APTA's Workforce Development Initiative (WDI) Task Force was established in 2001 to address the current and future workforce needs for the industry. The WDI Task Force initiated its work by conducting research throughout the industry as well as with stakeholders. The task force developed and executed an action plan based on the research, interviews and outreach to the broadest spectrum of public transportation employees, stakeholders and representatives from other industries. The task force completed its action plan:
- Identified the most important challenges that the public transportation industry faces in workforce development;
- Compiled innovative approaches to workforce development on the part of public transportation agencies and organizations and external "benchmarks";
- Recommended the most useful products of the initiative for the industry; and
- Determined the next steps that should be taken to help the industry address workforce development on an effective, ongoing basis.
In September 2003, APTA's Executive Committee approved the final report and recommendations of the WDI Task Force, including "mainstreaming" workforce development into the association's programs, activities and committees. APTA's commitment to providing a long-term strategy and permanent process for the industry, by dedicating more resources within the association and implementing the initiative's recommendations, has assured that workforce issues remain on the public transportation agenda. The report, Workforce Development: Public Transportation's Blueprint for the 21st Century, remains a vital resource for the industry.