UF Workforce Development Efforts (Year 2)

A National Workforce Summit, sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Transit Administration and Research and Special Programs Administration, was held in May 2002 to coordinate an initiative to preserve and advance the U.S. transportation system. The summit members outlined three critical areas that need to be addressed: (1) Ensuring that young people are attracted to the transportation jobs of the future; (2) Ensuring that workers are using the latest technologies and practices to improve transportation; and (3) Developing partnerships throughout the transportation and education communities to “institutionalize” transportation workforce development. Summit participants emphasized the need to expose students to transportation early and often, by making it applicable to coursework at hand. This need has been the key focus of the University of Florida Transportation Institute's (UFTI’s) approach to K-12 workforce development. The UFTI addresses each of the above critical issues with its K-12 workforce development efforts outlined in the following report. The programs developed and implemented through this project expose children to careers in transportation by partnering with science teachers, university engineering student chapter members, Girl Scout troops, and coordinators at afterschool programs, and local churches. Increasing career awareness among the next generation requires a comprehensive approach, from industry partners to parents and neighborhood leaders. Developing tools to educate parents, teachers, and school counselors about transportation career opportunities allows children and young adults to learn about transportation in both the classroom and at home. (2) During the second year from November 1, 2013 to January 31, 2015, the UFTI Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Development and Education (STRIDE) K-12 workforce development programs exposed 623 elementary, middle and high school students to careers in transportation with fourteen organized events utilizing a variety of activities including robots, PowerPoint presentations, videos, hands-on activities, panel discussions, lab tours and computer simulation. Even if children exposed to careers in transportation do not choose engineering as a career, the programs are still successful in exposing kids to elements of transportation that should equip them to make better decisions in the future about transportation needs in their community. According to Toole and Martin, “The next generation of transportation professionals is sitting in our classrooms today. It is not too early to consider what will affect their choices and how we need to support them in their development.” (3)


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Development and Education Center (STRIDE)

    University of Florida
    365 Weil Hall
    Gainesville, FL  United States  32611
  • Project Managers:

    Kline, Robin

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Florida Transportation Institute

    2100 NE Waldo Rd.
    Gainesville, FL  United States  32609
  • Principal Investigators:

    Barker, Nina

  • Start Date: 20140101
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20150213
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01640073
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Development and Education Center (STRIDE)
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 29 2017 4:18PM