It is critical for equipping the future transportation workforce to cultivate and sustain interest in transportation as a career in K–12 and undergraduate students.
CTEDD develops the education initiatives needed to reach out to these students at a time when they need information about transportation as a career choice and then when they need encouragement to continue with their advanced transportation studies. CTEDD consortium members are actively pursuing this vision. The Midwest Transportation Workforce Center is aimed specifically at bolstering the Midwest transportation industry by providing training and opportunities for more people to pursue careers in transportation. It is one of five centers nationwide funded by the Federal Highway Administration and is housed within UW Madison’s CFIRE.
In addition, for more than a decade, Cal Poly’s College of Engineering has offered a unique summer outreach program for K–12 students. The Engineering Possibilities in College (EPIC) program attracts students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds both locally and nationally to engineering education and undergraduate engineering research. Classes and demonstrations include transportation engineering and electronics related to transportation. CTEDD brings opportunities for scholarships to attract more underrepresented students from the region and potentially expand participation in the program. CTEDD also expands subject matter and activities to proactively cultivate interest in the field of transportation, particularly transportation policymaking.
Georgia Tech’s Women in Engineering program focuses on recruiting top female students into engineering majors beginning from pre-school and ensuring graduate-level retention in an environment that encourages curiosity, creativity, and intellectual and personal growth. The program comprehensively aims to increase the number of female students who choose majors, advanced degrees and careers in engineering, empowering women to achieve their greatest potential as engineers and as leaders.
University of South Florida Engineering Expo hosts a free event educating K–12 students on the importance of math, science and through CTEDD partnership it prioritizes research projects that involve undergraduate students. Engineering and technology and exposing students to local engineers and engineering student organizations. Includes hands-on exhibits and shows that help encourage students to pursue fields in science and mathematics.
CTEDD builds several national and local partnership with other active centers, K-12 schools, community colleges, technical schools and universities with such mission to strengthen CTEDD’s education and workforce development efforts to align education and industry and to support career pathways for current and future transportation workers. CTEDD’s members will use existing and new programs to expose K–12 students to transportation as a career choice, draw undergraduate students to our degree programs and retain them, and involve undergraduates in our research.
We aim to broaden these students’ exposure to the range of transportation professions available, particularly through the lens of equity and upward social mobility. Our intent is to expand the workforce pool and diversity of new professionals.