National Student Freight Symposium and Workforce Summit
As part of the National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education
(CFIRE), IFTI sponsored a combined national Student Freight Symposium and Workforce
Summit on February 5-6, 2013 at the University of Memphis. Student representatives
from fourteen universities showcased their research, connected with industry experts,
networked with their peers, and toured local freight facilities. These students are
forming the next generation of freight leaders.
The two programs were integrated to provide industry professionals opportunities to
interact with some of the best transportation students from across the nation at both
the undergraduate and graduate level. Conversely, the students actively networked
and participated in mock interviews with the industry representatives. One student
from the University of Wisconsin – Superior said, "The knowledge and experience I
gained from the CFIRE Student Freight Symposium will be something I will never forget
in both my educational and professional careers."
The Freight Workforce Summit provided an opportunity for private industry, public
sector and academic institutions to discuss the growing workforce challenges facing
this industry. We discussed this critical issue with the intention of finding real
solutions to a national problem. Some of the specific discussion topics included:
what undergraduate students need to know to flourish in the working world, ways to
continue educating current employees, and how to match the right students to the right
jobs. CFIRE provided academic representation from a wide range of academic disciplines
and universities. The companies represented included FedEx, CN, Schneider National,
JB Hunt, US Department of Transportation and Tennessee Department of Transportation.
Mark Your Calendar for the 2014 Student Freight Symposium: February 26-27, 2014 in Gulfport, MS.
Student Freight Symposium Feedback
"I learned a great deal from the student freight symposium. Giving the presentation
helped me to build my confidence for future presentations. The comments made by professors
in regards to the industry, helped me to further understand the attributes of it."
"It was the best conference I have ever attended. the tours were exceptional. I learned
so much in this conference. the staff and people holding conference were super nice
and very helpful."
"The Symposium provided an excellent opportunity to network with industry and academic
leaders on the subject of freight and intermodal transportation practices. The face
time with industry leaders offers prime knowledge of how the industry functions and
what topics students need to focus their research toward to help the industry and
better market themselves upon graduation."