Personal Experiences and a Strong Business Case Have Resulted in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program to Grow Much Needed Workforce

Facing many of the same workforce challenges being seen in the transportation industry, one large healthcare organization has built a successful model for growing its talent pool. Based on the fundamentals of diversity, equity, and inclusion, the program at UW Health, in southcentral Wisconsin, is growing the skilled workforce they need through an innovative use of community partnerships and home-grown internship and training programs.

Bridgett Willey, Director of Allied Health Education and Career Pathways at UW Health recently joined Tremaine Maebry and 31 attendees for the second installment of the MTWC Diversity and Inclusion Virtual Roundtable Summer Series. In the roundtable, they discussed successful strategies for building a successful Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program and how Willey’s experiences in healthcare can be applied within the Transportation industry. A recording of this roundtable discussion is available on the MTWC website.

Across several sectors, filling positions in the Midwest is difficult and getting harder. That is exactly what UW Health is experiencing as a healthcare system comprised of five hospitals and just under 200 clinics with 16,000 employees. Filling positions in the state is difficult due to high rates of retirement among baby boomers combined with a very low unemployment rate of just 2.6%. UW Health discovered, however, that there is a rich untapped resource among the area’s communities of color, where unemployment rates are currently higher.

About four years ago, Willey started a program to give underrepresented high school and college students an opportunity to explore about 60 in-demand, healthcare careers. The program is called HOPE, which stands for Health Occupations and Professions Exploration. From the first class, interest and attendance in HOPE offerings far exceeded expectations. To date, about 1500 high school and college students from all over the state have participated.

Based on the success of that program, Willey made a proposal to senior leadership to form a new department. Leadership agreed and Allied Health Education and Career Pathways was formed a year and a half ago. With the formation of a department, the programs received a sustainable source of funding that replaced the less reliable grant funds used at their launch.

Since then, the department’s programs have expanded into working not only with youth but also with adults who are underemployed or unemployed. The programs provide short-term training and educational sessions, usually in partnership with a community organization such as The Urban League of Greater Madison, Centro Hispano of Dane County, or Operation Fresh Start, to provide people with the training they need to be successful as they come into various entry-level positions at the hospitals and clinics.

Making the business case for cultural competence at UW Health was key to gaining buy-in for the new department. It’s important for the organization to have a staff with a similar demographic makeup to the patient populations that it serves.

“Over the last couple of years, we have increased our diversity especially at our entry-level careers at the hospital. Now we’re focusing our efforts on creating more opportunities and paths for folks to get into the professional and technical levels of the organization,” said Willey.

Other key factors that have helped gain buy-in include the involvement of subject matter experts from throughout the organization in all aspects of the department’s work. From collecting information about careers and developing training materials to working directly with the students at HOPE events, people are asked to share their knowledge and expertise for the benefit of the program. It’s also important to bring in someone well versed in education who can help not only develop the materials but also help make the careers look interesting to young people. They have a website at www.hopemadisonwi.org that is used extensively by the students during the HOPE events.

With just four career pathways coordinators plus herself, Willey points out that it’s extremely important to be able to work with limited resources and be willing to constantly innovate and change what the team is doing.

“As a small team, we’re always working at capacity. Before we can try something new we have to take something out. So, we’re always in a state of change and growth,” she said.

Willey also admits that her personal experiences probably helped make her especially adept at implementing workforce development programs. When she was about 11, Willey saw her father’s career change take her family from living at the poverty line to the middle class. This experience stuck with her and taught her important lessons about how young people choose their future careers. She later built on this experience when choosing her own professional trajectory, and eventually used all of these experiences to build the HOPE program.

Her early exposure to healthcare came from her dad when he came out of the Navy. After serving four years as an EMT, when he rejoined civilian life, her father’s skills were not transferrable into a certification or a specific job role. So, he was working at a low wage at the VA hospital in Kansas City, as a Patient Care Assistant. While there, a cardiologist offered him the opportunity to learn on the job to operate a new technology, diagnostic medical ultrasound, which was used to look at patients’ hearts and blood vessels. With this new training and new career path, Willey’s father vastly improved his family’s financial situation.

