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U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

This Notice was canceled March 4, 2004.



N 4720.9

September 16, 1997

  1. PURPOSE. To allow the use of funds authorized by Section 140(b), Title 23, United States Code (U.S.C.), to initiate the AASHTO/TRAC program.


    1. For a number of years, AASHTO, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Transportation Research Board have recognized the need to diversify the transportation profession workforce with well-qualified individuals. The national trend of declining matriculation rates in civil engineering continues to concern AASHTO members and there will be an increasing need for diversity in the transportation profession, particularly as the next century approaches. There is the need for greater diversity at all levels within transportation, but the most critical need is in civil engineering.

    2. Similar patterns threaten the available pool of workers in highway construction skills. The delivery system offered by the TRAC program, with minor modifications, can provide experience, exposure, and factual information to students to enable them to consider a highway construction skilled craft as a career. As an outreach tool, few programs have the potential reach of the TRAC program if adequately funded and fully implemented.

    3. The AASHTO member departments' participation in and deployment of the AASHTO/TRAC program to secondary schools provides experiences to students that expose them to careers in transportation. The TRAC is a hands-on education program designed for use in science, mathematics, and social studies classes. The TRAC program connects high-school students to the work world and exposes them to careers in transportation including highway construction skills.

    4. While civil engineering will remain a core discipline in the TRAC program, with the advent of Intelligent Transportation Systems and other new and emerging technologies, the transportation industry will need to attract larger numbers of computer operators, programmers, systems engineers, telecommunications specialists, and environmentalists, as well as traditional disciplines including those involved in the highway construction related skilled crafts.

    5. There is a need to provide States with an ongoing source of funding to initiate and/or administer the TRAC program and to develop applicants' interest and to ensure a diverse pool of applicants for highway construction skills.

  3. ACTION: State transportation agencies may use an amount not to exceed $40,000 of the funds authorized for On-the-Job Training (OJT) and OJT Supportive Services by 23 USC 140(b) to be drawn down from their Bridge and Surface Transportation Program apportionments to initiate and/or administer the AASHTO/TRAC program.

Gloria J. Jeff
Acting Federal Highway Administrator

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