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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 28, 2000
Contact: Karen Whitney
Tel.: (202) 366-0660
FHWA 19-00

US Transportation Department, National Urban League
To Prepare Inner-City Residents, Youths
For Highway Construction, Transportation Technology Careers

U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater and National Urban League (NUL) President Hugh Price today announced that six Urban League affiliates will participate in the National Urban Sustainable Employment in Transportation (NUSET) initiative to prepare inner-city youth, welfare recipients and low-income individuals for education and career opportunities in highway construction and transportation technology.

"President Clinton's and Vice President Gore's highest priority is education because it is the key to opportunity," Slater said. "To ensure that we have the skilled workforce to meet the transportation needs of the next century, the U.S. Department of Transportation must continue to take steps, as we have with the Garrett A. Morgan Technology and Transportation Futures Program, the on-the-job training program, and now through this partnership, to recruit and train a labor force skilled for transportation-related careers."

"Transportation is the backbone of our national economy, providing a vital link to jobs as well as a wealth of employment opportunities," FHWA Administrator Kenneth R. Wykle said. "This initiative will encourage inner-city youth to achieve academic success in subjects relating to transportation and will direct their attention and that of the adult workforce to career opportunities in the transportation industry."

The Upstate Urban League, Greenville, S.C.; the Urban League of Champaign, Ill.; and the Urban League of San Diego, Calif., will conduct the Youth Career Education component of the NUSET, which encourages inner-city youth to achieve academic success with a focus on math, sciences and subjects relating to transportation. The Minneapolis and St. Paul Urban League affiliates; the Baltimore Urban League; and the Louisville Urban League, Louisville, Ky., will conduct the workforce development component of the initiative which will focus on job readiness, placement and supportive services to increase retention in highway construction and transportation technology careers.

The NUSET initiative is an outgrowth of a 1998 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the U.S. Department of Transportation and the NUL. The MOU established a partnership between the two organizations to better promote transportation safety awareness, transportation-related employment and transportation-related educational opportunities in the nation's urban areas. The National Urban League will administer the NUSET initiative with $1 million in funding provided by the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration. The federal funding will be supplemented by in-kind and cash contributions from various partners and selected Urban League affiliates.

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Facts

Youth Career Education Model

Urban League of the Upstate, Greenville, S.C. - "The Transportation Scholars Program," (TSP) is designed to be a 12-month, intensive fellowship program for inner-city youth in the school district of Greenville County, South Carolina. TSP has the potential to become a strong link to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups and the Dwight David Eisenhower Scholarship Program.

Urban League of Champaign County, Champaign, Ill. - "TRACKMASTERS" is a seven-phase, computerized exploration for highway construction and transportation career development and training. TRACKMASTERS rewards participants for completing each phase of their chosen career track by promoting them to a higher level. The model emphasizes the development of academic and technology skills.

San Diego Urban League - "Teens In Transportation Careers" focuses on the development of a transportation club within a youth leadership academy. The transportation club will serve as an initiative supporting the establishment of a charter school with transportation as the emphasis.

Workforce Development Model

Louisville Urban League, Louisville, Ky. - The "Kentuckiana Transportation 2000 Initiative" is a joint partnership between Kentucky DOT and Indiana DOT to leverage resources to enhance the placement of welfare recipients and low-income individuals in highway construction and technology related careers.

Baltimore Urban League - The Baltimore Urban League will develop a partnership with social services agencies in the development of their Young Fathers/Responsible Fathers that will focus on providing sustainable employment opportunities to young fathers in the highway construction and transportation technology industry. This model will develop a partnership base which includes the Maryland Department of Transportation, Baltimore County Department of Social Services, Child Support Enforcement Agency, and highway construction contractors to develop sustainable employment for young fathers.

Minneapolis and St. Paul Urban Leagues - Minneapolis and St. Paul Urban League affiliates will combine their efforts and networks to cover the entire Twin Cities area. By combining their efforts, the St. Paul and Minneapolis affiliates will be able to extend the service area and deliver sustainable employment opportunities in highway constructions and transportation technology to the entire Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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