VTA New Operator Apprenticeship: Fact Sheet

Through the hard work of VTA and ATU through the Joint Workforce Investment (JWI) program, VTA and ATU have successfully established “coach operator” as “worthy of apprenticeship status”. This is a high honor. It is official recognition and respect for the multiple skills it takes to be a professional coach operator.

VTA’s “Coach Operator Apprenticeship” program is now certified:

  • United States Department of Labor (USDOL)
  • State of California Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS)

VTA and ATU “Light Rail Operator Apprenticeship” application is pending. It will be certified as a formal apprenticeship program by early 2017. It will also be the first of its kind in the State of California.

VTA has received several grants through Mission College and NOVA (workforce board), to support apprenticeship programs. The California Labor Federation’s Workforce and Economic Development (WED) program is actively assisting VTA and ATU in securing more resources for apprenticeship.

1. Who can be a coach operator apprentice?

Everyone who enters the full coach operator technical training program at VTA.

2. Is coach operator apprenticeship mandatory?

Yes, it is a condition of employment at VTA. New hires fill out the apprenticeship paperwork at new employee orientation. Current employees who transfer to coach operator fill out the apprenticeship paperwork during their first week in coach operator technical training.

3. What is coach operator apprenticeship?

Coach operator apprenticeship is a formal apprenticeship registered with the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS), AND the United States Department of Labor Apprenticeship (USDOL). It is the first registered coach operator apprenticeship in California and in the United States.

   A. The coach operator apprenticeship program lasts 18 months from the date apprentices begin coach operator technical training classes.

   B. There are several parts of the coach operator apprenticeship program:

1.   Related Supplemental Instruction “RSI”:

1.1 Part 1: Coach operator technical training classes

1.2 Part 2: Joint Workforce Investment (JWI) training class/mentoring

      2.   On the job training “OJT”: 2000 hours minimum (includes JWI day-to-day mentoring)

4. What do coach operator apprentices receive upon graduation of the full

18-month program?

  1. Up to 18 units of college credit from Mission College (12 units of credit for coach operator technical training and JWI classes; and 6 units for work experience classes)
  2. A California Community Colleges Certificate of Achievement (if the apprentice completes the entire 18 units of coursework listed in 4A above)
  3. Certificate of Completion, California Division of Apprenticeship Standards
  4. Certificate of Completion, US Department of Labor

5. Who oversees the coach operator apprenticeship?

A formal labor/management committee comprised of equal number of VTA and ATU Local 265 members. This committee meets at least once a quarter.

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