FTA Grant to Create "Green" Jobs
“Green” careers in public transportation got a boost this month with a $427,444 grant from the Federal Transit Administration.
With the funds, Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) will manage the Metro Transit Partnership: a collaboration among MCTC and four other Twin Cities-based organizations. The partnership’s goals are to provide training and professional development for current Metro Transit bus, rail and building maintenance technicians and to develop innovative methods of encouraging youths to pursue careers in public transportation.
The initiative will support Metro Transit’s expansion and maintenance of its advanced and hybrid bus fleet and high-tech light rail service with the 2014 opening of the Central Corridor (Green Line) and proposed extension to the southwest suburbs. The grant will also help ensure the skills of Metro Transit mechanics keep pace with new and increasing complex technologies that require critical thinking skills in mechanical diagnostics.
The grant also focuses on developing future professional maintenance workers. MCTC will coordinate job shadowing opportunities for 20 young people from north and south Minneapolis neighborhoods to encourage and expand interest in good-paying careers within the transportation industry.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak contributed his efforts toward the grant by meeting with the head of the Federal Transit Authority on behalf of the Metro Transit Partnership. “MCTC’s collaboration with Metro Transit to train workers for high-tech, green, transit-related jobs as we expand our region’s transit system is exactly the kind of effort that will create opportunity for everyone in Minneapolis’ 21st-century economy and keep our region competitive on the national and global stage,” Mayor Rybak said.
Joining MCTC in the Metro Transit Partnership will be Dakota County Technical College, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities’ iSEEK Solutions and AchieveMpls.
“MCTC is thrilled with this partnership,” said Phil Davis, President of MCTC. “To further show our commitment, the College is contributing nearly $30,000 of in-kind funding to the project, including salaries and the use of classroom space and equipment.”
As a further benefit, MCTC also will create an educational curriculum leading to a building operator certification through development of building sustainability plans. Davis noted that this element of the project aligns with Governor Mark Dayton’s aggressive goals to reduce energy consumption in public buildings.