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Summit on public transportation workforce development set

With fuel price increases, an emphasis on green transportation and a growing reliance on public transportation by retiring baby boomers, public transportation has been in the spotlight like never before. As a result, interest and ridership are up. But a lack of qualified workers may be a roadblock in the otherwise bright future of the industry.

The conference "Solutions Summit for Public Transportation Workforce Development" is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 10, at the Fargo Holiday Inn. The event will bring experts from across the country together to exchange ideas and develop strategies to address this need for workers and leaders.

"The need for professionals in the public transit could significantly hamper the industry's ability to meet the mobility needs of its clients," said Jill Hough, director of the Small Urban and Rural Transit Center, a sponsor of the conference. "We're looking at how we can develop workers and leaders from technicians, mechanics and drivers to planners, schedulers and administrators."

Representatives from universities, public transit agencies, consulting companies and other organizations interested in a healthy public transportation industry should attend. "This issue is crucial for all communities. Meeting growing demand for workers in public transportation will require innovative approaches," Hough says.

Cost of the conference is $75 and registration is required by Sept. 1. For more information, go to www.surtc.org/workforcesummit or call 1-8082. Attendees will hear from healthcare professionals who have addressed similar issues and have found solutions to attract, develop and retain individuals to fill key positions. Breakout sessions will allow representatives from government, education, industry and other organizations to brainstorm solutions and approaches to meeting the need for workers in public transit.

The Small Urban and Rural Transit Center is a program of the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute at NDSU. Co-sponsors include the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, American Public Transportation Association, Community Transportation Association of America, the Council on University Transportation Centers and the Federal Transit Administration.

Published in NDSU's staff newsletter
It's Happening at State
Aug. 26, 2009

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