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Quarterly Newsletter-Winter 2016

What is SETWC?

The Southeast Transportation Workforce Center, headquartered at the University of Memphis, is part of the National Network for the Transportation Workforce and funded by the US Department of Transportation (US DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
The goals of SETWC include

  • Identify regional transportation job needs and priorities;
  • Catalog existing training programs from K-12 through professional development;
  • Evaluate existing programs for scale and replication;
  • Identify education and training gaps;
  • Develop resources to bridge identified gaps; and
  • Fully engage in the national network to showcase successful programs and practices and to increase impact in the southeast region


Job Needs and Priorities Report- Your Feedback, Please!
The SETWC is pleased to announce the release of the Draft Job Needs and Priorities Report for our region. SETWC has an open comment period from now through January 31, 2016 for SETWC stakeholders to provide feedback. Please click here to view/ download the report and provide your feedback!

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Click HERE to read the recent article,"Attracting More Women to the Transportation Profession," in Inbound Logistics. This article was written by our own
Cheryl Citrone, Partner and Director, Logistics and Operations, Vaco Logistics. Cheryl and Vaco are SETWC's first multi-year partner and a Key 100 Partner of the National Network for the Transportation Workforce!

Announcing the 2016 Choosing Transportation Summit!

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The Choosing Transportation Summit, which includes a conference entitled, "Preparing Transportation Professionals for the Future," will be held March 3- 4th, 2016, at the University of Memphis. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from and network with industry professionals from across the country! Click HERE for the conference agenda.
In addition to the conference, the Summit includes the 3rd Annual Blue Pump Gala which will be held the evening of March 3, 2016 at the Memphis Botanic Garden. This fun event helps raise scholarships for female students pursuing transportation majors and careers. Prior to the event, we want to see your blue shoes! Post them on facebook or twitter for prizes! #BluePumpGala2016 This event in not just for women, we want men to attend and show us their blue shoes, too!!
Event details, registration, and sponsorship information are available HERE.
Click HERE for photos from the 2015 Blue Pump Gala.

Freightliner Demonstrates Respect for Veterans

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Every year since 2002, Daimler Trucks North America employees at the Freightliner Trucks manufacturing plant in Cleveland, North Carolina, have paid tribute to U.S. veterans by transforming a Freightliner Class 8 truck into a super-sized symbol of the company's respect for veterans.
Called the Ride of Pride, this program was developed when Ed Keeter, a Freightliner shift manager and Vietnam War veteran, proposed the project as a way to honor current and former members of the military. Initially the idea was to decorate a Freightliner truck and drive it to the local veterans' hospital for a visit. However, Freightliner's employees embraced the idea wholeheartedly and with the support of plant management, parent company Daimler Trucks North America, vendor partners and the community, the Ride of Pride quickly became part of a national effort that includes participating in the annual Ride for Freedom, a procession through Washington, D.C. each Memorial Day.
In addition to the Ride for Freedom, these trucks are also are used in local Honor Guards, participate in Memorial Day festivals and parades, and serve as escorts in local military funerals for servicemen and women. Many local businesses display the trucks for their family or employee appreciation days in support of veterans. Last year, one of the trucks was even on display at the Coca-Cola 600 race in Charlotte, North Carolina!
For additional information about the Ride of Pride click here.

Best Practices from the Virginia Department of Transportation

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Hats off to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), they are leading the way in training programs to enhance and diversify the transportation workforce! Read below for a brief overview of two specific programs, The Core Development Program and the Wounded Veterans Program. Detailed information about these and additional training programs are available online by visiting www.virginiadot.org/jobs/.

The Core Development Program, intended for recent college graduates, is a 26-month program which offers the opportunity to take on a real job and work alongside seasoned professionals, from engineers to financial analysts. The program focuses on developing the technical and leadership competencies that will sustain the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) now and into the future. Associates can expand their primary discipline while cross-training in core business functions.

The Wounded Veterans Internship Program was launched in September 2006 with the support of the Federal Highway Administration and assists veterans with the transition from military to full-time civilian employment. The program focuses on disabled veterans that have returned from Afghanistan and Iraq who are unable to return to a former job due to physical or emotional disabilities or because the position is no longer available.

VDOT was the first transportation department in the nation to create such a program and has served as a model for other states across the country. The 12- 18 month internship program allows veterans to revamp previous job skills or develop new skills. VDOT works with a number of veteran service organizations to implement the program, which attempts to locate internships near the participant's home and rehabilitation facility. Internship placement depends on aptitudes and interests, and could be in areas such as planning, finance, project management, security, procurement, quality control, information systems, engineering, civil rights and human resources. At the completion of the internship, it is VDOT's desire that the veteran find full time employment within VDOT or with another private, local, state or federal agency.

The Sky Really is the Limit at Wooddale High School!

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Established in 1995, the Aviation Optional Program at Wooddale High School in Memphis, Tennessee offers an innovative aeronautics curriculum. This program prepares students for post-secondary education or additional training in the aviation industry. Students have access to the National Flight Academy (NFA) Aviation in Classroom Experience (ACE). This state-of-the-art training facility replicates the NFA in Pensacola, FL, and includes flight and air traffic control simulators. It is one of only 25 in the United States.
Seniors in the Aviation Optional Program have the opportunity to work on their Private Pilot's License and Aviation Maintenance Technician certification and take advantage of internship positions at companies in the Memphis area including FedEx and Medtronic.
Qualified aviation employees are in high demand, and Wooddale High School provides students the foundation needed to enter and excel in this exciting career field!

Do you have a "best practice" relevant to the transportation workforce you would like to share with colleagues across the southeastern United States and Puerto Rico? If so, please email meredith.powers@memphis.edu. We would love to hear from you!