Today, Congressman Sires cosponsored H.R. 929, the Transportation Job Corps Act of 2011, which was introduced by Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and will create a career ladder grant program within the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration. H.R. 929 is supported by a broad coalition of Community service organizations, labor, and transit agencies such as the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Transportation Trades Department AFL-CIO (TTD), Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Community Service Society (CSS), and The Corps Network.
"This legislation will not only provide job training for existing workers, but will also provide a capable replacements for aging public transportation industry workers," said Congressman Sires. "With a well trained workforce, our transit agencies are able to operate effectively and efficiently."
Through this legislation, four different grant programs would be created to address job retention and job creation. The Basic Skills Education and Pre-Apprenticeship Skills Grants would provide funds for educational institutions and non-profit organizations to perform outreach and remedial education for "disconnected youth" interested in the transportation industry. According to a report by the Community Service Society, "disconnected youth," are individuals between the ages of 16 to 24 who are not enrolled in school and have been unemployed for at least six months. Apprenticeship Grants would allow transit agencies to develop labor-management apprenticeship programs. The Transit Worker Education and Retention Grants would provide training for workers and give them the skills they need to retain their jobs and advance their careers. Lastly, the Workforce Diversity Grants would increase education opportunities for those who are disadvantaged and underrepresented among transit management.
"This legislation will increase the opportunities available to youth who are most in need," said Sires. "I am looking forward to working with my colleague from New York and my other colleagues on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to move this bill forward in the legislative process."