Publications and Reports

As an advocate of the labor-management training partnership model, the Center supports its programs and mission through research and information ranging from broad overviews of public transportation, training and partnerships to technical white papers to research briefs and metrics reports on the benefits of labor-management training partnerships.

All publications are available for viewing or download as free PDF files, but the Center does not generally provide documents in hard copy. For more information on our publications, please email Julie Deibel, Program Manager,Instructional Design at

All Publications

Learning by Doing

Category: | Posted: Jun, 2016 Read More »

Today, formal training is absolutely essential to produce technicians capable of providing safe, efficient and cost-effective transport services. The consequences of jeopardizing passenger and public safety are just too great to turn inexperienced workers loose on advanced transit vehicles without proper training, hoping they will learn “as they go.” The question becomes how best to construct an effective training program. This paper examines the subject of technical training and advocates “learning by doing” as an essential element to acquiring needed technical knowledge and skills. It stands to reason that someone attracted to becoming a technician is interested in working with his or her hands. Training, therefore, should make use of that natural inclination and engage students in hands-on activities throughout the entire learning process.

A Guide for the Development of Career Pathways in Transportation

Category: PartnershipsResearch and Metrics | Posted: Dec, 2015 Read More »
A Guide for the Development of Career Pathways in Transportation Preview Image

This guidebook is developed by the Transportation Learning Center working with Jobs for the Future for the Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education.

This Guide outlines the steps that transportation industry stakeholders can take to develop or expand Career Pathways to focus on the skills, competencies, and credentials needed for high-demand jobs in the transportation industry and its subsectors. Specifically, this Guide: 

• Provides a rationale for change, by describing the increasing need for skilled workers in the transportation industry and concerns over the prospect of a skilled worker shortage over the next 10 years if nothing is done;
• Identifies the potential of Career Pathways systems for addressing the skill needs of the current and future transportation industry workforce; and
• Describes a process for developing Career Pathways in transportation. 

Strengthening Skills Training and Career Pathways Across the Transportation Industry

Category: Research and MetricsWhite Papers | Posted: Aug, 2015 Read More »
Strengthening Skills Training and Career Pathways Across the Transportation Industry Preview Image

The collection and analysis of employment and skills data highlights the future growth areas and employment “hot spots” in transportation by industry subsectors, occupations, career areas, and geographic areas. It also emphasizes the need for skills training and Career Pathways across the transportation industry. The report identifies high-demand jobs with good wages, and analyzes the patterns in the education and work experience required for entry, as well as on-the-job training required for new entrants to gain full competency.

Pathways to Equity: Effective Transportation Career Partnerships

Category: White Papers | Posted: Jan, 2014 Read More »

Through the generous support of the Rockefeller Foundation, The Leadership Conference Education Fund awarded a seed grant to The Transportation Learning Center for the research, writing and production of this report. Expanding access to quality careers in transit systems and in transit capital construction has been the focus of innovative local programs around the country in recent years. This report presents case profiles of two of the most promising examples – one for youth Career Pathways into transit industry careers, and one for targeted construction hiring and training of disadvantaged workers for transit capital projects. This report focuses on two local case profiles for transit Career Pathways: a Project Labor Agreement in Los Angeles providing expanded access to jobs and training for public transportation capital construction, and a youth Career Pathways partnership in Philadelphia linking career and technical education with future transit careers. Both of these models, if taken to scale in the transit industry, can have positive impacts, locally and nationally, for improving access to family-sustaining careers and training and for improving educational outcomes for disadvantaged groups – urban low-income and minority groups as well as women – who have previously been under-represented in these occupations.

Method and Processes for Transit Training Metrics and Return on Investment

Category: Research and Metrics | Posted: Oct, 2012 Read More »

This guidebook is developed by the Transportation Learning Center to help transit agencies determine benefits and return on investment (ROI) stemming from their training programs. When calls are being made to cut or even eliminate training for vehicle operators and technicians, training departments are finding it necessary to justify their existence. Applying a five-level assessment methodology, the guidebook illustrates the training benefits derived from over 12,000 training opportunities provided to technical occupations by the Keystone Transit Training Partnership formed in Pennsylvania. Results, which include a return of five to 12 times the training investment, serve as an example of what other agencies could demonstrate in terms of quantifia ble training benefits. The five-level procedure offered in the guidebook is progressive, beginning with rather easy steps agencies can take to prove the value of training and building from there depending on available resources.

Transit Green Jobs Training Partnership

Category: Partnerships | Posted: Aug, 2012 Read More »
Transit Green Jobs Training Partnership Preview Image

The Department of Labor selected the Transportation Learning Center as a Green Jobs funds recipient because the Center has been at the forefront of addressing the issue of insufficient training in the transit industry and building constructive partnerships between labor and management to address this critical issue. The grant succeeded in creating new training approaches and providing training to thousands of workers in key transit occupations, with a consistent focus on greening the economy and our communities.

The Green Jobs Training Partnership is built on the Center’s successful model of creating and supporting labor-management partnerships to plan and deliver transit training that provides instruction based on national standards. The Partnerships plan and carry out training, to help transit employees obtain the skills they need to stay current in an industry that is ever changing.


Frontline Workforce Training and Career Pathways Gaining Traction

Category: White Papers | Posted: May, 2012 Read More »
Frontline Workforce Training and Career Pathways Gaining Traction Preview Image

The two most urgent workforce development priorities for the frontline workforce in transit (and transportation) are (1) developing a systematic approach to more and better training for the blue collar technical workforce and (2) creating broadly available career pathways linking education and industry for jobs that don’t require a 4-year college degree. Major national attention has focused on both priorities recently.


National Joint Transit Rail Vehicle Standards Committee Report

Category: Partnerships | Posted: May, 2012 Read More »
National Joint Transit Rail Vehicle Standards Committee Report Preview Image

After seven years of diligent effort the transit industry’s National Committee on Transit Rail Car Training Standards has released its Findings and Recommendations for Implementing Standards-Driven, Partnership-Based Training.  This important document is the product of joint transit management and union subject matter experts working together to develop better industry training and thus a more efficient and effective frontline rail vehicle maintenance technician cadre.

Bus Operator Restroom Use Case Study

Category: Case Studies | Posted: Feb, 2012 Read More »
Bus Operator Restroom Use Case Study Preview Image

In collaboration with the Bus Operator National Joint Training Standards Committee, the Center is please to present Bus Operator Restroom Use, a case study and compendium of practitioner resources on restroom use, including a history of restroom use policy at Minneapolis Metro Transit. The resources in this report also include a model community restroom licensing agreement, route-specific restroom locations chart, and example collective bargaining language.

Quality Training Pays: Training Investment Pays for Itself Six Times Over

Category: Fact Sheets and Issue Briefs | Posted: Jun, 2011 Read More »
Quality Training Pays: Training Investment Pays for Itself Six Times Over Preview Image

You never know how well you are doing until you find metrics with which you can measure outcomes. The Transportation Learning Center has capitalized on this insight through a series of in-depth research reports chronicling work by labor-management partnerships in Philadelphia, PA and Albany, NY. This fact sheet outlines these findings and shows an astonishing return on training investment - 745%.