The 2013 APTA Rail Conference, June 2-5 in Philadelphia, features several new sessions this year focused on training for frontline employees, passenger rail safety, careers for veterans, and funding strategies for public transit.
On June 4, the conference will feature “Investing in Technical Training for Frontline Employees,” which builds on APTA’s adopted training standards for rail maintenance occupations including elevator and escalators, vehicles, signals, and traction power.
This interactive session highlights a new program recently funded by FTA. Under this program, the Transportation Learning Center, a nonprofit organization that offers training partnerships to improve organizational and workforce performance, will collaborate with a consortium of APTA member rail transportation agencies and unions to develop courseware for rail signals training.
Another new session, “All Aboard! FRA’s New Clear Signal for Action (CSA) Program for Passenger Railroads,” on June 5 explores risk reduction methods for addressing accidents due to human factors, the largest category of accidents in the railroad industry. The CSA program could help develop commuter railroads’ System Safety Plans, which are required by the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.
The Mineta Transportation Institute’s (MTI) National Transportation Finance Center will host a pre-conference summit on June 1, “Mineta National Policy Summit on Transportation Finance: Catching Up With the Rest of the World.” This program will focus on the most recent results of MTI’s public opinion poll to assess how Americans feel about various federal funding mechanisms for transportation infrastructure. (See last year’s report.)
The conference also features a Veteran’s Job Fair June 4 at the Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, starting at 3 p.m. The job fair, co-sponsored by APTA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program, will highlight career paths in public transportation including management, operations, maintenance, engineering, and manufacturing. The Hiring Our Heroes program has hosted more than 430 job fairs in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, with more than 18,400 veterans and military spouses obtaining employment. The job fair is an outgrowth of APTA’s Military/Transportation Cooperative Initiative Task Force. Employers and job seekers can find registration details here.
The June 1 opening reception, sponsored by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, the host agency for the conference, will be held in the Great Stair Hall of the Philadelphia Art Museum. Conference attendees will have private access to two galleries.
In other conference news, APTA will apply for continuing education units/accreditation for several sessions.
For additional details, go to the conference website.