Newsletter Vol. 3
July 2016
In This Issue
Hot Topic - STEM Education
TOPUpcoming Center Events

Webinar: Transportation: A Natural Vehicle for Integrated STEM Learning
Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Time: 11:30 am to 1:00 pm Mountain Time

The WRTWC is pleased to partner with the National Network for the Transportation Workforce and the Transportation Research Board Committee on Education & Training to present a webinar on STEM education in transportation. The webinar will explore STEM learning in programs using a transportation lens through informal educational settings.  It will build off of the findings from the 2015 National Research Council's report on productive STEM programs in out-of-school settings and will explore ways in which the transportation field can offer:
  • a productive area for advancing STEM learning goals given the broad reach of the modes and the disciplines involved;
  • a continuum of STEM job opportunities and career paths that start at multiple levels of credentialing (High School, advanced certificates, Associates degree, Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral level);
  • a familiar field of inquiry for students of all backgrounds to engage in as they all experience the field in daily life, from walking and biking to transit and highways.
Martin Storksdieck, Director of the Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning at Oregon State University

Presenters :
Marcia Ferranto, President and CEO, WTS International
  • WTS International's Transportation You - DC Youth Summit & Philadelphia Transportation You Mentoring Program
Helen Blackman, Director, Office of Organizational Culture and Work Life at Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center
  • Volpe Transportation STEM outreach program in Cambridge, MA
Brett Nicholas, Manager of Community Initiatives in the Center for the Advancement of Science (CASE) at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago
  • Summer Brain Games at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago
For more information about this webinar, click here.
Summer Camp for High School Students

The Center is pleased to host the Summer Transportation Institute at Montana State University again this year. The two-week long summer camp for high school students will run July 17-29.  The camp is an excellent opportunity for students to experience college topics, particularly in engineering, live on MSU campus, and receive college and career planning assistance.  Best of all, the camp is free to all selected students (all room and board and program expenses are paid for through a generous grant from the Federal Highway Administration/MDT). 

2016 camp highlights include:
  • Ferry ride on the Missouri River
  • Discovery Flights in a small plane with pilot instructors
  • CSI Junior -Investigation of a crash scene with an NTSB expert
  • Team Design/Build projects - bridges, gliders, mini-cars        
  • Tours of Montana Department of Transportation laboratories (with a special welcome from Montana Lieutenant Governor, Mike Cooney)
The program is pleased to partner with faculty and research staff from 7 different engineering departments and centers as well as with industry partners from the Montana Department of Transportation, Robert Peccia and Associates, Sanderson Stewart, and Summit Aviation. 

Past Center Events
Montana Girls STEM Collaborative Forum

The West Region Transportation Workforce Center co-hosted an event with the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative at Montana State University in May. The forum was designed to build collaborations and brought formal and informal STEM education champions (from museums, scouts, 4-H, museums, non-profits, higher and K-12 education) together with public and private sector transportation practitioners to discuss how they can more productively work together to share know-how and to build the future talent pipeline in STEM, particularly for girls and others typically underrepresented in STEM careers.  Forum highlights included a panel discussion with girls interested in STEM and an industry panel (with representatives from the Montana Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, and private transportation planning and engineering firms) to discuss partnership opportunities. Forum attendees additionally learned about transportation STEM education content and resources, and participated in networking and collaboration-building activities. The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative is an outreach program of Montana NSF EPSCoR and is part of a National Science Foundation-funded effort that encourages girls to pursue STEM careers and studies. 
Webinar: The Coming Retirement Tsunami: Why Transit Agencies and the Public Sector Can No Longer Ignore Succession Planning

On June 9, the WRTWC hosted a webinar with presenters Patrick Ibarra of the Mejorando Group and Del Peterson of the Small Urban and Rural Transit Center (SURTC) at the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute. The webinar covered:
  • The results of the SURTC Workforce Development Survey of 160 small urban and rural transit agencies across 40 different states
  • Ways to secure commitment and support from policy makers to pursue development of a Succession Plan
  • A Five-Phase Approach to process-based Succession Planning
  • Methods to build organizational capacity to shape the workforce to respond to emerging trends and shifting priorities.
Did you miss it?   
You can still access this relevant and useful information. The recording and presentations can be downloaded here.

