Transportation YOU is a hands-on, interactive, mentoring program that offers young girls ages 13-18 an introduction to a wide variety of transportation careers. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation, WTS chapters work to make a difference in the lives of young girls by offering programs and activities that will spark their interest in all modes of transportation and encourage and inspire them to take courses in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), which are the stepping stones to exciting careers that can change the face of the transportation industry. Through this program, the New Jersey Chapter is working to make a difference in the lives of these young women by introducing them to various topics that may encourage them to pursue a career within the Transportation Industry.
Our New Jersey program was established in 2002 in conjunction with WTS GNY and is currently based out of Newark. The chapter has a dynamic year-round program that includes behind-the-scenes tours of Newark Liberty International Airport and Port Newark – Elizabeth Marine Terminal as well as professional development workshops and sessions. Through this program, students may apply to attend the Transportation YOU D.C. Summit and gain access to opportunities such as summer internships in selected public and private transportation agencies as well as WTS high school scholarships.
During the 2020 and 2021 Academic School Year, the WTS New Jersey Chapter Transportation YOU have worked alongside the STEM Innovation Academy of the Oranges. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the subcommittee has been holding monthly meetings virtually with students. Through the program, students have been able to meet with various professionals to discuss what it is like to work in the transportation field. Speakers have included NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, Zenobia Fields of NJDOT, Alexa Gangemi of HNTB, and Ana Tatoris of HNTB. Students have also been able to interact with College Students as Transportation YOU held its first College Panel Discussion and have also been introduced to technical topics as they relate to the field of transportation industry.
Most notably, students have been paired with mentors and given the opportunity to develop their first resumes. They also participated in mock interviews, discussed their goals and aspirations, and participated in a seminar on what it means to be a professional.
What are the goals and benefits of Transportation YOU?
- Educate and inspire young women to pursue opportunities in the transportation industry
- Connect mentees with professional women as role models through mentorship programs
- Help mentees build leadership skills and self-confidence
- Make STEM education more accessible through scholarship opportunities
- Build awareness of transportation as an exciting and rewarding career option
- Contribute to the diversity and creativity of our transportation workforce
- Create a network of professionals in the public and private transportation industries
- Opportunities to shadow real world working professional women
- Access to transportation resources
Events occur once a month throughout the academic year. All events and activities are held after school hours or on non-school days.
See below for some examples of our exciting events (Note that events for the 2021 Academic School Year are being held virtually):
TENTATIVE ANNUAL SCHEDULE
May: Interview/Information Session
June: Join the Program
September: Kick-off: Hear from the professionals
October: Light Rail Tour
November: Newark International Airport Tour
November: WTS Annual Dinner in NJ
December: Professional Development Seminar
January: WTS Annual Dinner in NYC
February 1: Placemaking Workshop
February 2: Traffic Management Center Tour
March: Safety Audit Workshop
March/April: Shadow the Mentor Day
May: Construction Site Tour
June: Graduation & D.C. Summit
July & August: Summer Internship
If you are interested in becoming a mentor or would like to participate in the program as a guest speaker, please reach out to Joseph Strafaci at Jstrafaci@hntb.com or visit our New Jersey website: https://transportationyou.wixsite.com/newjersey