Expanding Apprenticeship Opportunities for Public Transportation

Posted March 2015

Apprenticeship has emerged over the past year as a promising approach to quality training for America’s frontline workforce, particularly in public transportation.  The Obama administration in 2014 made expanding apprenticeship training a national goal.  It has proposed doubling the number of people participating in apprenticeship training - from 350,000 to 700,000.  The public transportation industry is well positioned to participate in the push toward more and better apprenticeship training for the frontline workforce.  In an industry-wide collaborative effort staffed by the Transportation Learning Center over the past twelve years, the industry has:
*  Developed consensus national training standards for six key frontline
    occupations (Bus Maintenance Technicians and Operators, and
    Maintenance Techs for Transit Elevator-Escalator, Signals, Rail Car,
    and Traction Power). 
*  Received US DOL approval for new registered apprenticeships
    covering Maintenance Technicians for Transit Bus, Rail Car, and
    Elevator-Escalator, with new apprenticeships under development for
    Signals Technicians and Bus Operators.

The Transportation Learning Center is currently developing a multi-agency, industry-wide proposal for apprenticeship in the public transportation industry, as part of a US DOL $100 million grant competition for expanding apprenticeship.  The Center’s proposed project will support local implementation of new apprenticeships in transit maintenance fields, along with developing and piloting the new apprenticeship for Bus Operators.  Interested transit leaders should contact the Center’s Executive Director, Jack Clark, at 301.565.4716 or

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