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VTA's Training Expertise Shared Nationwide

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VTA is spreading its expertise nationally, helping to put together a standardized curriculum for training and mentoring bus operators at agencies across America.

The Transportation Learning Center, which contracts with the Federal Transit Administration, the US Department of Labor, and the Transit Cooperative Research Program to develop and support technical training partnerships, is taking a page out of VTA’s “play book” to create coach operator mentoring programs and apprenticeship programs for operators throughout the nation.

In an effort to help VTA employees advance in the transportation industry, VTA and its Coach Operators union, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 265, developed a model apprenticeship program to train VTA employees who want to move into stable, well-paying jobs as coach operators, vehicle maintenance workers, overhead line workers and light rail operators.  The TAPCA program as it’s known here (Transit Apprenticeships for Professional Career Advancement) has so far graduated 84 apprentices who completed at least 2,000 hours of classroom and on-the-job training over the year-and-a-half-long program.

VTA Assistant Superintendent Steve Jovel and VTA bus operator Jamaine Gibson are working with various agencies involved in the standardized effort to emulate VTA’s successful training program. At a meeting of the minds earlier this fall, Jovel and Gibson provided direction on the specific steps VTA has taken to get a successful program up and running, as well as different avenues for gaining funding for the programs.

“By offering our help, we gain feedback on what other agencies are doing and apply that insight to our programs to make improvements. It’s a win-win,” said Jovel, who now heads up VTA’s TAPCA program. “The biggest piece of advice we gave was reminding the groups of the importance of joint agreements and partnerships, like the one we have between management and labor groups,” said Jovel.
 
Learn more about VTA's TAPCA initiative here. 

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