Apprenticeship Program (King County Transit)

King County Transit operates a small apprenticeship program that has been in place for decades. The program is designed to provide apprentices with a pathway to higher wages than they would otherwise be able to earn. In order to provide this pathway, apprentices are trained to become journey-level mechanics over the course of a long, fully paid apprenticeship. The program is aimed at current frontline employees of King County Transit working to clean buses and rail cars on in similar roles. 4-6 people become apprentices per year, and while the upfront cost of this kind of training is significant, King County Transit sees long-term benefits in training employees to take on more technical roles.

Contact: 

Mr. Jonathan Halperin, Workforce Development Program Manager

E-mail: Jonathan.Halperin@kingcounty.gov​

Apprenticeship and Upgrade Programs (Bay Area Rapid Transit)

BART provides this program as a pathway to entry into jobs that require intensive technical qualifications. Employees already working for BART in some capacity are given the chance to apply to this program and are given extensive, paid on-the-job training until they can eventually take on one of these technical positions full-time. the program has been very successful for the 2-3 years it has been running, and BART is looking to expand the number of jobs it provides in the future.
 
Contact:
May Cooper

Bus Safety and Training (Pierce Transit)

Pierce Transit has an extensive program for training new bus operators by allowing them to serve as relief operators working on various routes. This Relief Transit Operator training consists of 4 days of onboarding, which serve the role of an orientation to explain benefits, agency policies, union policies, and similar information. This is followed by a 29 day training program. Operators without a Commercial Driver’s License are given the opportunity to train and test for one. Other operators go directly to route training and mentorship by a more experienced driver.  This RTO training has existed in its present form for about 4 years, with a mentorship program in place for the past 18 months. During the past year, the program trained roughly 150 new operators. Pierce Transit is now working on introducing online videos of each route being driven so drivers can familiarize themselves with the routes even before they have a chance to drive them in person.

Contact:

Mrs. Samantha Einarson

E-mail: seinarson@piercetransit.org

Career Development Program (King County Transit)

King County Transit has a dedicated staff member who provides career advice and coaching for many frontline employees. This employee conducts roughly 10 1-1 coaching sessions each week as well as running several workshops focused on professional skills. The program is extremely popular, giving this one staff member a very high workload across multiple locations. Because of this, King County Transit is looking to expand the program and increase the volume of session they can run in the future.

Contact: 

Mr. Jonathan Halperin, Workforce Development Program Manager

E-mail: Jonathan.Halperin@kingcounty.gov​

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: 

Mr. George F. Fields, SPHR, Director, Training & EmployeeDevelopment

E-mail: gfields@gcrta.org

Career Pathways Program (Los Angeles Metro)

​LA Metro’s Career Pathways program is a comprehensive, career-long program of training and support that guides employees through each step of their careers and allows them to move not only directly up the career ladder, but also to other departments and roles within the organization. The program is based on a vision in which employees can work at LA Metro for their entire professional careers while advancing from frontline positions all the way to upper executive roles. In order to accomplish this, LA Metro deliberately recruits and trains employees for hard-to-fill frontline positions such as rail and bus mechanics and then helps them advance form there. The Metro Career Pathways program also includes a pathway of internships to bring young people into full-time employment with LA Metro in the first place through entry-level training programs.
 
Contact:
 

Mr. Daniel A. Dzyacky, Service Operations Superintendent

E-mail: dzyackyd@metro.net

Joint Apprenticeship Committee (Los Angeles Metro)

The Joint Apprenticeship Committee program is a collaboration between LA Metro and a nearby technical school, LA Trade Tech. This program is designed to address a potential shortage of rail car maintenance workers as many of the existing workers retire in the coming years. In this program, expert instructors teach courses on the theoretical aspects of maintenance work at La Trade Tech. then, their students are given practical experience at LA Metro and trained to eventually work at LA Metro.
 
