U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was awarded the Women's Transportation Seminar (WTS) International's 2015 Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award at the WTS Annual Conference in Chicago, for his commitment to advancing the Obama Administration's "Ladders of Opportunity" Initiative.
WTS International, an organization dedicated to building the future of transportation through the global advancement of women, honored Secretary Foxx for his work to ensure that America's transportation system strengthens communities and connects all Americans to economic and educational opportunity.
The WTS Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award is given to individuals who exhibit extraordinary efforts or initiatives in facilitating professional opportunities for women and minorities and contribute significantly to the promotion of diversity, inclusion, and multi-cultural awareness.
"We are so honored that Secretary Foxx came out to Chicago to address our members about his passion for our mission. His arrival at the WTS Awards Banquet speaks volumes about his priorities for the advancement of women and diversity in the transportation industry," said Marcia Ferranto, president and CEO WTS International.
Secretary Foxx has supported WTS International's mission by introducing Departmental programs and initiatives that promote equal access to opportunity for all. One such effort, the Ladders of Opportunity Transportation Empowerment Pilot (LadderSTEP) Program, is focused on helping seven cities across the country improve local infrastructure in a way that creates economic opportunity.
Secretary Foxx has also led the charge in pushing Congress to pass the GROW AMERICA Act, a six-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal that invests in modernizing the nation's infrastructure. This bill not only provides funding certainty for states and increases investment in the transportation infrastructure of communities across the country, but also includes $369 million for workforce development grants. This funding would support job training and apprenticeships opportunities for Americans from all walks of life.
"There aren't enough women and minorities working in transportation," Secretary Foxx said. "WTS is a critical partner in our efforts to promote diversity in this critical economic sector, but we can do even more by making sure our transportation system works for everyone."
In his remarks, Secretary Foxx also applauded WTS International's Transportation YOU program, a joint effort of WTS and the U.S. Department of Transportation to encourage young women to pursue an academic path that leads to a career in transportation. The initiative has been implemented to engage hundreds of young women in career exploration in the transportation industry across the U.S., which offer mentorships, internship opportunities, tours, and hands-on engineering challenges.