BART receives $750,000 DOT grant for workforce development
On August 25th, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced $9.5 million in grants to go toward training and developing tomorrow’s transportation workforce, $750,000 of which will go to BART. Responsive government is dependent on skilled public employees, and building careers in transit is a priority for BART as the aging system and growing regional population present new maintenance, engineering, and operational challenges.
BART’s Congressional Delegation, including Representatives Jackie Speier, Barbara Lee, Mike Honda, Eric Swalwell, and Mark DeSaulnier, has worked tirelessly to support the development and training of transit sector employees.
“BART’s reliability is the key to keeping the Bay Area moving, and its reliability depends on its workers. This training grant will bring the next generation into BART’s repair shops and offer great opportunities for people struggling to gain the skills needed to feed and house their families in the Bay Area,” said Congresswoman Jackie Speier. “This is a win-win for the riders of BART, for the allied agencies including our community colleges, and for BART workers.”
BART will use the funding to establish the Transit Career Ladders Training (TCLT) Program, which will create direct and accessible pathways to employment in the transit industry by partnering with Workforce Investment Boards and community colleges in the Bay Area. The TCLT program will promote transportation careers in low-income areas, unemployed and underemployed communities, and among minorities, veterans, and women in order to foster a culture of innovation. Diverse perspectives on how different communities interact with transit contribute to a better understanding of how the Bay Area moves, and results in higher-quality and more responsive service to customers. TCLT will also support and enhance existing technical programs at local colleges through real-world interaction with the transit system.
"I am pleased BART and BART's Transit Career Ladders Training have been recognized to receive this highly competitive federal funding," added Congresswoman Barbara Lee. "These funds will support efforts to build ladders of opportunity into the middle class for public transportation workers while empowering them with the critical skills needed to maintain and operate our region and nation's transportation and transit infrastructure."
The TCLT program is expected to last 23 months from outreach to certification of the technical training classes, and will focus on training electricians, electrical engineers, and train control electronic technicians.
Young people will now have extra opportunity to enter into a career in transit – and BART looks forward to promoting new talent and growing existing expertise in its workforce.
The program will run through 2017.