Contact: 
 

Mr. Daniel A. Dzyacky, Service Operations Superintendent

E-mail: dzyackyd@metro.net​

 

Maintenance Program (Pierce Transit)

Over the past 3 years, Pierce Transit has developed a new series of maintenance training programs. This includes training people with some mechanical experience to be journey-level mechanics, allowing them to work at Pierce or nearly any other transit agency. Additionally, there are special certification trainings for forklift and electric bus maintenance, as well as practical exams for other certifications. Pierce has also introduced a Mech 1 training for those with less mechanical experience in order for them to begin their careers as mechanics.

Contact:

Mrs. Samantha Einarson

E-mail: seinarson@piercetransit.org

Mentoring Program (King County Transit)

King County Transit has a mentorship program offered to all frontline hourly employees. This program consists of a combination of 1-1 mentoring and home study work from a curriculum they provide. The program lasts 4-6 months and is mostly focused on conceptual, rather than directly practical, learning. Recently, there have been roughly 20 pairs at a time. however, the only limiting factor on this is the number of employees willing to be mentors, and King County Transit is currently looking for more to expand the program.

Contact: 

Mr. Jonathan Halperin, Workforce Development Program Manager

E-mail: Jonathan.Halperin@kingcounty.gov​

Lean Program (Pierce Transit)

See Manager and Supervisor Training.

Contact:

Mrs. Samantha Einarson

E-mail: seinarson@piercetransit.org

Rail Car Apprenticeship Program (Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority)

The Rail Car Apprenticeship program is a training and apprenticeship program for future rail car mechanics. The first six weeks of the program are a true apprenticeship, while the remainder of the thirty month program is based around further training and increasingly independent work. At the conclusion of the training, trainees have the aptitude and qualifications necessary to work in rail maintenance.

Contact: 

Mr. George F. Fields, SPHR, Director, Training & Employee Development

E-mail: gfields@gcrta.org


 

Second Chance Program (Chicago Transit Authority)

The Second Chance program is designed to help residents of Chicago facing barriers to employment, including homelessness, nonviolent criminal records, or a history of substance abuse. Second Chance is a twelve month program in which participants clean buses and trains while receiving job training from the CTA.  The program serves over 250 participants at a time.  Recently, Second Chance receives a $750,000 FTA grant to add more training, including both maintenance and operations career tracks as well as individualized career coaching. CTA has partnered with City Colleges of Chicago to offer courses in subjects such as customer service and basic mechanical skills, and also offers a CDL permit course in which the CDL exam is fully paid for by the agency.

Contact:

Ms. Geisha Ester, Director, Training and ProfessionalDevelopment

E-mail: gester@transitchicago.com

Southern California Regional Transit Training Consortium (Many agencies, including: LA Metro, Big Blue Bus, Long Beach Transit, Orange County Transit)

SCRTTC is a consortium of transit agencies and other partners officially formed in 2004 to provide technical training to its members. The consortium is based on the idea that colleges have expertise in technical training that transit agencies can take advantage of in order to develop and teach courses. There are 46 members of SCRTTC, 65% of whom are transit agencies and another 25% of whom are colleges, with the final 10% being miscellaneous​ other private partners. The consortium will contract with an outside agency to develop a course and then train representative from the constituent agencies and schools to teach that course. These new trainers will then hold that course at their respective institutions with space available for employees of all SCRTTC agencies. SCRTTC has developed 31 distinct courses so far, of which 12-18 are usually taught each year, with 20 students per course.

Contact: 

Mr. David M Stumpo, Executive Director

E-mail: dstumpo@aptrex.com

Santa Monica Institute (Santa Monica Big Blue Bus)

See Management and Supervisor Training.

Contact: 

Mr. Rolando Cruz, Chief Operations Officer 

E-mail: rolando.Cruz@SMGOV.NET​

​Transit Career Ladders Training (Bay Area Rapid Transit)

BART was recently awarded an FTA grant to train 100 workers in electric and technical aspects of transit maintenance. With this money, they developed a course and taught it to 100 people both inside and outside the agency. While this program was successful on this scale, BART is now looking for funding to continue it in the future and develop similar programs in other fields. 
 
Contact
 
May Cooper

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