Career Pathways Program (Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority)

The Career Pathways Program is funded by and FTA grant and works to provide the opportunity for careers in transit to new employees, with a special focus on low-income, minority, female, and veteran potential employees. The program includes both training for entry-level jobs in frontline positions and internships for college students. These programs are offered in cooperation with local community colleges as well as a community-based Cleveland nonprofit called El Barrio Workforce Development. El Barrio provides some of the training offered, including 4 weeks focused on job readiness and customer service skills, as well as helping with outreach and recruitment among women, veterans, minorities, and disabled people.

Contact:  George F. Fields, SPHR, Director, Training & Employee Development

College Internship Program (Chicago Transit Authority)

The CTA runs a year-round program offering internships to undergraduate and graduate college students. There are spring, fall, and summer sessions of this program, serving roughly fifty interns at a time. The spring and fall programs are part time, with interns working 15-20 hours a week, while the summer program is full-time. Individual departments within the CTA suggest relevant projects for interns to work on and provide opportunities for development to their interns, and an internship fair at the end of each session allows these interns to present about their projects.

Contact:  Geisha Ester, Director, Training and Professional Development

Intern Development Academy (Orange County Transportation Authority)

The Intern Development Academy is a part of OCTA’s college intern program. IDA is a new program that has been run one time so far with six modules taught to 40 interns over the course of a session. Each of these modules in an hour long and covers a topic ranging from general professional development to what kinds of careers people have in the transit industry. In the future, many interns suggested that the modules be longer and more detailed.

Contact:  Julie A. Espy, Manager, Learning & Development

Internship Program (Santa Monica Big Blue Bus)

The city of Santa Monica has an internship program that places interested college students in many areas of city government, including Big Blue Bus as a city-run transit agency. Individual departments within Big Blue Bus can apply to host interns by detailing what these interns will be doing, and the city then places applicants into departments. Over the past summer, six interns were placed in various departments of Big Blue Bus.

Contact:  Rolando Cruz, Chief Operations Officer

One Summer Chicago (Chicago Transit Authority)

One Summer Chicago is a program serving high school juniors and seniors in the Chicago area. The program has run for two summers so far, most recently serving roughly 80 students. The students are enrolled for about 25 hours per week, spending four days a week at a department within the CTA and the remaining day in various professional development workshops teaching skills such as financial literacy and personal branding. The program also includes training by mentors in various departments at CTA and lunches with senior CTA executives.

Contact:  Geisha Ester, Director, Training and Professional Development

Summer High School Intern Program (Orange County Transportation Authority)

The Summer High School Intern Program is a modified version of the Intern Development Academy described above. Like that academy, it is broken down into a series of modules. In this case, the modules are adopted to better serve high school students. For example, rather than a panel of early-career professionals, the HS intern program might have a panel of college students explaining what they are already doing to pursue their interest in transit.

Contact:  Julie A. Espy, Manager, Learning & Development

Vocational Training (Chicago Transit Authority)

The CTA also runs a vocational training program in partnership with various schools in Chicago. This program is designed for students who are also receiving diesel mechanic training through their high schools and offers practical experience working on CTA equipment to compliment the theoretical classroom​ training these students are typically enrolled in. Their training includes both courses such as OSHA compliance and a seven week program offering practical experience helping with maintenance.

Contact:  Geisha Ester, Director, Training and Professional Development

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