Upcoming Webinars
Autonomy and the Future of Urban Mobility 

Date: July 11, 2016
Time: 10:00 am to 10:45 am Mountain Time
Organization: Volpe 

Self-driving vehicles are ubiquitous in the news today. Hardly a week goes by without some new media coverage of the technology. As part of Volpe's new speaker series,  The Future of Transportation: Safety, Opportunity, and Innovation , Dr. Emilio Frazzoli will discuss recent advances in the design of autonomous vehicle systems, ranging from a single vehicle to a fleet capable of serving the mobility needs of a whole city. Dr. Frazzoli will consider the operation of a fleet of shared autonomous vehicles, providing mobility-on-demand services to customers in an urban environment. Based on real data from several cities worldwide, Dr. Frazzoli also will address the potential impact of autonomous shared cars on urban mobility.
For more information, click here .
Filling the Gaps: Professional Development Programs Designed for Transportation Personnel 

Date: July 14, 2016
Time: 11:30 am to 1:00 pm Mountain Time
Organization: Northeast Transportation Workforce Center 

The Northeast Transportation Workforce Center (NETWC) is proud to join with the American
Public Works Association, the Connecticut Local Technical Assistance Program, and the Louisiana
Leadership Development Institute to bring you this roundtable discussion on professional development programs for adults in the public sector transportation industry. By engaging with transportation leaders on a national, state, and academic backgrounds, participants will get the full breadth of professional development programs available to them to help advance their careers
The round table will be moderated by the Director of the Cornell Local Roads Program, David Orr, who will be joined by:
  • Mary Leah Coco, Ph.D., the director at the Louisiana Transportation Research Center's Training and Education Center, located on the LSU Campus.
  • Donna Shea, the Program Director of the Connecticut Technology Transfer Center, at the University of Connecticut, for the past sixteen years.
  • Mabel Tinjacá Ph.D., the Director of Professional Development at APWA, as well as the principal and founder of the consulting frim Strategies for Growth.
For more information, click here.
Friends and Allies of the Walking Movement 

Date: July 14, 2016
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm Mountain Time
Organization: America Walks

At the 2015 National Walking Summit, keynote speaker Ron Sims reminded us that though we may work as individuals, we are part of a larger walking movement and stronger than we realize. What can we do to expand this movement? Join America Walks as we explore possible new partners in the work towards making America a great place to walk, learning and growing with organizations, industries and communities that are already in step with the walking movement. This webinar will hear from three organizations that are friends and allies of the walking movement. Participants will learn about the work of these organizations and how walking plays a role.

For more information, click here .
Pacific Northwest Economic Region Annual Summit, Transportation Session

Date: July 17-21, 2016
Time: 9:15 am to 12:15 pm Mountain Time
Organization: Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER)

The Pacific Northwest Economic Region is providing an online opportunity for those who wish to join a unique discussion on regional transportation infrastructure and to engage with high-level federal, state, and private sector stakeholders during the annual PNWER Summit scheduled for July in Calgary, Alberta.  State legislators, experts, and regional stakeholders will take part in a discussion on ways we can work together to increase greater economic competitiveness through the transportation sector in the Pacific Northwest.
For more information, click here.
The Evolving Surface Transportation Operations and Maintenance Workforce; Challenges and Opportunities

Date: August 18, 2016
Time: 11:00 am to 12:30 pm Mountain Time
Organization: Transportation Research Board (TRB)

TRB will conduct a webinar on Thursday, August 18, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM ET that focuses on the rapid changes in the surface transportation maintenance and operations workforce. Factors such as increasing retirement rates, downsizing staff, recruiting and retaining qualified employees, shifting responsibilities, and expanding the use of advanced technologies are influencing these changes. This webinar will examine two social factors and two groups of potential workers that have not been fully engaged in maintenance and operations career path opportunities.  
Webinar Presenters
  • Susan Gallagher, Montana State University, Western Transportation Institute, West Region Transportation Workforce Center
  • Stephanie Ivey, University of Memphis, Southeast Transportation Workforce Center
  • Thomas O'Brien, California State University, Long Beach, Southwest Transportation Workforce Center
  • LaShanda Dawkins, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority
Professional Development Hour Information
A certificate for 1.5 Professional Development Hours (PDHs) will be provided to Professional Engineers (PEs) who register and attend the webinar as an individual.
For more information, click here .

Upcoming Workshops
Northwest TTAP Summer Tribal Planning Institute: Tribal Planning

Date: July 11-15, 2016
Location: Spokane, WA
Organization: Northwest Tribal Technical Assistance Program (NW TTAP)

This five-day workshop will describe the history, structures and powers of tribal government within tribal sovereignty for tribal planning. It will include an overview of land use planning based on a Comprehensive Plan that covers the natural environment, land use, housing and community facilities, economic development, and transportation as elements of the plan. The class will also cover the unique processes of Tribal Specific Comprehensive Plans that incorporate elements of tribal history, tribal language and culture; tribal lands; tribal architecture and housing; land use patterns, tribal health and wellness; tribal economic and community development, and their significance in planning for contemporary and future communities. The course will include an assessment of contemporary tribal planning practices for sustainable tribal futures through a review of tribal plans and best practices.
The model for tribal planning is the development of tribal (or village) specific planning as a unique and dynamic process which uses some of the same tools of non-tribal planning but expands from a base of tribal sovereignty.
For more information, click  here .
Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation, Comprehensive Bikeway Design 2.0

Date: July 25-29, 2016

Location: Portland, OR
Organization: Portland State University

This IBPI advanced course covers the fundamentals of bikeway design and planning through an intensive week of interactive classroom and field experience and one-on-one problem solving with instructors. The course primarily focuses on improving existing bicycle networks. The course will highlight the latest research and innovative practice and provide you with skills and diverse perspectives to take your bike network to the next level.

