Twenty-two VTA coach operators graduated from the joint Mission College-VTA 18 month apprenticeship program this week. The graduation itself was a testament to the transit agency still reeling from May's shooting tragedy at its railyard in San Jose.
“We are proud of our partnership with VTA and are extremely proud of this graduating class of coach operators with our apprenticeship program, especially after everything our VTA Family has been through,” said Mission College President Daniel Peck. “VTA continues to provide a safe and reliable service to our community. Together we are providing strong pathways to deeply needed careers in our community.”
This was the third class of coach operators that have graduated from the program.
“You are important! You are important to us here at VTA and you are important to our community,” said VTA CEO Evelynn Tran. “You’ll come to know regular passengers who are happy to see you arrive at their stop on their way to work or school.”
Many students at Mission College want to change careers after entering the workforce, Jose Luis Chiprez was one of those students.
Chiprez was a carpenter before entering VTA’s program at the encouragement of a friend. He and his fellow rookies will help alleviate crowded bus routes with more drivers.
“When we were out driving around town on our practice runs, it made me feel good when people told me they were glad to see my bus stop for them. They were happy to be on board,” said Chiprez, “And I’m happy to have them on-board.”