The Transit Workforce Center (TWC) is pleased to announce the launch of the American Transit Training and Apprenticeship Innovators Network (ATTAIN)
Transit agencies interested in starting apprenticeship programs for the frontline workforce as well as those with established programs are invited to join the peer network. ATTAIN will have separate committees for different occupational areas. Based on knowledge of industry needs, the initial committees will be:
- Bus Operator Apprenticeship Committee
- Bus Maintenance Apprenticeship Committee
- Railcar, Signals, and Traction Power Apprenticeship Committee
- Facilities and Elevator/Escalator Maintenance Apprenticeship Committee
Combining technical instruction with hands-on learning and providing a pathway to highly skilled and well-paid work for diverse populations, apprenticeship is widely recognized across sectors as the most effective means of building a skilled workforce. Registered apprenticeship provides a pathway to higher-skilled jobs, increased earnings, and longer-term job retention; programs help employers address transit’s aging and retiring workforce issues by formalizing succession planning and skills transfer through on-the-job learning (OJL) and mentoring. Registered apprenticeship helps minorities, women and low-skilled populations overcome barriers and gain entry-level access to family sustaining jobs in public transportation; they also provide opportunities to advance into skilled maintenance positions and beyond through further education and training. At a time when nearly all agencies are facing frontline workforce shortages, growing your own workers through time tested and proven apprenticeships makes good sense.
Membership in ATTAIN provides agencies interested in implementing an apprenticeship with continuous support from the TWC and the opportunity to learn from each other through peer dialogue. This exchange of ideas and experiences complements the individual technical assistance that ATTAIN members will receive from the TWC to help agencies learn and apply best practices for registered apprenticeship. Committee members will receive regular communications from the TWC and will be invited to participate in periodic virtual meetings and in-person meetings.
Do I have to start an apprenticeship if I join ATTAIN?
No, we do not require that agencies start an apprenticeship. ATTAIN simply allows agencies to learn about the benefits that apprenticeships offer and discern whether it is a good fit for their agency.
Can multiple individuals from the same transit agency join ATTAIN?
If each individual represents a distinct department of agency management and would benefit from personally attending the network, that is permissible.
My agency has a union. Should I tell them I’m joining ATTAIN?
Yes. You should also invite your union to join. Agencies with a unionized workforce should ensure that labor is an equal partner in the development of the apprenticeship program.