The objective of this research is to summarize previously conducted research related to workforce development challenges in the transit industry, detailing major findings and subsequent recommendations based on the annotated bibliography of the current atmosphere and most successful ways to mitigate those challenges to attract and retain talent in the transit industry. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. had over 10 million job openings and only 5.7 million unemployed workers in March 2023. In 2017, the Washington Post posited that there were not enough workers to fill the vacancies, as the U.S. Census Bureau announced a 17-year low in unemployment while the Bureau of Labor Statistics hit record streaks for numbers of job openings. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the employment challenges that the U.S. already faced. To top it all, the pandemic also led to increased retirement rates among those close to retirement age. This provides transit industry executives and transportation professionals, with ideas of tools that are available to help attract more qualified candidates to the transit industry and ways to advance the development of the transit workforce. This research highlights some of the social media recruiting; online hiring platform improvements; and partnerships with career centers, universities, and recruitment centers to attract new employees to the transit workforce. In addition, increases in pay, benefits, bonuses, providing flexible schedule options and some other atypical ideas have successfully been used to retain workers in the transit workforce. This research focuses on ways in which all transit stakeholders can invest in all aspects of industry workforce development to ensure qualified employees choose the transit industry and that they are subsequently trained to be the most beneficial assets to the organization and remain there via effective retention strategies.

Publication Date

Spring 5-2024

Publication Type



Planning and Policy, Workforce and Labor

Digital Object Identifier


MTI Project



Workforce development, Career advancement, Transit industry workforce, Training, Diversity


Transportation | Work, Economy and Organizations