Internship opens doors to transportation careers for women

Earlier this week, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the expansion of an internship program designed to encourage women to pursue transportation careers.

The program is well-intended, and as evidenced by the expansion of it, well-received. A pilot program was started at Spelman College in 2009. This expansion will add nine more programs around the country that will provide resources, technical assistance and outreach in all 50 states and U.S. territories.

The programs will be administered through the DOT’s Small Business Transportation Resource Centers.

“Women are an essential part of today’s labor force, yet women are underrepresented in the transportation industry,” said LaHood. “We’re saying to all the college women out there – no matter where you’re enrolled, there’s a DOT Small Business Transportation Resource Center close by to help you plug into your dream job, whether it’s an airport, an engineering or aerospace firm, a railroad, a transit agency or perhaps one of our DOT offices.”

The centers will help place qualified students in internship programs in their region of the country.

“We are excited about expanding a great program that will introduce young women to transportation careers nationwide,” said Office of Small and Disadvantage Business Utilization Director Brandon Neal. “It is our goal to assist as many women as possible and continue to be the training ground for future small business owners.”

This announcement follows LaHood’s signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Women’s Transportation Seminar International, which tries to encourage women to consider careers in transportation. The organization’s website includes a job board where job seekers can search for transportation-related careers – everything from CEO to marketing. There are currently more than 550 jobs listed, both in the private and public sector.

The job board also includes an employer section that allows each employer to search through eligible applicants.