“That, to me was incredible,” said Willey. “Later, when I went to college I started out as a Journalism major. I quickly realized that I was going to have student loans and that there was only a thirty percent chance I would even get accepted into the Journalism school. I decided that I better find a better career.” Willey went on to pursue a career in healthcare, starting with on-the-job EKG Technician training.

“Careers tend to run in families,” Willey points out. “When I tell the story of my dad to the kids in HOPE, it tends to make a big impact. Many of them have experienced poverty or experienced a parent working two or three jobs just trying to make ends meet,” said Willey. “Whereas, a lot of careers in healthcare, with very little formal education, can be extremely lucrative and support families.”

A recent article in the Wisconsin State Journal highlighted the student experience through the summer HOPE internship program.

For more information about the MTWC D&I Virtual Roundtable or if you have any questions please contact Maria Hart at maria.hart@wisc.edu.

National Center Helps Stakeholders Grow Construction Workforce with Resources for Strengthening Participation of Women in Apprenticeship

Working simultaneously with unions, contractors, women, and students, the  National Center for Women’s Equity in Apprenticeship and Employment is helping the construction industry grow the skilled workforce it needs by incorporating and retaining more women. One way the center is doing this is by bringing registered apprenticeship to bear as a proven strategy to grow and retain talent, according to Jayne Vellinga, Executive Director of Chicago Women in Trades, the parent organization of the center.

By providing evidence-based strategies and practical applications, the center supports employers in their efforts to build and implement apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs and then provides ongoing support to ensure that more women successfully complete their apprenticeships and launch long-term careers in their trade.

Midwest stakeholders including registered apprenticeship sponsors, training providers, and workforce development professionals can benefit first hand from the center’s expertise by participating in the upcoming Building Women’s Equity in Apprenticeship and Employment: An Institute for Practitioners and Employers, which will be held Friday, October 13, 2017 before the start of the Women Build Nations conference in Chicago.

The multi-pronged approach taken by the center is a reflection of several factors influencing the availability of skilled laborers today.

“If I’m a contractor, I want to find some women that I’m going to cultivate and treat like an integral part of my workforce so when I bid on a project that has a female hiring goal, I already have a great skilled person that I know produces for me,” said Vellinga.

Bringing women into these careers is good for the employers but it’s also an issue of equity, according to Vellinga. In construction jobs, which have been traditionally held by male workers, a new employee with a high school diploma and no work experience will enter the field at nearly $20 per hour. In five years, that person could earn nearly $50 per hour. By contrast, roles with similar educational requirements in traditionally female jobs, such as Nurse’s Assistant, will enter the workforce at around $12 per hour and only increase their earning potential by a few dollars in five years.

A couple of years ago, the center received a Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to set up a technical assistance center for the Midwest. The center was one of three grantees spanning the county. With this grant, the center has begun to expand their reach and bring technical assistance across the region.

The center works with their national partners, primarily unions, to develop technical assistance plans, provide training, help decipher regulations, and develop best practices and case studies. They provide employers assistance on issues as varied as recruitment and retention to domestic violence.

“It’s also about career choice,” explains Vellinga. “Not every woman is a nurturer. Not every woman without a college degree wants to work with children or old people or be a waitress. Women have wide range of interests whether they’ve had an opportunity to go to college or not. It’s important to have that level of career choice and the earning power that goes with jobs that have been traditionally male.”

In 2016, the center received an additional grant from the Department of Labor targeting equity partners. The center was named the lead agency for a consortium of 10 organizations around the country. This consortium includes virtually every funded tradeswoman organization in the country and works with the national Registered Apprenticeship program. The consortium assists apprenticeship program sponsors with their equal employment opportunity planning. They provide tools, guidance, technical assistance, training, and other services in support of building equity for women in apprenticeship. Today, women make up only 15% of all apprenticeships, and in the construction field, the numbers are much worse at just 3% nationwide.

An improving economy and projected workforce shortages are helping to spur momentum for women in trades. Vellinga also points out that certain incentive programs work exceptionally well to motivate positive hiring practices. The Illinois Tollway system, for example, offers earned credit to contractors who bid on construction projects for each woman or minority that is hired. What makes this program especially beneficial is that it also awards credit for retaining these employees. “So, if you’ve done a good job with your workforce, you don’t necessarily have to be the lowest bidder to be successful in getting a contract,” said Vellinga. “What I like about this system is that it rewards you for what you’ve done, not just what you say you’re going to do.”

