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US DOT Memorandum Supports STEM-Related Mentoring Time for Girls

March 16, 2012 02:34 PM

Washington, DC—(March 15, 2012)  A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the US Department of Transportation and WTS International for its Transportation YOU mentorship program. The program is the first STEM-awareness program in the U.S. to have a signed MOU that allows US DOT employees to volunteer during work hours—a true testament to the White House’s efforts to turn the tides of academic, career and gender trends toward filling the country’s future needs for infrastructure skills.

When US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood signed a memorandum of understanding in May 2011 to kick off the Transportation YOU initiative with WTS International, the association for the professional advancement of women in transportation, the transportation industry was sent a clear message: The White House is serious about its commitment to winning America’s future by getting the country’s youth, particularly girls, involved in studies (STEM—science, technology, engineering and math) and mentorships to prepare them for the businesses that need them in the very near future. Now, this new MOU specifically points to the DOT’s support of federal employees working with the girls of WTS’s Transportation YOU program during work hours.

While the MOU pertains to the San Francisco Bay region of the Transportation YOU program, the significance of the signing isn’t lost on WTS International’s 5,000 members nationwide.  “We are celebrating this MOU, signed by Greg Winfree, Deputy Administrator of the US DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), because it is setting the stage for more DOT employees to lend their expertise and experience to engaging Transportation YOU activities across the country,” said Marcia Ferranto, WTS’s President and CEO. “This is the support we’ve really needed, the kind that will take our efforts to get young girls on a STEM academic track and ultimately entering the transportation industry’s professional workforce to a whole new level. WTS is doing everything we can to support our nation’s infrastructure; the vacant opportunities for technology and engineering talent are ever increasing.”

With the latest MOU in place, DOT professionals can provide classroom assistance, develop engaging hands-on transportation-related activities, and create opportunities for interaction between students, faculty, and DOT employees. To see the signed MOU, visit this link: http://bit.ly/FO9B1o


WTS International and WTS Foundation, headquartered in Washington, DC, has provided more than $1,000,000 in scholarships to deserving women throughout the transportation industry, supporting the next generation of transportation professionals and advancing the principles of WTS. WTS is committed to advancing women in transportation through expanding existing scholarship opportunities to women pursuing transportation related degrees, providing and promoting more educational opportunities and career development to advance women in transportation, and initiating, sponsoring and publishing research related to advancing women in transportation. More information can be found at www.WTSInternational.org

Transportation YOUis a hands-on, interactive, mentoring program that offers young girls ages 13-18 an introduction to a wide variety of transportation careers. Through the program, 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 them to take courses in math, science, and technology, which are the stepping stones to exciting careers that can change the face of the transportation industry. For more information, visit www.TransportationYou.orgor contact Marcia Ferranto at 202-955-5085.



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