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USDOT, women's transportation group team up to promote transportation careers to females


U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently signed an agreement with the Women's Transportation Seminar (WTS) International to jointly encourage women to complete undergraduate and graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and math while pursuing transportation careers.

Through a “memorandum of cooperation,” the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and WTS — an international association dedicated to the professional advancement of women in transportation — aim to:
• determine where gaps exist in the recruitment and retention of women in transportation-oriented technical fields, such as engineering and logistics;
• develop best practices in the areas of mentoring, promoting women entrepreneurs and attracting students in technical fields to transportation;
• create more effective professional development opportunities for women across a career lifecycle;
• develop ideas and partnerships to encourage girls from 13- to 18-years-old to consider transportation careers; and
• engage WTS members in a broad-based policy initiative designed to support the advancement of women in transportation.

WTS also will work with the USDOT to organize a series of nationwide outreach sessions in 2010 and 2011.

The USDOT has determined that the need for environmental engineers and technicians will rise by about 30 percent during the next decade.  Currently, less than 6 percent of transportation employees and 10 percent of civil engineers are women, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
“There’s tremendous opportunity out there for women interested in transportation-related careers," said LaHood in a prepared statement.  “We need to do more to prepare, train and educate young women about the possibilities that await them.”

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More News from 5/20/2010