Helping Veterans Pursue New Careers
Experts say the public transportation industry will soon face a severe shortage of skilled employees as thousands of workers approach retirement age.
(NAPSI)—A growing number of veterans are finding themselves on the road to a new career thanks to an organization that has represented the public transit industry for over 100 years.
Workforce development—attracting, developing and retaining a diverse workforce—is thought by many to be critical to the continuing success of the public transportation industry.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) projects that over the next five years, the industry will face a severe shortage of skilled and seasoned employees as thousands of workers from the baby-boom generation approach retirement.
Other significant workforce challenges include a generally tight labor market, an increase in technological requirements across job functions and the growing diversity of the workforce.
Opportunities For Veterans
In recent years, APTA has encouraged its members to recruit veterans for careers in public transportation as a way to fulfill their workforce needs.
Said Flora Castillo, APTA Chair, “We have great employees who ensure our riders are safe and on time every day. We appreciate our employees who are veterans, as well as the other members of our diverse employee base-both technical and non-technical-who bring their unique skills to our riders. These veterans have many transferable skills that fit into public transportation and we welcome them to join our dynamic and growing industry.”
She added that in addition to bringing a wide range of skills and experience, veterans often have the ability to demonstrate exemplary leadership skills.
The U.S. Department of Defense has identified the public transportation industry as offering an array of career opportunities for veterans, including vehicle operations, vehicle maintenance, facilities, track and road maintenance, safety and security, and clerical, telecommunications, administrative and managerial staff.
Hiring Our Heroes
In order to help match the needs of the industry with the needs of veterans, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation created Hiring Our Heroes.
This type of hiring fair, in which APTA has participated, attempts to recruit veterans and their spouses for positions across all sectors of the public transportation industry, including engineering, operations, manufacturing, technology and others.
Said Castillo, “Our industry provides great opportunities for returning veterans, from communications officers, to maintenance, and accounting to operations, planning to IT, and of course engineering. Their leadership skills, work ethic and training are a perfect fit for our industry.”
Other Workforce Initiatives
APTA has a number of other programs designed to enhance workforce development, including an early career program, a midlevel managers magnification program, Leadership APTA for those with executive leadership career aspirations, and a student ambassador program for undergraduate students.
To learn more about these programs, visit www.apta.com.