In her 17 years at Chicago Women in Trades, Vellinga has seen significant improvement in the work environment for women in construction. As an example, she tells about one of the plumber’s unions she works with in the Chicago area. Just four years ago, this group had just two women in their apprenticeship program. However, with a change in mindset among the union’s leadership, they started bringing more women into the program. Today, they have 32 women in their apprenticeship program and are also supporting a robust mentorship program.

“Last year, for the first time in this local’s history, they sent women as delegates to the union association convention. And not just one woman, but three,” said Vellinga.  “These numbers are going to make the difference. You can’t ignore, refuse to train or create an untenable work environment for an important percentage of your workforce.”

For more information on the center or on the Women Build Nations conference, contact Jayne Vellinga by email at jvellinga@cwit2.org.

Exponential Growth in Registered Apprenticeship in Transportation Fueled by Accelerator Activity and Industry Commitment

Registered apprenticeship programs are growing to meet the demands of the transportation sector. A powerful tool for companies to develop the talent they need to fill positions, apprenticeship is being adopted to address workforce gaps in a growing array of occupations. The U.S. Department of Labor funds intermediaries such as FASTPORT and TransPORTs to develop registered apprenticeship programs and expand the number of apprentices for employers in the transportation and logistics industry.

“I am currently working with a large supply chain exporter with 60 branches in the U.S. Their vice president reached out to us because he wants to use apprenticeship to build his workforce,” said Barbara Murray, TransPORTs Apprenticeship and Partnership Development Expert. “He said there are great supply chain programs out there and named a couple of universities. But, then he said the graduates of those programs have great theoretical knowledge but they don’t have any work experience so they really still can’t go to work.” Plus, Murray pointed out, it is at this point that new graduates often discover that the job is not a good fit.

Combine the career readiness that apprenticeship provides with the astoundingly high retention rates of 87-93% of employees who complete apprenticeship programs, and it is clear why more companies are turning to groups like TransPORTs and FASTPORTS, for assistance in getting new programs up and running for an increasing number of occupations.

Resources such as videos and the new SMART Maritime and Transportation Career Pathways and Occupations Toolkit are available to help spread the word about the growing number of maritime occupations available through registered apprenticeship.

“My role has been changing the face of what apprenticeship is. Those professional careers can all be done with apprenticeship. The only way to do that is have people understand what apprenticeship is,” said Murray. “There are so many open positions right now where the people applying don’t have the needed skills. There’s a mismatch. More can be done than just taking classes and sitting in a classroom. Actually taking relevant classes that are matched to the work that you’re doing; that’s the difference.”

Truck drivers are an in-demand group and accordingly, this was one of the earliest national training standards program developed.
“We now have nine national employer companies sponsoring registered apprenticeship programs. Through these there are currently 814 apprentices operating on the national standards with a truck driving apprenticeship,” said Dave Harrison, Executive Director of National Apprenticeship at FASTPORT.

One of the key boosts to apprenticeship has been the advent of national apprenticeship standards, which facilitate the expansion of programs across states and make it easier to replicate programs.

“In 2014 an idea was born and some of us in the industry started actually writing what is called the National Standard of Apprenticeship, even before anything was passed in legislation. We just believed it was going to happen,” said Harrison. “It’s just been since the middle of 2015 that we started getting engagement on national strategies. So, if you look at it, it’s not very old.”

Truck drivers and diesel mechanics are some of the most in-demand employees being developed through apprenticeship today.

But there has been a lot of growth in a short time. Since the beginning, Harrison points out the truck driver segment has experienced the greatest growth, because that’s the biggest area of need. Moving forward, other related occupations are beginning to catch up. These include occupations like diesel mechanic and fleet manager. FASTPORT currently has programs for eight occupations in this area.

Over the next two years, Harrison predicts explosive growth in apprentices joining programs for freight broker or cargo broker and related occupations. These occupations are increasingly important to the world economy “because they integrate everything, air, land, and sea,” said Harrison.

