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FTA awards $7 million in transit workforce development funds

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will award $7 million in workforce development grants to 17 organizations in 12 states, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced on Friday.

The Innovative Transit Workforce Development Program will help public transit agencies, technical colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations and Indian tributes to prepare a future workforce of transit professionals, with a particular emphasis on training people in emerging technologies, USDOT officials said in a prepared statement.

The grants include $795,334 to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

The FTA received a total of 64 eligible applications seeking more than $30 million in funds for the fiscal-year 2012 program. In FY2011, FTA provided $3 million for 12 transit workforce development programs.

"A well educated workforce is vital to ensuring that our nation's economy continues to grow and that the transportation industry has qualified individuals to keep our transit systems competitive," LaHood said.

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More News from 1/14/2013