Madison, Wisconsin.—The US Department of Transportation (US DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has selected the University of Wisconsin-Madison to establish the Midwest Transportation Workforce Center (MTWC) as one of five regional transportation workforce centers in the country.
The MTWC, funded by a $600,000 grant by FHWA, is led by Dr. Teresa Adams. The Center will be instrumental in connecting jobs with transportation needs that contribute to the economy and the region. The scope of the transportation workers in the Midwest is very diverse. These workers—whether they be traffic technicians, logistics workers, commercial drivers, bridge and highway engineers, planners, etc.—who design, build, and maintain our highways, ports, and intermodal facilities have specific skills and therefore require specific training and education.
“The are many challenges facing the transportation sector. In addition to a high rate of retirements and vacancies in this field, emerging technologies, as well as environmental and climate considerations, are changing the knowledge base and skill requirements for future workers,” said Adams. “The Center will take a strategic approach to workforce development by engaging and facilitating partnerships between transportation industry, education, and economic development.”
Dr. Adams currently directs the University’s National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education (CFIRE), a University Transportation Center based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that focuses on multimodal freight systems, infrastructure, and economic competitiveness. “CFIRE has been working with the Midwest states on freight issues for more than 10 years,” said Adams. “The MTWC gives us the opportunity to expand our efforts into workforce development.” The MTWC region includes nine Midwest states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
“We look forward to working with industry, and facilitating partnerships between K-12, and secondary schools, community, technical colleges, universities to align education and industry and to support career pathways for current and future transportation workers.”
The MTWC is one of five regional centers that will collaborate to form a national network of workforce strategies and promising practices—an outcome of the collaboration that has been in the works at the national level at the Departments of Transportation, Labor and Education.
“The University of Wisconsin-Madison has long operated a very successful and highly regarded transportation center,” said Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI 2nd District). “I am very pleased one of the five regional transportation workforce centers will be located at UW-Madison and will further contribute to the University’s excellent record of transportation research.”
Contact: Dr. Teresa Adams (608-890-2310; email@example.com)
Note: versions of this press release are also available via the UW-Madison College of Engineering and at University Communications.