In maritime, employers around our nation’s ports have diverse workforce needs and the new occupations being pursued for apprenticeship reflect this diversity. “The hot jobs include electro-mechanical, welder, HVAC, crane operator, logistics associate, freight forwarder, and, most recently, graphic designer,” said Murray.

Currently in process, FASTPORT is working to co-sponsor a new registered apprenticeship program with the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) to launch programs for freight brokers. With over 1700 employers as part of their association, this TIA program will quickly rival truck driver programs in terms of enrolled apprentices.

Harrison sites partnerships with industry as the driving factor for apprenticeship program successes. It is the industry connections which helps guide the best practices for reaching employers. One of the key activities they do is host accelerator events, often as part of national trade conferences. FASTPORT will be attending the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, August 24-26. “This is a great event and I would encourage anyone interested in apprenticeship and the transportation industry to attend,” said Harrison.

“A lot of what we do is make it simpler and quicker for companies,” said Murray. She cites the U.S. Department of Labor’s commitment to the ApprenticeshipUSA program with contributing to their success by adding more people but not more administrative layers. “We have more people, more opportunities to work face-to-face with companies and turn their programs around more quickly,” she said.

To learn more about starting an apprenticeship program, contact Dave Harrison at dave.harrison@fastport.com or Barbara Murray at brmurray77@gmail.com.

Presenters at First D&I Virtual Roundtable Took it from the Top in Tackling Common Challenges

An opportunity to discuss strategies for tackling common challenges brought forty diversity and inclusion professionals together for the Midwest Transportation Workforce Center’s first D&I Virtual Roundtable discussion on June 8. When they registered, attendees were asked to share their challenges and questions. Among their responses, some strong themes emerged. Common challenges shared by the attendees included:

  • Gaining buy-in and support from senior leadership
  • Demonstrating and communicating the value of diversity and inclusion
  • Evolving corporate culture to not only recruit people with a broad range of backgrounds and ethnicities but to also welcome these people and make them want to stay

The roundtable discussion was the first in a three-part series hosted by MTWC this summer. The MTWC is hosting this series to address a need among D&I professionals for a place to share ideas, learn from peers, and network with others with similar goals.

The roundtables are being facilitated by Tremaine Maebry, an attorney and advocate who currently manages the Office of Diversity and Civil Rights at a major transit organization. Maebry kicked off the discussion by explaining why he chose the topic of this first roundtable.

“In my conversations with colleagues and other advocates, our discussions often center around how do we get a seat at the table or how do we get buy in or support from our executive leadership team,” said Maebry. “I say that most of our senior leaders understand the importance that diversity plays in our organizations especially when it comes to the bottom line, retention, recruitment, and profit. What is unclear is the role that the D&I professional plays and how we fit in. It can be difficult for leadership to see us as strategic partners. It’s important for us to understand our roles and what we’ve done to create value. We need to do that before we ask for a seat at the table. We need to be able to articulate that especially to those in senior positions.”

Presenters, George Watts and Laurie Blazek of Top Line Talent, discussed strategies that D&I professionals can use to improve communication, especially with senior executives. Using some of the strategies outlined in their recent book, “Becoming a Strategic Leader,” Watts walked through ways that people can align their communication to the personality traits of the people with whom they are trying to communicate.

Watts asked the people in the roundtable to consider how they ranked various aspects of their personality. Then, they were asked to consider the top traits of their boss or other member of senior leadership at their organization. Given certain traits, Watts outlined the best communication styles that work to communicate with people with those traits.

To demonstrate, Watts asked for a volunteer. The volunteer shared that her top personality traits, as defined by Watts’ model, are a tendency toward extroversion and open-mindedness. On the other hand, a person she needs to communicate with at work has an almost opposite set of personality traits with a tendency toward conscientiousness and being emotionally stable.

“He is looking for you to present a metrically based argument and a process. You have a tendency to sell how diversity can make the workforce more creative and innovative and it can expand the talent pool. What he really wants to hear is how diversity can improve financial performance and result in decision making,” suggested Watts.

Overall, Watts talked about how D&I professionals can rebrand themselves to better communicate with senior leaders at their organizations and adjust their personal communication style so that their messages are more well received by their audience.

“To earn a seat at the table it’s important for you to understand your personality structure and then understand how your audience wants to receive that information and hear that information,” explained Watts.

