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APTA launches 'Early Career' program to develop future transit leaders


The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is soliciting applications for a new, year-long professional development program for individuals in the early part of their transit industry careers.

The goal of "Early Careers" is to identify rising public and private sector professionals in transportation and provide them with the "skills, knowledge insights and networks needed to grow and succeed," said APTA Chairwoman Flora Castillo and President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Melaniphy in a statement posted on the association's website.

The new program is the result of studies that identify people early in their careers who are the most vulnerable to leave the industry, they said.

APTA is soliciting nominations for the program, which will hold its inaugural session a few days prior to the 2013 APTA Rail Conference to be held June 2-5 in Philadelphia.

APTA plans to select 25 participants to enroll in the program, which will feature a variety of skill-building workshops and roundtable discussions, online collaboration technologies, social media uses and access to the industry's top leaders through a national virtual mentoring program.

The training will be designed to develop the "best of the next generation workforce — future specialists, managers and leaders — who will replace the baby boomers as they retire," Castillo and Melaniphy said.