Kristen Salkas (left) and Beth Daly (right) enjoying their careers in public transportation.
Today is National Public Transportation Career Day, a national workforce development initiative created by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) that introduces K-12 students to careers in public transit. We commend APTA for developing this program and support work that informs and supports the next generation of transit riders and employees.
Along those lines, we thought it might be interesting to share the career paths that brought a few of us to our current positions at the RTA. We’d like to tell the story of three of those employees today.
First up, Kristen Salkas and Beth Daly. Both Kristen and Beth hold the positions of “mobility outreach coordinators.” In essence, they make sure that residents know about the programs and services that the RTA offers, with a special focus on programs and services for people with disabilities and older adults.
Kristen is originally from Orland Park and went to college at Loyola University Chicago. She has been at the RTA for six years and this is her first job in the transportation field. Before joining our team, she worked as a researcher for people with intellectual disabilities. Kristen is currently completing her doctoral dissertation project on a topic close to her heart and her work: transportation for people with disabilities.
We asked Kristen what she’d say to a young person considering working in the public transportation industry and she said:
There are so many options when searching for a career in public transportation! Before I started working for RTA, I thought the only jobs in transportation were train conductors and bus drivers, but there is so much behind the scenes work that people must do to keep our transportation moving! Planning, finance, engineering, marketing, community relations… everyone can find a job in the transportation industry to fit their interests and skills!
Beth has been with the RTA for seven years. She is originally from the northern suburbs of Chicago and her education is in the healthcare field. She has worked for various healthcare agencies throughout her career and prior to her joining the RTA’s team, she worked as a manager of a residential program in Chicago working with people with disabilities.
Beth has daughters so we asked her what she would say to a young person considering working in the public transportation industry. She said:
A person who is considering beginning a career in the public transportation field can definitely find their niche in this field. I feel that I absolutely did.
Stay tuned later today to meet RTA Division Manager of Regional Coordination, Kevin Stanciel.