Career Pathways and Ladders

The Transportation Learning Center has been working to develop effective education and career pathways for young people who are not headed to a four-year college straight out of high school.  One-third of the frontline technical workforce in operations and maintenance plan to retire in the next five years. 

To address the looming workforce challenges the transit industry faces, the Center brings labor and management together to develop productive solutions addressing their training needs: apprenticeship programs, mentoring and credentialing. Apprenticeship programs benefit both employers and their workers.

The Transportation Learning Center and its partners work collaboratively on creating Career Pathways in transit and transportation generally.  Together we explore, establish, strengthen and expand programs that:

• Help interest young people in transportation careers
• Prepare young people and adults from the communities in which transit operates for these family-supportive jobs available in transportation
• Encourage retention among new recruits, because they are prepared and familiar with the skills and abilities needed for employment in these organizations
• Link to careers with ladders of opportunity in the field

Quality training programs provide employers with a steady supply of skilled labor, improved equipment reliability and safety, and a high return on investment. For workers, apprenticeships provide enhanced job security, an opportunity to upgrade or learn new skills, and a career ladder for advancement within the organization.  With funding and technical assistance from the U.S. Department of Labor, Department of Transportation – Federal Transit Administration and the TRB/Transit Cooperative Research Program the Center has worked with local and national leaders to develop an industry-wide system of qualification that includes apprenticeship in rail, elevator/escalator, and bus maintenance occupations. The Center is now working towards nationwide implementation of these apprenticeships within transit agency locations.

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