Students Begin Apprenticeships and Internships at North Carolina Public Transportation Agencies Friday, June 15, 2012

RALEIGH — For seven college graduates and one graduate student, June isn’t just the end of the school year, it’s also the beginning of an opportunity to get first-hand work experience in the public transportation industry and prepare for a career in the future.

Each year, the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Public Transportation Division Apprenticeship and Internship Program matches current graduate students and recent college graduates with a sponsor public transportation agency, transportation management company or planning organization for a paid 12-month apprenticeship or internship.

“Working as the NCDOT Apprentice for Triangle Transit, I’ve had the opportunity to explore the inner workings and operations behind providing excellent customer service, efficient route management and effective public involvement," said former Triangle Transit Apprentice Kenneth Baker. To see an interview with Baker during his apprenticeship, visit the NCDOT YouTube page.

Apprenticeship Program
The apprenticeship program gives individuals who have recently earned their undergraduate degree the opportunity to work in the field of public transportation management. The program provides exposure to all aspects of a transit system and allows apprentices to gain experience in managing public transportation operations. Apprentices are required to complete independent research or a special project based on the sponsor’s needs and the apprentice’s abilities.

Seven apprentices were placed this year at the following public transportation agencies:
•    Charlotte Area Transit System
•    Chapel Hill Transit
•    Concord Kannapolis Area Transit
•    Durham Area Transit Authority
•    Greensboro Transit Authority
•    Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation (PART)
•    Triangle Transit

Internship Program
The internship program provides work experience and learning opportunities for graduate students attending colleges and universities in North Carolina. Interns will have the opportunity to use both analytical and communications skills that they have gained during their academic career in a public transportation setting. With hands-on training and experience, interns are better able to evaluate public transportation careers and compete for jobs.

One intern was placed this year at N.C. State University Wolfline.

The N.C. Board of Transportation approved $239,523 in state funding at their May meeting to support the program, with the remaining 10 percent coming from the local governments sponsoring the apprentices and interns.

Gov. Bev Perdue’s proposed budget continues to support enhancing or expanding our transportation infrastructure. Since Gov. Bev Perdue took office, the NCDOT Public Transportation Division has awarded more than $436 million in grant funds to local public transportation systems. These grants enable systems to provide people in all 100 counties access to education, job opportunities and health care.

For more information on this program and grant programs through the Public Transportation Division of NCDOT, as well as transit systems that serve the public throughout the state, visit www.ncdot.gov/nctransit.


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