In addition to communication style and personality traits, Watts proposed that D&I professionals think about their profession as a whole.

“What business are you really in?” asked Watts. “You have to define yourself as a talent management professional and diversity is one of the tools in your toolkit. You have to put diversity in the larger context and see it as part of the bigger picture.”

A recording of the roundtable discussion is available here.

Attendees at the roundtable included people from apprenticeship programs, community and technical colleges, consulting groups, industry, non-profits, primary and secondary schools, state departments of labor and transportation, transit agencies, transportation agencies, and universities.

While this discussion focused on communicating with top leadership, the next roundtable, on July 18, will focus on “Building Diversity and Inclusion from the Ground Up.” Bridgett Willey, Director of Allied Health Education and Career Pathways at UW Health, will speak about her experiences developing programs in education, training, outreach, and workforce development that cultivate diversity and inclusion.

Before the next roundtable, D&I professionals are encouraged to continue the conversation via the MTWC Community of Practice by joining the group on Google+ where there is a special section devoted to Workforce Inclusion and Diversity.

For more information or if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Maria Hart at maria.hart@wisc.edu.

Taking Hands-On Experiences on the Road Reaches More than Students

Employees with specific skills and a technical education are in demand in the transportation industry and this need is growing. Unfortunately, too few young people are being ushered toward transportation careers. Over the past decade, the nation’s K-12 educational systems have worked hard to deliver students to four-year degree programs at universities. This focus has greatly reduced the number of shop and hands-on technical classes, resulting in dwindling opportunities to expose students to the sorts of careers that drive the transportation industry today.

The Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence is determined to reverse this trend by providing young people with in-person, hands-on experiences, while demonstrating the value to parents, school administrators, industry representatives, and others. They are doing this with a new mobile outreach unit, a trailer decked out with stations for each transportation mode that is pulled by a truck. The trailer is outfitted with several pieces of equipment, creating hands-on stations where students, counselors, teachers, peers, and parents can participate in real activities that occur in transportation careers. These activities showcase the technology in the industry and help students develop passion for transportation careers.

“It’s one thing to put out a webinar, put out a newsletter, or tell someone about these careers,” said Chris Hadfield, Director of the Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence. But, he pointed out, it’s completely different when students and their parents visit the trailer and have that hands-on experience.

The mobile unit was used for the first time in early May at an event where high school students were competing to build fuel efficient miniature cars with lawn mower engines. The event hosted about 700 attendees and approximately 200-300 people walked through the trailer.

The Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence’s new mobile outreach unit is equipped with hands-on experiences representing each mode of transportation.

Inside, the center has designed an experience that promotes engagement with not just the students. School decision makers and parents, which the center refers to as influencers, are also targeted by the trailer.

“You have to have something to draw them in, the big trailer does that. Then you have to have industry partnerships,” said Hadfield. The goal is to have industry representatives from each transportation sector accompany the trailer at events. These industry volunteers work alongside center staff to greet people and talk about transportation jobs.

“We know that when we put an industry person in front of a school superintendent while they’re seeing students get engaged with the experience, that’s when we start to have real conversations about bringing their tech programs back, bringing their transportation programs back, maybe doing some cool internship or apprenticeship with us,” said Hadfield.

Involving industry representatives in outreach activities also serves to bring the transportation sectors together.

“Our idea is to have somebody from the trucking industry sitting side by side, two feet away from, somebody from the aviation sector and they’re side by side with somebody from the railroad and so on and so forth. We have these people mingling and they hadn’t realized before that they have something in common and now they realize that they do. And, common denominators mean that you should be collaborating and working together. There’s a lot more power in working together than alone in silos,” sad Hadfield.

Moving forward, the trailer will be made available to each of the center’s 26 partner post-secondary schools across the state. To utilize the trailer, the schools’ responsibilities include coordinating industry representatives to accompany the trailer, getting the high schools in their region on board, and arranging either a career fair on their own campus or to bring the trailer to a high school. The trailer is made available to center partners at no cost except to return the truck with a full tank of gas.
Brand new, the trailer is already booked for over 36 events over the course of the year. The success of the project so far is attributed to the collaboration of the schools, employers, and the center. Having representatives from the industry is really important toward the outreach goals of the center.

