National Summer Transportation Institute Programs Provide Venue for Industry Involvement in Building the Future Transportation Workforce Pipeline

National Summer Transportation Institute Programs Provide Venue for Industry Involvement in Building the Future Transportation Workforce Pipeline

The National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI) program is administered through the Federal Highway Administration’s Civil Rights Division with the intent of garnering interest and developing the next generation of transportation professionals. Most states offer a NSTI program, which typically is in the form of either a residential or commuter summer camp targeting either middle or high school students. The NSTI programs offered in most states provide a perfect venue for industry partners to get more directly involved in building the future transportation workforce.

As an example, for many years the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University, in partnership with the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), has hosted a residential two-week summer camp for high school students supported by the NSTI program. Fifteen to twenty high school students live on campus at MSU and participate in various activities that are intended to spark interest in transportation careers, build creative problem-solving skills, and improve their career readiness.

2009 Transportation Camp participants test balsa bridges

The MSU Summer Transportation Camp participants are introduced to all modes of transportation through presentations, field trips, and hands-on activities. Camp topics include transportation planning, engineering, infrastructure and roadway design, environmental considerations, advanced technologies, and safety. The MSU program has been continuously working to build industry partnerships to enhance the camp experience. Industry contributions provide participants with real-world career perspective from a practitioner’s point of view. The program benefits from these new collaborations with public and private sector industry representatives who are able to contribute new curriculum modules and guest presentations.

Example enhancements from past MSU camps include:

As qualified new entrants to transportation careers grow ever more challenging to attract to a growing number of openings, opportunities for industry to directly engage with pre-career youth –to share the experience and enthusiasm of practicing professionals and expose and attract potential new career entrants to the field—will become increasingly important. The NSTI program provides a ready-made avenue for transportation professionals to do just that.   

 

For more information about the WTI Summer Transportation Institute, please visit: http://www.montana.edu/wti/sti/

For more information about the FHWA National Summer Transportation Institute program, visit:

 http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/civilrights/programs/nsti_careers.cfm