Friday, October 9, 2020 8:00:00 AM
At the first of four socially distant ceremonies, 15 bus operators received their journeyworker certificate issued by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.
Starting on Oct. 9 and over the course of four socially distanced events in October and November, 65 operators will receive a journeyworker certificate issued by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.
"Even in the face of the ongoing pandemic, it's important we do something to celebrate and recognize their achievement," Alec Johnson, apprenticeship coordinator, said. "It's a lot of work and during this time, operators need to feel connected even more."
The bus operator journeyworker certificate is the capstone to 13 months or more of training and field experience in the apprenticeship program.
"This program is important because it demonstrates our shared goals of emphasizing bus operation as a skilled trade with ongoing training and support," Brian Funk, deputy chief of operations – bus, said. "Together, we help create a standard for our profession."
Due to the pandemic, the previous celebration in May was canceled. Adapting to the situation, instead of one large event, four events with smaller groups of operators, plus representatives from Metro Transit and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) leadership, will take part in the socially distant celebrations.
Since 2018, the mentorship component of the apprenticeship connected new-hire operators during four phases to support operators and help them succeed on the job. To date, 90 operators have earned a journeyworker certificate with another 100 apprentices working toward certification in 2021.