U.S. Department of Transportation is expanding an internship program designed to encourage young women to pursue careers in transportation. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood made the announcement at a Women’s Small Business Day hosted by the DOT.
“Women are an essential part of today’s labor force, yet women are underrepresented in the transportation industry,” said LaHood. “We’re saying to all the college women out there: No matter where you’re enrolled, there’s a DOT Small Business Transportation Resource Center close by to help you plug into your dream job, whether it’s an airport, an engineering or aerospace firm, a railroad, a transit agency or perhaps one of our DOT offices.”
The internship program will expand from one to 10 regions of the country, enabling young women from colleges and universities across the country to participate. It will be administered through the DOT’s 11 Small Business Transportation Resource Centers. These centers, spread throughout the nation, provide resources, technical assistance and outreach to all 50 states and U.S. territories. Each center will be responsible for placing qualified female college students in transportation-related internships in their regions.
The expanded program, based on a successful pilot with Spelman College in 2009, is part of a broader effort by the DOT to create a pipeline of younger women coming into the transportation work force.
“We are excited about expanding a great program that will introduce young women to transportation careers nationwide,” said Office of Small and Disadvantage Business Utilization Director Brandon Neal. “It is our goal to assist as many women as possible and continue to be the training ground for future small business owners.”