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Case Studies

Increasing Community Awareness Through Youth Career Training Programs

Wisconsin Department of Transportation

 In Wisconsin, school children wearing orange vests and hard hats are stand next to a road resurfacing project and learn about careers in transportation
In Wisconsin, school children wearing orange vests and hard hats are stand next to a road resurfacing project and learn about careers in transportation.
Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin DOT.

Effective Practices:

Investing in the Future- Innovative Youth Transportation Career Awareness Project.


  • Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT)
  • Dozens of industry, labor and community organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Students in the fifth through eighth grades

WisDOT sponsors youth-based training programs to promote awareness of careers in transportation. Participation in these training programs allows a diverse group of inner city, rural and urban school children to be exposed to transportation-related programs and careers as well as the job skills needed in the industry. The program:

Since the program began in 1999, over a 100 youth in the fifth through eighth grades have attended this weeklong summer project each year. Participants include a mix of boys and girls from both central city and rural communities, with a variety of ethnic groups represented. The program is state funded and is free for its participants. Field trips are taken to observe professionals working on WisDOT road construction projects and handle industry machinery. In the past, visits have been arranged to construction companies, an active quarry, an asphalt plant and gravel pit, Coast Guard and aviation sites. Presentations have been given across the country and a video called, “Career Awareness Project Wisconsin” was developed to promote the concept and disseminate lessons learned about this program.


For the Agencies:

For the Community:

Lessons Learned

A self-assessment of the program revealed the following:


Mary B. Williams
Transportation Programs Coordinator
Civil Rights Program Manager
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration-Wisconsin Division
Phone: (608) 829-7516

Updated: 7/21/2015
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