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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 19, 2000
Contact: Karen Whitney
Tel.: 202-366-0660
FHWA 25-00

U.S. Transportation Secretary Slater Announces
Initiative to Prepare Inner-City Residents, Youth
For Highway Construction, Transportation Technology Careers

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today announced that the Louisville Urban League will receive $100,000 for the Kentuckiana Transportation 2000 Initiative as part of the National Urban Sustainable Employment in Transportation (NUSET) program.

NUSET prepares inner-city youth, welfare recipients and low-income individuals for education and career opportunities in highway construction and transportation technology.

"President Clinton and Vice President Gore have continuously supported increasing educational funding and programs because it is the the key to opportunity," Secretary Slater said. "The Kentuckiana Transportation 2000 Initiative will help enhance the local communities' well-being and economic revitalization through job access, welfare-to work programs, and construction projects that will provide employment opportunities for the economically disadvantaged. I applaud our partners in Kentucky and Indiana for their commitment to preparing the labor force that will help design, build and operate the high-tech transportation system required in the 21st century and new millennium."

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.

The initiative is part of the workforce development component of NUSET which focuses on job readiness, placement and supportive services.

Other NUSET participants include the Upstate Urban League, Greenville, S.C.; the Urban League of Champaign, Ill.; and the Urban League of San Diego, Calif., the Minneapolis and St. Paul Urban League affiliates; and the Baltimore Urban League.

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.

Today's announcement comes during Secretary Slater's two-week multi-modal tour across America to promote the Clinton administration's vision of a transportation system that enhances safety and mobility while meeting the needs of all Americans. Secretary Slater has conducted intermodal transportation tours every April since 1994 to examine first-hand how the Clinton Administration's record level of investment in transportation is improving the quality of peoples' lives across the length and breadth of America as well as improving travel and trade internationally.

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