“If a post-secondary educator tells a secondary educator or a student about these careers, that’s nice and it works fine. But, when an industry person tells you, ‘By the way I’m hiring and right now I have people who work for me and this is what I pay them and this is what they do,’ the message has much more weight for a student, a parent or for a school superintendent,” said Hadfield.

About the Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence

The Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence is an innovative collaboration between Minnesota state colleges and universities and industry partners dedicated to educating and training workers for high-demand careers in the transportation industry.

The center was started in January of 2013 in response feedback from industry “listening sessions” held in 2012. Through the development of partnerships, the center supports workforce alignment in order to meet the current and future needs of the state’s transportation industry, not only in terms of the number of graduates but also in terms of the location of programs and the rate of degree attainment. The center coordinates the alignment of skills and knowledge needed by employers with what is taught in instructional programs while providing outreach to improve student awareness of employment markets.

MTWC Launches Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Initiative

This summer, the Midwest Transportation Workforce Center (MTWC) is hosting a series of conversations focused on diversity and inclusion practices.  Most businesses understand that diversity creates value in the workplace, builds stronger, more innovative teams, and will be critical to addressing future workforce shortfalls. However, implementation often falls to the wayside as the day-to-day objectives of running a business take priority.

You are invited to join others in the diversity and inclusion space to create a network that helps scale solutions across the United States. Hosted by the MTWC, this initiative will be facilitated by Tremaine Maebry, EEO/Diversity Initiatives Manager at Metra.

Through this initiative, MTWC hopes to provide an information exchange platform that makes space for diversity practitioners, advocates and champions from various industry backgrounds to have a dialogue on diversity and inclusion initiatives. Through a series of interactive, multi-layered discussions, the community will explore best practices, questions, resources, information, concerns, suggestions, recommendations and challenges of making a diverse and inclusive workplace with the intent of transforming that information into sustainable, workable, initiatives.

The initiative’s goals are:

  • To engage diversity and inclusion advocates from different industries, professional associations, generations, and geographic regions in meaningful dialogue and intentional actions.
  • To weave the principles of diversity and inclusion into sustainable, workable initiatives.
  • To identify impediments to creating a diverse and inclusive environment, and then propose solutions and ideas on how to address those challenges.

We welcome diversity and inclusion practitioners from all industry sectors.  Registration is now open for the first virtual roundtable discussion to be held June 8, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. Central Time.

For more information or if you have any questions, contact Maria Hart at maria.hart@wisc.edu.

Breadth and Diversity of Transportation Careers Requires Us to Dream Big During Engineers Week 2017

Inspiring the employees of the future to pursue careers in transportation requires not just career awareness but it also requires that we change existing perceptions about the field. Engineers Week February 19-25, offers an excellent opportunity to remind students, parents, and educators, that building and construction projects involve a wide variety of occupations from planners, construction workers, geologists, environmental experts, and hydro-geologists. As we celebrate the engineering feats in the world around us during Engineers Week, we can also consider all the people, technologies, and supply chains that make these possible.

A perfect example of this type of broad-based approach, is the giant screen movie, Dream Big: Engineering Our World, created in partnership with the American Society of Civil Engineers by Bechtel Corporation. More information about this event and where it will be screened in the Midwest can be found on the Dream Big film’s website.

Not only does the Dream Big film explore the broad field of engineering, but the makers have produced educational materials, exhibits, and curricula around the project, making this a game-changing strategy for workforce development professionals and educators.

Each state in the MTWC region celebrates engineering in its own way. You can find activities designed to inspire and educate young people about their career options in the MTWC Clearinghouse searchable database. Information on Engineers Week events can be found on the Discover-e website.

