May 2, 2024

Making Connections 2024 – The National Transit Workforce Conference 

Join the ITLC-operated Transit Workforce Center (TWC), the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) national technical assistance center for workforce development, for Making Connections 2024 (MC24) - The National Transit Workforce Conference, on November 11-13, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland’s Inner Harbor! Diverse participants from transit labor and management, the frontline workforce, and stakeholders from government, nonprofit, community, education, and workforce development organizations will come together for in-depth and engaging explorations of critical workforce development issues. Building on the success of TWC’s 2022 conference in Washington, D.C., MC24 will offer expanded participation opportunities and an additional day of optional intensive sessions.


Participants will emerge from the conference with new ideas, skills, and perspectives, as they choose from over thirty sessions aligned with the goals outlined in FTA’s Transit Workforce Development Strategic Plan. The conference will include plenaries and workshops on worker safety, funding opportunities, mentoring and apprenticeship, training skills, recruitment and retention strategies, ZEV workforce transition, career advancement opportunities, workforce partnerships, and understanding and utilizing transit workforce data.


Registration will open in mid-May on the TWC website. For more information about what to expect from the conference, view a video recap of Making Connections 2022

Empowering Electric School Bus Operators: Part One of a Webinar Series

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, in conjunction with ITLC, hosted part one of a four-part webinar series, “Overview for Electric School Bus Operators,” aimed at electric school bus (ESB) operators to provide a fundamental understanding of ESB technology.


The webinar featured presentations from ESB manufacturers Bluebird, Lion, and Thomas through their respective representatives: Bluebird’s Vice President of Alternative Fuels Albert Burleigh; Lion’s Director of Customer Success Brandon Reid; and Thomas’s Charging Infrastructure Consultant Mark Richardson. Presenters covered a variety of topics to improve the general understanding of ESB components, systems, safety, and charging. With an audience of 139 participants from the electric vehicle industry, the webinar ended with an engaging Q&A session moderated by ITLC’s Senior Workforce Development Advisor Maurice Beard.


View the webinar recording, and stay tuned for updates on the remaining parts of this webinar series by subscribing to the ITLC Update.

Lion's Brandon Reid and Thomas's Mark Richardson

ITLC's Maurice Beard and Bluebird’s Albert Burleigh

Transit Workforce Development and Emerging Technologies: Panel Conversation at ITS America

ITLC’s Deputy Director Xinge Wang joined a distinguished panel at the ITS America 2024 Conference and Expo in Phoenix last week, in a session titled "A Conversation on Transit Workforce Development and Emerging Technologies.” FTA’s Acting Administrator Veronica Vanterpool moderated the session, and she praised TWC’s valuable technical assistance to agencies to help tackle workforce challenges. Fellow panelists included FTA’s Office of Research, Demonstration, and Innovation Associate Administrator Mary Leary, National Transit Institute’s Executive Director Billy Terry, and Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority’s Director of Maintenance Henry Lukasik.

The group offered great insights on addressing the impact of emerging technologies and how to develop a workforce that can help agencies leverage the capabilities of these technologies. Following the theme of the conference, “Accelerating Digital Transformation,” Xinge offered TWC’s new digital resource, the Transit Workforce Data Dashboard, which provides visual, interactive, and easily digestible workforce trends, initiatives on Zero-Emission Bus workforce transition and skills development, and agency strategies to improve recruitment and retention of the frontline workforce in the era of rapidly changing technologies.

TWC Resources Spark Interest from Regional Transit Authorities

TWC offers an abundance of helpful resources to regional transit authorities nationwide. Last month, ITLC’s Senior Director for Workforce Education Pat Greenfield highlighted these resources at a meeting with the Massachusetts Association of Regional Transit Authorities (MARTA), representing the 15 regional transit authorities across the state that provide fixed-route and paratransit service. She shared the technical assistance, initiatives, and services TWC has provided and can continue to provide to the regional authorities.