Who Should Attend: Transportation engineers, urban planners, past participants of the 1.0 course, and others interested in in-depth engineering and planning examples of bikeway design and innovation. This course best serves people from communities who already have a developed bicycle network, particularly municipal staff and other transportation professionals who have worked for a few years in their roles and are continuing to work on implementing bicycle facilities.

For more information, click here.
Northwest TTAP Summer Tribal Planning Institute: GIS for Tribal Planning, Transportation and Traffic Safety

Date: August 8-12, 2016
Location: Spokane, WA
Organization: Northwest Tribal Technical Assistance Program (NW TTAP)

This five-day workshop will cover the fundamentals of Geographical Information Systems for spatial data collection, mapping, and spatial analysis of data for planning, transportation planning and traffic safety.  ESRI ARC-GIS software will be utilized in computer-lab based instruction, along with data collection APPs, tutorials and lectures at beginning and advanced levels.  Students will learn how to download existing data sets and to go into the field to create spatial data for later mapping and analysis.  The class will explore spatial inventory and analysis of environmental and land use data; road inventory data collection, analysis and mapping; and analysis of existing traffic safety data for the boundaries of the reservation and surrounding areas on or leading to reservations.  Advanced analysis will combine road conditions and crash data as part of traffic safety planning to identify contributing factors and effective countermeasures as part of transportation safety projects for tribes. 
For more information, click  here .
Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation, Comprehensive Bikeway Design 1.0

Date: August 16-21, 2016
Location: Portland, OR
Organization: Portland State University

he field of bikeway planning and design has been evolving rapidly over the last decade. As communities have put bikeway plans into effect, we've learned what works and what doesn't; how to plan effectively, design correctly and make investments that get results. We've distilled those lessons into our comprehensive bikeway planning and design course. The pioneers and leading practitioners in the field will teach the fundamentals of bikeway planning and design through an intensive week of classroom sessions and tours. The instruction and interaction with other participants will bring you up to speed on innovative practice and research and teach you the skills and techniques you need to get started on your next project.

Who Should Attend: People interested in nurturing cycling in their communities, including urban planners, advocates, policymakers, transportation engineers and other transportation professionals. People looking to make low-risk investments in proven bicycle plans and facilities. This class has a planning focus, with some engineering issues covered.

For more information, click here.

Grant Opportunities
ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grants  

The U.S. Department of Labor announced a new grant opportunity to help states expand, diversify registered apprenticeship opportunities. Awards will range from $700,000 to $3.2M each. The Funding Opportunity Announcement that includes information about how to apply is available at . Grant applications must be received by Sept. 7, 2016.

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Other Opportunities
Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Internship Program - Applications Now Being Accepted

The Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship is now accepting applications from graduate and professional school students and those who have completed graduate studies within the last five years . The fellowship provides the opportunity to spend 12 weeks at the Academies in Washington, DC learning about science and technology policy and the role that scientists and engineers play in advising the nation. Each year, applicants from around the world become part of an Academies' committee, board, or unit where they are assigned to a mentor and learn about the world of science and technology policy. An immersive experience, the program is designed to broaden fellows' appreciation of employment opportunities outside academia and leave them with both a firm grasp of the important and dynamic role of science and technology in decision-making and a better understanding of the role that they can play in strengthening the science and technology enterprise for the betterment of mankind. 

Graduate and professional school students and those who have completed graduate studies (degree awarded) within the last five years may apply. Areas of study may include any social/behavioral science, medical/health discipline, physical or biological science, any field of engineering, law/business/public administration, or any relevant interdisciplinary fields. 

For more information, click here.

The Montana Infrastructure Coalition was created by the Montana Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with over 40 other non-profits, industry and trade associations, and private business entities, to change public policy and improve the manner in which we build and maintain our critical public infrastructure. They are still welcoming new coalition members.  For more information, contact the Executive Director, Darryl James, at

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Please check out our website for the most up-to-date news and activities.

Is your organization hosting an event or opportunity you would like to share with the regional network? Please contact us and we will be happy to help you distribute the information.