For the Midwest, we’ve compiled a short list of events for each state:

Illinois

With multiple events throughout the week, the Chicago Architecture Foundation Engineering Festival has a number of hands-on activities for kids and families. This year, they will explore Chicago’s iconic movable bridges with free activities for ages 5–12. https://www.architecture.org/experience-caf/programs-events/detail/engineering-fest/

At the Peoria Riverfront Museum, guests are invited to enjoy the Engineering Day Free Day! and other activities including a bridge building contest this weekend, February 18 and 19. https://www.peoriariverfrontmuseum.org/posts/700

In Wheaton, the Illinois Institute of Technology is providing provide hands-on activities for children and students of all ages (primarily in grades K-8) to explore science, technology, engineering and math in the DuPage Area STEM Expo on February 25. Over 50 displays, presentations, and projects will be featured. https://appliedtech.iit.edu/events/2017/feb/25/dupage-area-stem-expo-2017

Indiana

The IEEE Central Indiana Section is teaming up with The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to offer National Engineers Children’s Day on February 25. The program combines hands-on activities and the ability to interact with engineers of various disciplines. http://www.cis-ieee.org/eweek/

In Michigan City, the Dream Big…and Engineer On event will introduce the fun world of engineering to local youngsters with activities focused on kids aged 2 to 8 on February 23 at the Michigan City Public Library. https://www.facebook.com/events/814122088726555/

Iowa

Iowa State University College of Engineering is celebrating Engineers Week 2017 with events including a scavenger hunt for a golden calculator, E-Lympics, and Technology Night. https://www.facebook.com/isueweek/

In Waterloo, celebrate how engineers make a difference in the world during Museum Madness at the Imaginarium on February 25. https://www.groutmuseumdistrict.org/calendar/museum-madness-national-engineers-week–hawkeye-community-college-through-the-ages-D02252017.aspx

Kansas

A little later this year, for two days in March, the University of Kansas School of Engineering will open its doors for elementary and middle school students to explore the world of engineering during the KU Engineering EXPO. https://engr.ku.edu/esc/expo

Michigan

Michigan Tech is hosting Engineering Exploration Day for Middle and High School Girls on February 25. https://events.mtu.edu/event/engineering_exploration_day_for_middle_and_high_school_girls#.WKSiUjsrKbg

Minnesota

The Engineering Career Information Night for middle and high school students in Savage will be hosted by the Prior Lake High School Robotics Team KING TeC, in collaboration with the Prior Lake High School Guidance Office and Mankato State University. During this event, a panel of engineers will provide insights to a career in engineering and answer questions from the audience on February 23, in the Prior Lake High School auditorium. https://kingtec2169.com/engineering-career-information-night/

Crack open old electronics, use candy to learn about biomedical technology, explore squishy, slimy, and cold substances, and more. It’s all part of the fun at The Works Museum’s annual Tech Fest event on February 25. With dozens of hands-on activities and demos this event lets families learn more about what engineering is and see how it’s everywhere around us. https://theworks.org/tech-fest/

Celebrate Engineers Week by making a puppet in the Engineering Elastic Puppets event. At this event at the St. Anthony Library on February 25, you will learn about elasticity, and then create and decorate your very own puppet out of string and straws. https://hclib.bibliocommons.com/events/581b66e45d375c0100ecdd9a

Missouri

Spark your curiosity at the annual series of weekend expos in SciFest 2017 at the Saint Louis Science Center. Meet local scientists, engineers and other experts for a behind-the-scenes look at real science. http://www.slsc.org/SciFest#sthash.17pvpWXl.dpuf

Washington University in St. Louis School of Engineering & Applied Science is celebrating Engineers Week 2017 with multiple events throughout the week. https://engineering.wustl.edu/current-students/Pages/Engineers-Week.aspx

The Missouri Society of Professional Engineers Ozarks Chapter is hosting Discover Engineering Day at The Plaster Center for Free Enterprise and Business Development in Downtown Springfield on February 18. http://www.osteam.org/calendar/2017/2/18/discover-engineering-day

Ohio

The Central Ohio STEM Expo is a free educational outreach event for students grades K-8 that will feature fun, interactive activities and exhibits in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Participants will have the opportunity to get reduced price admission to explore the rest of the COSI facility that day as well as to watch Dream Big: Engineering Our Worldhttp://centralohioasce.org/2017_STEM_Expo

Wisconsin

STEM Forward’s 64th Annual Engineers Week Banquet & Awards Ceremony is a celebration of excellence in STEM as the Engineer of the Year, Young Engineer of the Year, and Spirit of STEM Awards are presented. http://www.stemforward.org/engineers-week-banquet-1/

