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Diversity In Transportation Workforces Elements Of Successful Programs

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Engineering Education; An International Perspective

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.449.1 - 8.449.7



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Paper Authors

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Jason Bittner

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2560

Diversity in Transportation Workforces: A Summary of the September 2002 Midwest Regional Workshop

Jason Bittner Midwest Regional University Transportation Center University of Wisconsin-Madison

Several organizations sponsored the Midwest Regional Diversity in Transportation Workforces Workshop September 23-24, 2002, in Milwaukee Wisconsin. The Workshop focused on recruitment, retention, and mentoring success stories for diverse groups in transportation workforces in the upper Midwest region. Pre-college programs, college level plans, and post- college, employer based programs formed the structure for the Workshop. Over 60 people attended the workshop.

Participants representing eight states and the District of Columbia identified 12 integral elements to successful programs for recruitment and retention. This paper highlights these important lessons with a focus on their implementation in transportation related programs. The paper will specifically address the strategies aimed at retaining existing transportation students and identify significant barriers to recruitment and retention. While these elements are generally not exclusive to the transportation profession, and hold a great degree of transferability to other technical and scientific fields, this transferability was not addressed in the Workshop.

Background The Midwest Regional University Transportation Center, a United States Department of Transportation research, education, and outreach center funded through the University Transportation Centers Program of the Research and Special Projects Administration, organized the Workshop. Sponsors included the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, Marquette University, the Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan Departments of Transportation, among others. The mix of academia and practitioners on the organizing committee assisted in the development of a program that reflected the needs and motivations of each organization in the area of diversity encouragement. For the purposes of this Workshop, transportation was not limited to traditional civil engineering-based opportunities.

Several national level activities have broad transportation foci. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has a Transportation and Civil Engineering (TRAC) program that offers computers and related transportation focused software to elementary and secondary schools. TRAC volunteers, typically transportation engineers from the state transportation agencies. At a basic level, TRAC is a program designed for integration into science, math, and social studies classes. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) sponsors a variety of programs on workforce development, including construction career programs, the

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Bittner, J. (2003, June), Diversity In Transportation Workforces Elements Of Successful Programs Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12363

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