The University of Wisconsin-Madison is launching a new center aimed at bolstering the Midwest transportation industry by providing training and opportunities for more people to pursue careers in transportation.
The Midwest Transportation Workforce Center (MTWC) is one of five centers nationwide to receive a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. The MTWC will serve Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.
The transportation industry as a whole is facing a range of new challenges, according to Teresa Adams, a professor of civil and environmental engineering who will lead the UW-Madison center.
“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,” she says. “The center will take a strategic approach to workforce development by engaging and facilitating partnerships between transportation industry, education and economic development.”
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The MTWC will be housed within UW-Madison’s National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education (CFIRE), a center that focuses on freight issues and economic competitiveness.
“The University of Wisconsin-Madison has long operated a very successful and highly regarded transportation center,” says U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan. “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.”
The MTWC team will collaborate with the other federally funded centers to form a national network aimed at advancing transportation workforce development across the country.
“We look forward to working with industry and facilitating partnerships with K-12 and secondary schools, along with community colleges, technical schools and universities to align education and industry and to support career pathways for current and future transportation workers,” says Adams.