GCRTA donates two buses to help CDL trainees gain real-world experience

Oct. 7, 2022
The donation is one element to the partnership between GCRTA and Cuyahoga Community College, which aims to promote workforce readiness.

The growing partnership between Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) is taking another step forward.

GCRTA will donate two motorcoaches to the college to help trainees in commercial driver’s license (CDL) courses gain hands-on experience operating real-world vehicles.

“The value of this partnership is community college and public transit collaborating to enhance a program that increases workforce readiness for students training to receive their commercial driver’s license,” said India Birdsong Terry, GCRTA’s general manager and CEO. “These buses provide trainees the learning skills to take advantage of bus operator and mechanic opportunities available at GCRTA.”

The most significant component of the partnership, announced in 2021, is the RTA Community Training and Job Hub. It aims to increase workforce sustainability in the transportation industry while creating employment pipelines that lead residents toward jobs with family-sustaining wages.

The partnership is part of GCRTA’s plan to address expected job openings, as nearly 30 percent of its workforce is eligible to retire in the next four years. The goal is to fill positions while maintaining safe, reliable, clean and courteous service to customers in Cuyahoga County. The program will help GCRTA recruit new employees, upskill current workers and enhance leadership teams.

“The growing partnership between Tri-C and RTA is critical to providing residents with pathways to opportunities,” said Michael Baston, president of Tri-C. “This innovative relationship will provide real-world-ready employees who can land in the driver’s seat with GCRTA.”