Pictured L-R: Jamaine Gibson, Brent Parton, Rob Gamble
On March 25, 2023, the California Transit Works’ model of workforce development was presented at The Forum, the annual conference of the National Association of Workforce Boards, in Washington DC. The US Department of Labor, Acting Assistant Secretary ETA Brent Parton, ATU Director of Apprenticeships and Workforce Development Jamaine Gibson, and California Transit Works Senior Workforce Development Strategist Rob Gamble described how public transit agencies and unions are building a High Road Training Partnership (HRTP) apprenticeship model across California and increasingly nationwide. Their session highlighted how a systematic approach to workforce development based on the principles of industry-driven, worker centered, community oriented, and measurable results addresses critical issues of equity, job quality worker voice, industry efficiency and environmental sustainability.
Rob Gamble gave a brief overview of CTW’s innovative labor/ management partnership approach to workforce development. CTW’s accomplishments so far include six US-DOL registered public transit apprenticeships, five California community college (credit bearing) certificates, 46 credit-bearing college courses, and more than 350 Career Technical Education (CTE) certificates awarded (to date) by three California community colleges, in partnership with the high road training partnerships (HRTPs) of two public transit agencies and their ATU locals. Brent Parton observed that the CTW labor/management partnership-based approach is one of the ways the United States is going to have to approach workforce development, going forward.
Jamaine Gibson discussed the partnership between the ATU International and CTW that is building groundbreaking transit apprenticeship and peer mentorship programs across California, and how the ATU International is successfully bringing the CTW HRTP model to scale across the country.
This week’s spotlight is on the High Road Training Partnership (HRTP) between the San Joaquin Rapid Transit District (SJRTD) and the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) local 256.
This partnership is relatively new, however it has started off strong. The partnership recently completed its first all day mentor meeting and mentor training meeting. All eight of the mentors and the Transportation Superintendent attended the meeting which was a special day of learning and collaboration. In 2023, they will continue to push forward with the progress that they started last year, and work towards the goals set for this year.
Additionally, in late 2022, CTW conducted a one-day basic electrical troubleshooting workshop at SJRTD for the maintenance technicians. The objective of the workshop was to share innovative basic electrical concepts and troubleshooting procedures, including hands-on practice. By the end of the workshop each student had to troubleshoot and diagnose 25 different electrical defects! This type of training is necessary to prepare technicians for a future in bus maintenance as California moves closer to the implementation of its innovative clean transit initiative, which mandates zero emission bus transportation by year 2040.
Union is industry-leader in developing innovative transit apprenticeship programs across North America
Silver Spring, MD – As the transit industry leader in workforce development programs, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) has announced a partnership with California Transit Works (CTW) to administer nearly $10 million in grants for groundbreaking apprenticeship and peer mentorship programs across California.
A U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship Ambassador, the ATU (www.atu.org) is the largest transit union in North America, representing over 200,000 members. The CTW (www.catransitworks.org) is a statewide consortium of transit agencies, labor unions, and community colleges that promotes high road training partnerships that draw on the knowledge and skills of frontline workers to address critical issues in public transit.
"The work that the ATU and CTW are doing right now is so important in California," said ATU International President John Costa, a member of the CTW Advisory Board. "The work that is happening, the partnerships that are being built, the apprenticeship programs, and the career pathways we're creating have led to an innovative model that we're starting to spread across the country to get these programs to more of our members. These programs are critical to preparing our members for the changing technology in the transition to zero-emission vehicles. They have changed the lives of our members by advancing their careers. Becoming the fiscal agent for these impactful grants is a natural progression to our long and productive partnership with CTW. We look forward to continuing this incredible work in this new capacity."
CTW is a High Road Training Partnerships (HRTP) grant recipient, funded by the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB), to further the mission of addressing income inequality, economic competitiveness, and climate change through regional skills strategies designed to support resilient communities across California. The $9,989,385 in grants will support current and future ATU labor-management High Road Training Partnerships and programs at 13 transit agencies in California, promoting good-paying jobs with benefits and career opportunities.
"ATU International has a long history of supporting CTW in building labor-management partnerships in California," said Deb Moy, a nationally recognized organizational change expert and CTW Co-Founder and Organizational Strategist. "The ATU will bring its national experience with developing workforce development programs to its new role of fiscal agent for CTW grants from the CWDB to advance high road training partnerships in California, changing workers' lives. This partnership is exciting because of our commitment to frontline workers and the ripple effect it will have across the country."
CTW grant activities include technical assistance and funding to the 13 HRTPs for operations and maintenance apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships, and peer mentoring programs for frontline workers. CTW also convenes statewide workgroups to address transit industry needs, focusing on frontline workers, including the conversion to zero-emission buses, the need for frontline worker safety and technical training, and the need for outreach, recruitment, and retention of new frontline workers, with special emphasis on underserved and priority population communities.
-ATU International Press Release
2022 was a very busy year for the Workforce Investment Network (WIN). WIN is a High Roads Training Partnership (HRTP) between Golden Gate Transit and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1575. In 2022 they teamed up with Santa Rosa Junior College/Adult Education and California Transit Works to create a Bus Operator Pre-Apprenticeship Program to help find and train future bus operators.
Together, with the College of Marin, they have created a Bus Operator Apprenticeship Program where the apprentices earn college credit for participating in the apprenticeship. WIN has participated in many presentations to educate others on what they have learned during their process in creating these programs. WIN also has a fully functioning bus operator peer mentoring program that is highly engaged and were very involved in the creation of the curriculum for the Pre-Apprenticeship practicum classes.
WIN is looking forward to 2023.
WIN (Workforce Investment Network) peer mentors, Golden Gate Transit and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1575 leadership attended the annual apprenticeship stakeholders meeting held at the College of Marin. Also in attendance were California Transit Works, College of Marin and Santa Rosa Junior College (SJRC) staff, and John Dunn from the Bay Area Community College Consortium.
The attendees went over the progress made in the last year and discussed what is working and what needs to be improved. They presented an overview of the program, best practices, and building and implementing the apprenticeship program. SRJC did a presentation on the Pre-Apprenticeship Program and we ended with the road ahead and what to expect.
What an inspiring day to watch this incredible group work together during this historic gathering of Colleges, Labor, and Management!
-GGT Bus Operator Apprenticeship Stakeholders meeting with ATU, GGT, COM, SRJC, and CTW