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Meet Kamille Turner!

Kamille Turner
Administrative Assistant
Workforce Development and Educational Services Department

What are the job elements you focus on the most--your primary responsibilities?

I support APTA’s workforce development programs—the Early Career Program, Leadership APTA, Transit Virtual Career Network—and the American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) scholarship program. I participate in the planning process for related sessions at APTA’s major meetings and conferences and help with events on site at the meetings.

For example, I helped organize the APTF benefit golf tournament at the 2014 Rail Conference in Montréal and provided support to the promotion of the Transit Virtual Career Network at the 2014 Annual Meeting & EXPO in Houston. When APTF decided to honor Fran Hooper on her retirement from APTA by establishing a scholarship in her name, I was on the team that helped make it happen.

I also provide extensive support to the APTA committees advised by Joe Niegoski, director-educational services, and Pam Boswell, vice president-program management and educational services. I take minutes at committee meetings and post information to collaboration pages on the APTA website that only committee members can access. I send letters and memos to committee members as a heads-up for pending business and other timely issues. I help plan committee-related receptions at APTA meetings and help out when members visit the APTA offices.

Please share more about the most recent times you’ve helped out a member.

I interact with participants in the Early Career Program and Leadership APTA and participate in their conference calls and webinars.

I’m the first line of contact for class members who have questions—say, about logistics. Most of the time I can answer the questions, but if I can’t I know who to refer them to. I also provide outreach, make sure class members know what they need to know to get the most out of their experiences.

For example, I will circulate draft documents to committee members, then follow up with a survey to receive their comments and make changes in the documents. I’m on the team that schedules conference calls for program participants and supports class presentations. I also provide support to Joe Niegoski as he organizes sessions and contracts with speakers.

What have you worked on at APTA that you have taken particular pride in completing?

I’ve been part of the Transit ­Virtual Career Network since before it went live last year. The network is a one-stop online location where job seekers can learn about many of the front-line job opportunities and resources in our industry. A lot of front-line workforce employees are retiring, so a resource that can connect potential employers with employees is very important right now. The industry needs to attract new talent to meet an increasing need for public transit service.

The network also provides information on job training for public transportation careers, so people who are interested in working in the field but don’t currently have the background can learn what training they need and how they can get it.

I helped prepare the network for its soft launch in the summer of 2014, doing research, gathering information and doing member outreach for information about the job descriptions and career resources we ultimately used on the website. Following the soft launch, we did the official launch in September and used EXPO in early October for a major promotional effort.

From what I heard while interacting with people at EXPO, our work on the network has been well received. We’re continuing to expand the network. It meets a specific and widely requested need for the public transportation industry. It’s accessible here.

How did you “land” at APTA? How long have you worked here?

I’ve been at APTA about a year. I started out as a temp in the Workforce Development and Educational Services Department and received a permanent job offer when Jose Reyes, who previously held this job, took a position in APTA’s Corporate Affairs Department.

This is my first experience working in the public transportation field, but I’ve been a transit supporter and user for many years. I grew up in ­Maryland and went to Columbia University in New York City for my bachelor’s degree in international relations. I knew I wasn’t going to have a car in Manhattan, so I always used public transit when I was in school, and that pattern continued when I moved back to the D.C. area.

What professional ­affiliations do you have?

None related to transportation. I’m a member of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy and Women in Foreign Policy, based on my college background.

Could you tell us something about yourself that might surprise us?

I recently began taking classes in West African drumming. I’d never thought much about being a musician but one of my friends teaches a class. I enjoy it because it allows me to use a different part of the brain from when I’m working.
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