LaHood to kick off initiative for advancing women transportation at Women’s Transportation Conference

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Women’s Transportation Seminar President and CEO Marcia Ferranto and WTS Board Chair Terry Gruver will launch Transportation YOU, a national educational initiative aimed at girls and young women, at the WTS annual awards dinner on May 19 in San Francisco.

Transportation YOU is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Transportation and WTS to promote education and careers in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and for the advancement of women in the field of transportation.

Transportation YOU will introduce younger girls ages 13-18 to the broad array of transportation careers through hands-on interactive activities, mentoring programs, field experiences and a national “virtual” community.

The initiative also provides specific attention to STEM and career exploration in a variety of transportation related fields.

“We need to tap the best and brightest minds of this generation in order to make our vision for a cutting-edge transportation network a reality,” said LaHood in a press statement. “That is why I am so pleased to partner with the Women’s Transportation Seminar on the Transportation YOU initiative, which will ensure that young women have all the tools and opportunities they need to succeed in transportation careers.”

WTS Board Chair Terry Gruver says the the Women’s Transportation Seminar and the WTS Foundation “are thrilled” to collaborate with LaHood and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“The Transportation YOU initiative directly supports our mission to transform the transportation industry through the advancement of women,” Gruver said.

LaHood will be a special guest at the WTS 2011 Annual Conference, where many of the international organization’s 4,100 members will gather to explore the technical, policy, financial, and political aspects of emerging transportation issues in virtually every sector. WTS helps women find opportunity and recognition in the transportation industry through its professional, networking, mentoring and leadership activities and opportunities.