Encouraging high-school girls to consider a career in the transportation industry can be a tough sell in a sector dominated by men nearing retirement age.
The industry group WTS International is taking on the challenge with an interactive mentoring program called Transportation YOU. Targeted at girls aged 13 to 18, the program introduces students to a wide variety of transportation careers and encourages them to take courses in science, technology, engineering, and math.
In June, the group hosted 18 female students and their mentors at its fourth annual DC Youth Summit in Washington, D.C. The five-day program included a visit with senior administrators at the Department of Transportation and meetings with some of the young women employed there.
Another stop on the trip was a course on data technologies and transportation investigations, hosted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), better known as "the Metro." Summit attendees also had the chance to participate in an academic challenge on transportation technology, coordinated by researchers from Rutgers and Carnegie Mellon universities.