May 27, 2009

Women's seminar launches foundation

At its 2009 Annual Conference in Seattle, the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) announced the creation of the WTS Foundation to build upon the success of its scholarship program and expand the opportunities to promote education, research and workforce development.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood commended the launch in a message sent to WTS, stating, “The inauguration of the WTS Foundation is a bold step forward for the transportation community.  By supporting the advancement of women in the transportation industry through scholarships, research, and leadership development, the WTS Foundation is making a critical contribution to the nation's transportation workforce.” 

WTS President Elaine Dezenski, WTS Foundation President Pippa Woods and Immediate Past President Sue Lai were joined in the celebration by former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters, who described the needs addressed by the Foundation, in commenting that, “Our nation's transportation system is facing unprecedented challenges in the 21st century -- challenges that will require the best efforts from transportation professionals.  The WTS Foundation will help meet that challenge by providing the opportunity for scholarships, educational opportunities and career development to advance women in transportation professions.  I commend WTS for taking this important step.”

WTS Foundation (WTSF) will replace WTS Scholarship as the 501(c)(3) organization supporting WTS in its endeavors to advance women in transportation through contributions that invest in scholarships to women seeking transportation-related graduate and undergraduate degrees. Additionally, the foundation will provide and promote educational opportunities and professional development for women in the transportation industry. WTSF also will seek to initiate, sponsor and publish research related to this mission. During its 15-year history, WTS Scholarship raised more than $2,000,000 and disbursed more than $900,000 in scholarship funds. WTS Foundation will continue and expand this central program.

WTS was founded in 1977 as a professional society committed to the advancement of women in transportation. The association has 4,200 members and 44 chapters in the U.S., Canada and U.K.

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