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Transportation Secretary Slater: FHWA Seeks Minority Colleges To Participate in Summer Transportation Institutes

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Rodney E. Slater

Transportation Secretary Slater: FHWA Seeks Minority Colleges To Participate in Summer Transportation Institutes

Federal Highway Administration
September 22, 1998

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 22, 1998
Contact: Karen Whitney
Tel: (202) 366-0660
FHWA 40-98

U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today announced that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is seeking Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Institutions of Higher Education (MIHE) to participate in the agency’s highly successful Summer Transportation Institute program.

"President Clinton’s highest priority is education because it is the key to opportunity," Secretary Slater said. "Participation in the Summer Transportation Institute program has increased dramatically each year, and we look forward to developing partnerships with more colleges and universities in 1999."

Secretary Slater made the announcement in Washington, D.C., during the first National HBCU Week conference, sponsored by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Summer Transportation Institutes (STI) are four-week on-campus sessions designed to introduce high school students to transportation systems, innovations in transportation, management of transportation systems, construction skills, research and technology. The purpose of the program is to create awareness and stimulate interest in transportation careers, particularly among students entering minority colleges and universities. Participating colleges and universities host the institutes and provide housing and instructors for each session. FHWA and the South Carolina Department of Transportation manage the program on behalf of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The first institute was established in 1993 at South Carolina State University with an enrollment of 20 students. This year, a total of 18 colleges and universities participated in the program. To date, almost 1,300 students have enrolled in the institutes and about $1.7 million in FHWA funds have been provided. In addition to FHWA support, the institutes also receive assistance from local chapters of the Urban League, state departments of transportation, private sector companies and other federal agencies.

The STI program complements another national educational initiative, the Garrett A. Morgan Technology and Transportation Futures Program, established by Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater on May 30, 1997. Prompted by President Clinton’s strong support for education, Secretary Slater established the program with four objectives: improving students’ math, science and technological skills; strengthening the links between the transportation sector and community colleges, junior colleges, and technical schools; expanding transportation programs at undergraduate and graduate institutions; and easing the transition from school to work in the transportation field.

The Garrett Morgan Program is named in honor of Garrett A. Morgan (1876-1963), an African-American entrepreneur who invented the three-phased automated traffic signal and the safety hood, later known as the gas mask.

One college or university will be selected as the 1999 National STI Resource Center to administer the national program, and 25 to 35 schools will be selected to host on-campus institutes next summer. Interested colleges and universities are invited to submit comments on the current statement of work for the STIs and to submit expressions of interest to:

Rick Murray, FHWA Office of Acquisition Management
400 Seventh St., S.W., HAM-40, Room 4410
Washington, D.C. 20590-0001
e-mail: rick.murray@fhwa.dot.gov.

Copies of the Notice of Intent and Request for Information on the program also can be obtained from the Internet at http://eps.arnet.gov. Comments and expressions of interest are due by Oct. 1, 1998.

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