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Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has partnered with Bay Area community colleges and local workforce investment boards to kick off a training program that will provide up to 100 students with technical knowledge to pursue transit-related careers.BART General Manager Grace Crunican and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Region 9 Administrator Leslie Rogers met late last week to mark the program's launch.Dubbed "Transit Career Ladders Training," the program will promote transportation careers in low-income areas, unemployed and underemployed communities, and among minorities, veterans and women, BART officials said in a press release. The agency's program is aimed at helping individuals from these communities fill positions such as electricians, transit vehicle electronic technicians, and transit communication electronic technicians. The program is expected to last 23 months from start to completion. "Students will learn highly practical skills they can take directly to the workforce while BART will gain our most valuable resource: qualified, dedicated employees," said BART Assistant General Manager for Employee Relations Allison Picard, noting that 45 percent of the agency's workforce was able to retire at the start of 2015.The training program is funded by a $750,000 FTA Ladder of Opportunity grant. BART's program was one of 19 projects across 13 states that received financial backing from a $9.5 billion federal grant package to help train skilled workers for careers in the public transportation industry.