APTA | Passenger Transport
December 15, 2008

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YEAR IN REVIEW

Workforce Development: Thinking Creatively, Encouraging Participation

What will the next generation of workforce need? What should be its priorities, programs, products? How can labor and management partner to develop a systems approach for transit training?
These questions are part of a focused effort—and a key initiative of new APTA Chair Beverly A. Scott—on workforce development. Scott convened a blue-ribbon panel that held its first meeting in New York at the beginning of December, using as its baseline an internal New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority report titled “Engaging, Recognizing, and Developing the MTA Workforce.”
Workforce development took several paths in the last year, including supporting the Leadership APTA Class of 2008. The members of this class undertook an array of projects, including “Finding Public Transportation’s Green Voice,” “Making TransitVision 2050 a Reality,” analyzing the policy issues surrounding passage of a new federal transportation authorization bill, and building labor relations for today and tomorrow.
APTA also launched its first Youth Summit to Advance Public Transportation, “Teening Up for a Greener World.” Almost 50 high school juniors and seniors from across the U.S. came to Washington in June to participate, staying on the campus of the Catholic University of America.
Activities during the three-day event included visits to Capitol Hill and sessions introducing participants to a broader understanding of public transportation and the environment, and helping them to learn how they can promote a healthier environment by being strong advocates for public transportation.
Part of engaging the next generation of industry professionals is to think innovatively, which is why APTA launched its first online course for the rail industry, a joint collaboration of public, private, and labor efforts. This course, which resulted from a request by the Rail CEOs Committee, will be the first of many.
In addition to making training available online, APTA increasingly leveraged the Internet to save members both time and travel dollars, holding committee, task force, and subcommittee meetings online as well.

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