From the Mercury News, What is an Overhead Line Worker
SANTA CLARA, Calif.-- Mission College is remembering three of the victims of the VTA shooting tragedy on Wednesday, each of whom was a part of Mission College's apprenticeship program with the transit agency.
Michael Rudometkin was a graduate of Mission College's Overhead Line Worker apprenticeship program in September 2019, while Tim Romo and Paul Megia each served as mentors.
"As I wrote to our community before we knew the names of the victims, the VTA is part of the Mission College family because of our close relationship with our apprenticeship program.," said Mission College President Daniel Peck. "Unfortunately, we were informed that Michael, Tim, and Paul were among the lives lost in this terrible tragedy.
Each of them bettered their lives and our community through VTA and Mission. Hopefully, their memory will lead to significant changes in gun violence and a safer community, Mission College is hurting today."
Mission College's partnership, which began in 2015 with five apprenticeship programs, has grown to 300 apprentices, with 250 completing their requirements. The newest class begins in June.
Rudometkin was just one of the first graduates of the overhead line worker program, a highly sought-after field of which transit agencies across the country are electrifying their lines and seeking experts in the field. Very few people have this expertise; Rudometkin was one of them. At VTA, he was the ATU-JWI lead for light rail maintenance
Megia was a light rail operator before being promoted to management and was the VTA's point person for the program. Romo was the overhead line senior foreperson and a mentor as well for the program. As mentors, they provided valuable expertise and guidance to apprentices in the program.
The partnership with VTA was also a partnership with Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 265 through the Joint Workforce Investment and California Transit Works agencies.
A fundme site has been set up courtesy of Workers Parterships USA at act.wpusa.org/vta_victims_support_fund.