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Center Presents at APTA Workforce Summit

Posted May 2018

“Let me start with three data points:
90 percent
32 percent
0.66-0.88 percent”

That’s how Transportation Learning Center Executive Director Jack Clark opened his presentation at the April 25 Workforce Summit at the American Public Transportation Association.

He went on to explain that 90 percent represents the portion of the transit workforce involved in direct operations or maintenance. If we aren’t addressing the needs of those frontline workers, we aren’t having the workforce development conversation we need to have.

After that, he asked how many people in the room had earned at least a Bachelor’s degree. Just about every hand went up. “That’s fairly typical for this type of conference, but recognize that we represent only 32 percent of the population.” Since more than 2/3 of the adult workforce has less than a college education. Addressing generational differences in the workforce, that’s good. We also need to acknowledge that differences across class and education are profound.

Finally, Clark noted that careful research shows that the average transit agency spends less than one percent of payroll on training. We can’t get to good answers on all the challenges we’re addressing unless there’s a big increase in training effort.

The Workforce Summit brought together dozens of agency officials, academic researchers, nonprofit and for profit groups associated with transit to discuss workforce challenges around the changing role of transit in providing overall mobility services.

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