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PennDOT to Launch Workforce Development Pilot Program Providing Improved Access, Creating Jobs for Employers

02/04/2021

Harrisburg, PA—The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today announced the start of a Workforce Development Pilot program in partnership with rabbittransit, Chester County Transportation Management Association (TMACC), and Urban Outfitters. The Workforce Development Pilot will begin on February 8.

The Workforce Development Pilot program is designed to provide public transportation services that connect jobseekers with employment opportunities that were previously unreachable due to a lack of transportation options.

"Transit is about connecting people with their communities and to jobs," said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. "Through this pilot we aim to expand transit in support of economic growth at the local level, and we're proud to help facilitate this important partnership."

"This is an excellent example of how the public and private sectors can work together to bring job opportunities to more residents and families," said State Senator Carolyn Comitta."I want to thank PennDOT, TMACC, and Urban Outfitters for launching this pilot program and assisting residents of Coatesville and the surrounding region in overcoming obstacles to employment and accessing the promise of job and career advancement. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for this important program and partnership."

The pilot program is being launched in two corridors in Pennsylvania: Gettysburg to Hanover and Coatesville to Gap. The pilot will run for up to 24 months to determine local transportation needs and future feasibility. Participating employers have agreed to pay a portion of the costs of public transportation while aligning shift schedules to maximize the number of riders that can use the service.

Rabbittransit is partnering with the Adams County Community Foundation to provide new transit service in central Pennsylvania. This portion of the pilot seeks to connect Gettysburg area residents to businesses in Hanover, including Pella Windows and Doors, Yazoo Mills, Winter Gardens, Packaging Corporation of America, Cross Keys Village – the Brethren Home Community, Adams County Rescue Mission, and Adams County Prison.

"Employers working in collaboration with transit is critical to the development of a model for a sustainable workforce solution," said Executive Director of rabbittransit Richard Farr. "It is our mission to aid in the creation of such partnerships that advance mobility for our communities to thrive. The Workforce Development Pilot Program is an example of such a partnership."

"I am elated to have PennDOT, TMACC, and Urban Outfitters joining together to help my constituents obtain jobs," said Representative Dan Williams. "For too long, communities like mine have had a hard time obtaining work because of transportation issues. This new partnership will allow residents in my district to be gainfully employed and provide businesses with a ready-and-able workforce. I hope this partnership becomes the model for other employers to help Pennsylvania "build back better".

"TMACC is excited to participate with URBN in this PennDOT pilot public transportation project to bring high quality reliable fixed route service between the City of Coatesville and URBN's distribution center in Gap, PA," said TMACC Executive Director Tim Phelps. "Transportation is one of the key ingredients for any successful workforce development efforts. We are thankful that the governor has committed to this transportation initiative which reduces one of the barriers to employment and will provide opportunities for the residents of Coatesville and surrounding municipalities."

"Available jobs are of no use if there isn't a means to get to those jobs," Chair of Chester County Board of Commissioners Marian Moskowitz said. "That's why this workforce development agreement between PennDOT and Urban Outfitters is so very important. We applaud both organizations' commitment to funding, and for their willingness to align transit needs with Urban Outfitters' shift schedules. Our thanks also goes to the Transportation Management Association of Chester County for bringing 'The Outfitter' shuttle service together so quickly. This is a win-win for Coatesville and for Chester County."

"When the pilot comes to an end, we will evaluate the needs of the communities involved and determine future feasibility for these locations and possibly others across the state," said North American Logistics Executive Director Melinda McClure. "We are very excited to work with TMACC and PennDOT to expand the transportation opportunities for our current and future employees, from the Coatesville area. Providing safe and reliable transportation to work is a fundamental responsibility that PennDOT excels at throughout the region and this further enhances its current offerings. At URBN we strive for a culture of creativity and innovation and we are passionate about our employees. We have a competitive total rewards package, which allows us to bring additional offerings to our workforce. As we continue to grow this year and, in the years, to come no matter how sophisticated the automation is in our facilities, it always comes down to people."

To find public transportation options in Pennsylvania visit the Travel in PA section of PennDOT.gov.

Follow PennDOT on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PennDOTNews and like the department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaDepartmentofTransportation and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/pennsylvaniadot/.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ashley Schoch, 717-783-8800

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