After an introduction by FTA’s Region 1 Deputy Administrator Michelle Muhlanger, who facilitated the MARTA connection, Pat led the discussion and remarked how leaders from the agencies expressed interest in TWC’s resources, including mentorship, local high school partnerships, and zero-emission vehicle resources. TWC thanks MARTA Executive Director Jeannette Orsino for the invitation, as well as FTA Regional 1 and Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Deputy Rail and Transit Administrator Tom Schiavone for their ongoing support.

TWC Needs YOUR Recruitment Materials

TWC is seeking print and digital media advertising from agencies, labor unions, and community partners to highlight effective recruitment outreach. If you have materials you are proud of that we can share with other stakeholders, we encourage you to send them to TWC's Communications Manager David Stephen at


Check out TWC’s recruitment video library to view recently added videos spotlighting frontline transit workers and their experiences in the field.

Upcoming Webinars

ATTAIN Bus Operator Apprenticeship Meeting

Join TWC’s American Transit Training and Apprenticeship Innovators Network (ATTAIN) Bus Operator Apprenticeship meeting virtually on May 17 at 1 pm ET to discuss bus operator apprenticeship! This webinar will feature short presentations from your transit peers nationwide highlighting their programs. It will also include engaging and interactive discussions on the development of mentorship and apprenticeship programs and how they benefit agencies and their workforce. 


Current members of ATTAIN and those interested in exploring apprenticeship for bus operators are welcome to attend. For more information about apprenticeships, check out TWC’s Apprenticeship FAQ page or contact Karitsa Holdzkom at

Register Here!

Iyai+ Webinar: Critical Conversations "Spotlight" on Youth

Celebrate National Transportation Week with a webinar on May 16 at 1 pm ET focusing on essential frontline workers. Join the Mineta Transportation Institute’s Executive Director Karen Philbrick, as she moderates a conversation with Introducing Youth to American Infrastructure’s Program Coordinator and Tri Delta Transit’s CEO Rashidi Barnes, the Amalgamated Transit Union’s Director of Apprenticeships and Workforce Development Jamaine Gibson, and TWC’s Communications Manager David Stephens in a youth-centered webinar highlighting the crucial role of bus operators in public transit.

Register Here!

National RTAP Webinar: Introducing the Tribal Sections of the Transit Manager's Toolkit

The National Rural Transit Assistance Program (National RTAP) is hosting a webinar on the addition of its new tribal transit pages to its Transit Manager's Toolkit on May 7, from 2-3 pm ET. Join Muscogee Creek Nation’s Transportation Coordinator Amy Hill and National RTAP staff for an introduction to the toolkit content, including guidance, case studies, regulations, funding resources, and more.

Register Here!

Federal News

USDOT Finalizes Important National Regulation to Promote Transit Safety and Protect Transit Workers

Federal Transit Administration – Apr. 9, 2024

Transit Partners

High-Speed Rail Authority Recognizes 12th Cohort Who Completed 12-Week Pre-Apprenticeship Program

California High-Speed Rail Authority – Mar. 28, 2024


Los Angeles Transportation Teamsters Ratify New Contract

International Brotherhood of Teamsters – Apr. 11, 2024

Rail Labor Applauds Final Two-Person Crew Rule

Transportation Trades Department – Apr. 2, 2024

Arlington Transit Workers Vote to Join Transit Union

ARLnow – Apr. 2, 2024

Major Victories in State Budget for Local 100 Pension Reform, Overtime Calculation Extensions, and Protection Against Spitting Incidents!

Transport Workers Union Local 100


CA: Metro Declares Emergency Over Attacks on Bus Operators

Mass Transit – Apr. 25, 2024

Fear of Getting Assaulted, Drug Use Are Factors in Denver Area's Regional Transportation Driver Shortage

The Gazette – Apr. 14, 2024

Top Transit Official Comes to Cincinnati, Announces New Rules Amid Attacks on Drivers

Local 12 News – Apr. 12, 2024

Bus Operator Assaults Rise, Lead SamTrans to Crack Down on Violators

The Mercury News – Apr. 6, 2024

International Transportation Learning Center


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