In joining the country in commemorating Veterans Day on November 11, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) thanks our country’s veterans for their service and the contributions they have made to our country. APTA also urges returning veterans to consider public transportation as a career choice where many of their military skills are transferable.
“We are proud of our country’s veterans and the contributions they gave to our nation and are now giving in the public transportation industry,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. “Public transportation offers a great career path for veterans looking for civilian jobs that will use their military skills.”
Phil Washington, APTA Chair and General Manager/CEO of Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD), who served in the Army for 24 years and reached the rank of Command Sergeant Major, said, “The public transportation industry has a welcome mat out for returning veterans.”
Washingon will be speaking about veteran hiring activities in the railroad industry at a roundtable at the Pentagon on November 12. In the Denver metro area, under Washington’s leadership, the Workforce Initiative Now (WIN) program, which was developed with regional partners, was started in 2010. RTD currently has 33 veterans enrolled in WIN and another 13 veterans are in the job search process. In all, more than 15 percent of RTD bus operators and mechanics are veterans, and in the last 20 months, 20 percent of new hires have been veterans.
Veterans interested in pursuing a public transportation career now have the ability to search for jobs on the Transit Virtual Career Network (TVCN) which was launched last month at www.vcn.org/transit. Funded by the Federal Transit Administration, this website is the result of a collaborative effort among APTA, Rutgers University, the American Association of Community Colleges, the National Association of Workforce Boards, and XPAND Corporation.
“I encourage military veterans to use this website to not only find local public transit jobs in their area, but to find out about local education and training programs,” said Melaniphy. “This new website is a valuable resource for veterans looking to find jobs that will utilize the skills they obtained in their military service.”
APTA and public transit agencies maintain relationships with a variety of organizations such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Wounded Warriors, and Paralyzed Veterans of America to promote employment opportunities. APTA has been part of the White House “Joining Forces” initiative to support America’s veterans and is also working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in promoting job fairs for veterans. Many U.S. commuter rail systems have committed to work toward a 12 percent veteran new hire target.
Public transportation systems nationwide are reaching out to veterans in a variety of ways on Veterans Day. Listed below is a sampling of what different public transportation systems are doing across the country.
Some public transit agencies are participating in veteran career fairs. DART (Des Moines, IA) is participating in a Hiring Heroes job fair at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Veterans Day. WMATA (Washington, DC) is also participating in the Corporate Grey Military Job Fair on November 13. Omitrans (San Bernardino, CA) just participated in a veterans job fair on November 5.
HART (Tampa, FL) has partnered with a local television station to promote a local initiative to hire veterans on Veterans Day. HART will be featured as one of the many employers in the Tampa Bay area that are seeking to hire veterans.
SEPTA (Philadelphia, PA) announced yesterday that they have started a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs that will help veterans find jobs at SEPTA. In the first half of 2014, almost 10 percent of SEPTA’s new hires targeted positions such as bus operators, track laborers, custodians, and rail conductor trainees have been veterans. SEPTA’s new partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs is expected to increase the number of veteran hires.
LA Metro (Los Angeles, CA) just announced new programs that will help veterans find jobs at LA Metro. The first program, called the Disabled Veterans Business Enterprise (DVBE) Program, will expand contracting opportunities for disabled veterans. It establishes a three percent contracting goal for all non-federally funded competitively negotiated contracts for construction, goods or services over $100,000. In addition, VetsGo511.com will act as a one-stop source for those in the veteran community seeking easy access to transportation services in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area that connect them to work, education, healthcare, and other vital services.
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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products. More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.