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LaHood to receive WTS International's first 'Navigator' award


U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will be recognized with WTS International's first Navigator Award, which recognizes "extraordinary efforts" to advance women in the transportation industry. WTS plans to present the Navigator award on an annual basis.

"We are honored to have Secretary LaHood accept this award first, as he stood behind our mission and created new opportunities for a diverse and inclusive workforce," said WTS President and Chief Executive Officer Marcia Ferranto in a prepared statement.

LaHood helped promote WTS' Transportation YOU program, a joint effort of WTS and the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) that led to a memorandum of understanding, signed in 2010, that calls for the creation of programs that encourages 13- to 17-year-old girls to pursue an academic path that leads to a transportation career.

The effort already has reached 30 WTS chapters that offer mentorship, internships, tours and hands-on engineering programs, according to WTS.

LaHood, who recently announced he would not serve as transportation secretary during President Barack Obama's second term, is "grateful" for WTS' work with the USDOT "to encourage more young women" to pursue careers in transportation, he said.