In April, the University of Wisconsin will host its annual Engineering EXPO 2017. Registration is now open for this two-day, student run event, which typically attracts 10,000 visitors to the university campus. Cash awards are given out to exhibitors comprised of undergraduate students, graduate students, and student organizations. Registration for exhibitors is open now! http://engineeringexpo.wisc.edu/

Find the Summer Programs You Are Looking For

Type the word, “summer” into the Midwest Transportation Workforce Center Clearinghouse search feature and 84 different resources will be displayed. These include a variety of summer programs for age groups ranging from elementary school through high school. Additionally, you’ll find summer internship opportunities for students entering the workforce or exploring their career options. Now is the time of year to make your summer plans, and the MTWC Clearinghouse is your first stop for finding transportation career resources in the Midwest, and beyond.

Continuously growing, the newly launched search feature was added to the MTWC website in January with over 1300 resources for developing transportation talent in the Midwest. The database has a particularly rich offering for educators and parents looking for career awareness opportunities for their students.

Among summer programs in the database, you will find over a dozen opportunities explicitly catering to girls and women and 40 resources focused on engineering occupations.

The curated database makes it easy to find the right resources with its detailed information on each listing. Search results can be filtered by the state where the program is offered, by age group, or half a dozen other categories.

The MTWC website is a clearinghouse for all things related to the transportation talent pipeline in the Midwest. With MTWC, you can connect with your peers, share best practices, read about others’ successes, and help define and develop the Midwest strategy for transportation talent development.

Make Sure Your Summer Program is Found

You can ensure that your summer internship, workshop, or camp is found in the one-stop clearinghouse for transportation career and talent development resources in the Midwest in one simple step of submitting your resource to the Midwest Transportation Workforce Center.

Already a central hub for sharing and learning about successful strategies and programs for developing transportation talent, the Clearinghouse was expanded in January to include a searchable database. Here, parents, educators, and prospective employees will seek a variety of resources for the summer of 2017.

The MTWC website is a clearinghouse for all things related to the transportation talent pipeline in the Midwest. With MTWC, you can connect with your peers, share best practices, read about others’ successes, and help define and develop the Midwest strategy for transportation talent development.

Submit Your Resources

To get your resource listed, complete the MTWC Clearinghouse submission form. Or, send information by email to Maria Hart at maria.hart@wisc.edu.

Clearinghouse Puts Transportation Resources at Your Fingertips

The Midwest Transportation Workforce Center (MTWC) recently launched its new, searchable database of transportation workforce resources. With over 1300 entries, the search feature is accessed by clicking on “Clearinghouse” in the top menu of the MTWC website. Here, you will find listings of a variety of resources including pre-apprenticeship programs, internships, educational opportunities, professional development opportunities, scholarships, summer programs, and workforce development initiatives across the nine-state MTWC region, and beyond.

While the website, with its varied content devoted to growing the transportation pipeline, is a first stop for people seeking transportation workforce information, the indexing of resources in this new database will help users find what they are looking for more readily.

The Clearinghouse is a resource for educators looking for transportation curricula or programs, industry or workforce professionals looking for successful practices, or parents who are looking for summer programs for their budding transportation professional. So, if you are looking for Supply Chain programs in the region, or K-12 programs that target girls, we can help.

“Our vision for a Clearinghouse is that it will help us capture and define the collective work we are doing in this region. These transportation resources span the continuum from K-12 career awareness through professional development across all transportation occupations. With this database, we can determine where the gaps are and where we need to improve career pathways.  As our communities prepare for the future of the transportation workforce, this kind of information will form a fundamental baseline for these planning discussions. We will be ready,” said Maria Hart, MTWC Program Manager.

The MTWC website is a one-stop for all things related to the transportation talent pipeline in the Midwest. With MTWC, you can connect with your peers, share best practices, read about others’ successes, and help define and develop the Midwest strategy for transportation talent development.

Please click here to explore the most comprehensive compilation of the region’s transportation workforce development initiatives, programs, and resources.

Make Sure Your Resources Are Listed

The MTWC Clearinghouse is always growing and improving. This launch is only the beginning. Help us build this network. To get your resource listed, please complete the MTWC Clearinghouse submission form. Or, send information along with a website link by email to Maria Hart at maria.hart@wisc.edu.