The Transportation Systems Academy (TSA) is a multi-tiered workforce development pilot program that is geared at working with non-traditional labor pools to provide career awareness and skills training to access jobs and explore career pathways in the transportation industry. The TSA is an adaptable program that provides a training foundation for individuals in basic skillsets that underlie entry-level jobs in transportation operations and maintenance.
The first successful TSA at the Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport with the Community High School of Vermont (CHSVT) resulted in CHSVT adopting the program into their curriculum and launching new academies in St. Albans and Rutland. CHSVT is based in the Vermont Department of Corrections. They are now implementing a broader highway construction curriculum with national certification. Six of the TSA graduates from Newport have found gainful employment with the transportation industry or other occupations; four are seeking or have completed 40 hour internships with the Vermont Agency of Transportation with possible future employment opportunities; and seven are currently completing educational courses or other requirements.
Other pilot initiatives included the Career Center in Canaan, where the program was implemented with 18 students from Vermont and New Hampshire and will be repeated in 2013. New initiatives are in place at the Career Centers in Middlebury and Bradford as well. Based on this experience, the TRC is building a toolkit for other high schools to adopt a TSA program and documenting models for high school and adult education programs to follow.
The program successfully introduced 11 modules in an educational setting that allow students to receive academic credit, certification and/or certificates of completion. The Vermont Agency of Transportation has agreed to recognize the program as a preferred credential for job applicants. The program was also highly rated by graduates of the program and school administrators.