Razorback Transit and NTI Partnership Gets Both Attention and Results
A partnership between Razorback Transit and Northwest Technical Institute in Springdale has brought national recognition to their efforts in developing quality maintenance technicians.
ShuttleOps, a publication produced by metro-magazine.com, featured Razorback Transit on the cover of its May 2018 issue. A detailed article is inside.
The cover has a large caption that says, "Razorback Recruitment. Finding Drivers, Vehicle Techs."
Razorback Transit General Manager Adam Waddell said the partnership has helped the department secure better-qualified maintenance technicians, and the overall effort got the attention of ShuttleOps.
"They are impressed with the recruitment techniques we are using," he said.
David Dunn, maintenance superintendent at Razorback Transit, worked with NTI to develop an effort that would be helpful to both parties. He also collaborated with ShuttleOps on the article.
The program gives diesel mechanic students at NTI the opportunity to get hands-on experience by working on buses at Razorback Transit. This, in turn, encourages more students to transition in to working as a maintenance technician with Razorback Transit upon the completion of their training.
"It gives their students some good exposure," Waddell said. "From an educational aspect it's a win-win all the way around."
According to the article, Dunn said the program is driven by the Springdale Chamber of Commerce and it is doing very well, particularly when it comes to getting more students to go into that line of work.
"They have taken the traditional model for recruiting athletes," he said, "and flipped it to recruit students to NTI."
A mechanic's job is much more technical that it once was and requires a lot of training and skill development.
"The technology that is involved with fixing buses," Waddell said, "takes more than your shade-tree mechanic."
Razorback Transit is also beginning to work with NTI to encourage more individuals to get trained to drive buses.
The department is always ready to hire and train additional drivers, and is currently taking applications. Those who are interested in becoming a driver can apply at jobs.uark.edu/postings/26578.
David Wilson, communications director
U of A Transit and Parking
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