DOT wants more women to choose transportation careers

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood appeared Monday, Sept. 21, at Spelman College in Atlanta to announce the Pilot Entrepreneurial Training and Technical Assistance Women and Girls Program, created to encourage girls to pursue careers in science, engineering and technology and help women in the field to achieve their goals.

The new program, managed by a partnership between the U.S. Department of Transportation and Spelman College, is part of a broader effort, led by the White House, to ensure that federal programs and policies take into account the distinct needs and concerns of women and girls.

“Transportation is one of the most challenging and exciting industries in the country right now,” LaHood says. “We’d love to see the women at Spelman and students at high schools, colleges and universities around the country become our transportation leaders for the 21st century and come work at the U.S. Department of Transportation.”

The partnership will create an internship and mentoring program to bring more female students into transportation-related careers and help them gain hands-on experience. It also will help small women-owned transportation companies to complete for DOT contracts, and make sure they get the technical and finance assistance they need to succeed.

“Though transportation is one of our greatest sources of pride, it also presents some of our greatest challenges,” U.S. Representative John Lewis says. “I am glad that DOT is working with Spelman College to develop young women as transportation executives. We need young, innovative minds prepared to deal with the transportation challenges of this century.”

The partnership supports President Obama’s mission and work of the White House Council on Women and Girls. “We are excited about launching a pilot program that will introduce women and girls to public service,” says Brandon Neal, DOT director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. “It is our goal to assist as many women as possible and continue to be the training ground for future small business owners.”