February 19, 2010
Check out the classifieds for numerous transit career opportunities including a chief executive officer!
APTA HR Committee Exceeds Goal; Reaches Over 14,000 Students in 2009
BY JASON SCHIEDEL, Senior Project Manager, AECOM, New York, NY, and Secretary, APTA Human Resources Committee
Last year, the APTA Human Resources (HR) Committee, in collaboration with APTA’s Workforce Development Blue Ribbon Panel, launched a student outreach initiative—“9000 in ’09”—with a goal of telling 9,000 students about the many job and career opportunities available in the public transportation industry. APTA’s members and partner organizations helped the HR Committee exceed its goal by engaging almost 15,000 students.
During 2009, 25 APTA member organizations shared the results of a total of 90 student-outreach events and programs, including:
* Caltrans, with four events and programs that reached 888 students;
* Chicago Transit Authority, with six programs that reached 300 students;
* Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC), with five events and programs that reached 1,392 students;
* Lane Transit District in Eugene, OR, with one event that reached 1,600 students;
* MTA New York City Transit (NYC Transit), with numerous programs that reached more than 4,000 students;
* Orange County Transportation Authority in Orange, CA, with five events and programs that reached 2,569 students; and
* Port Authority of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, with 18 events and programs that reached 1,715 students.
APTA implemented a web-based database to capture and share the details of each event and program, including the valuable lessons learned.
Many of these lessons deal with how to capture the interest of students. When asked what the Port Authority of Allegheny County learned through its student outreach events, Katherine Gillis, training specialist, replied: “We discovered that we were often able to capture their attention with information regarding how public transportation is creating a ‘greener’ world since that is a topic with which they are familiar.”
Communicating a clear message to students is also viewed as imperative. When asked the lessons students learned at her agency’s events, DTC Employee Development Manager Denise Beaston wrote: “We emphasize the scope of opportunities in transit during the events and programs. Each participating student clearly took away the understanding that this is a business made up of all job classifications as most competing industries.”
The transit agencies noted that many of the programs and events they cited are part of greater organizational and personal efforts.
“This project was a major first step in informing our future transit leaders; however, we have to keep finding new ways and means to reach more students, attract them, provide challenging opportunities within our industry, and retain these youth,” wrote Thalia Panton, assistant vice president, NYC Transit, and director of student development for the New York Chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials.
More information about this effort is available online or from Jason Schiedel.