August 06, 2021

Van Hollen, Cardin, Brown, Raskin Applaud $5 Million To Launch FTA’s First-Ever Transit Workforce Center

Based in Silver Spring, the Center will help address the national transit worker shortage and improve diversity and equity

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Anthony G. Brown and Jamie Raskin (all MD) released the following statement applauding the recently announced $5 million to establish and run the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) first Transit Workforce Center in Silver Spring, Maryland: 

“Our frontline transit workers have done an extraordinary job throughout this pandemic keeping our country moving and connecting our communities. The $5 million grant to establish and run the FTA’s first Transit Workforce Center is an important investment in our essential transit workforce. Through these partnerships, we can ensure workers are well-trained and give them the education and best practices to stay safe on the job. 

“We welcome this new center to Silver Spring as we continue to serve the broader National Capital Region’s transit needs. This is a great first step to developing a growing transit workforce to meet the demands of a modern, transit-oriented transportation system. We continue to strongly advocate for a long-term plan and investment in the training of the next generation of transit workers.”     

Public transportation faces challenges with training and workforce retention. With a median age of 52 for key frontline transit jobs, it’s estimated that more than 120 percent of today’s transit workforce would need to be hired and/or re-trained in the next ten years.

Senator Van Hollen and Congressman Brown have introduced the National Transit Workforce Training Act in the House and Senate respectively. Senator Cardin and Congressman Raskin are original co-sponsors. The legislation would establish a National Transit Frontline Training Center to provide hands-on training for the next generation of transportation workers, share best practices and award grants for transit career programs and apprenticeships. This legislation was included in the House-passed INVEST in America Act.