. “Investing in roads and bridges without investing in people risks undermining the critical spending on our country’s crumbling infrastructure,” Clarence Anthony, NLC executive director and CEO, said in a statement. “The workforce we currently have is not able to meet our country’s needs or ambitions.”
Green News
Fast Company – September 20, 2021
Transportation emissions will need to drop by 39% by the end of the decade, the report says. New fossil-fuel-powered cars and light trucks should be phased out by 2035; medium- and heavy-duty gas and diesel trucks should be phased out by 2045. Businesses should buy zero-emissions vehicles. Government should invest in mass transit and help support installing a million new charging plugs for electric cars.
People and Tech
Detroit Free Press - September 21, 2021
The potential to charge electric buses, shuttles and other vehicles on the road without having to stop could do more than just help with electric vehicle deployment, according to Trevor Pawl, chief mobility officer with the state's Office of Future Mobility and Electrification.
International Transportation Learning Center