WTS Steps in to Narrow the Workforce Gap at the DC Summit

2018 DC Summit Inspires Girls to Pursue Careers in Transportation

Washington, District of Columbia, UNITED STATES

Washington, DC, July 19, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Twenty-two young women from across the U.S. and their mentors participated in the seventh annual Transportation YOU DC Youth Summit, a conference for students designed to introduce, inspire, and guide them toward a future in STEM studies (science, technology, engineering, and math) and a career in the transportation industry. The five-day summit, which kicked off on June 20, 2018, celebrated some of the brightest young girls from across the country. Upon the Summit’s conclusion, these future leaders of the transportation industry had established a national network of high-profile women transportation professionals, as well as an awareness of the variety of exciting and rewarding careers in the transportation industry. The Summit attendees included the 22 mentorship pairs as well as the WTS volunteer event steering committee members, university representatives, WTS staff and WTS Board Chair.

The five-day Summit took participants to the USDOT, the Reagan National Airport, the Senate Building, the U.S. Capitol, The National Mall, Turner Fairbank Research Center, and George Washington University, while threading an academic challenge, college and professional planning, and all with the encouragement of VIPs from both the public and private sectors.

The unique agenda was developed by WTS International members and supporters. The steering committee itself included a group of seasoned transportation leaders. This year's committee members were Jasmy Methipara, USDOT; Britton Hammitt, TFRC; Maggie Walsh, HDR; Diane Woodend Jones, Lea+Elliott; Felicia Boyd, Federal Aviation Administration; Laurie Cullen, VHB; Faye Majekodunmi, Amtrak; Karen Good, Denver Public Works; Charlotte Frei, DemandTrans; Elizabeth Patel, USDOT; and Sonali Shah, WTS International. Dr. Stephanie Ivey, University of Memphis created a unique challenge project for the students which was directed by Holland Maye Aguayo of the University of Memphis. Former 2016 Summit mentee, Kyla D’Sa, also served on the steering committee as the George Washington University lead.

True to the established DC Summit curriculum, the robust itinerary of the program’s academic challenge, meetings with administrative officials, and rare glimpses behind the scenes of some of the country’s most critical transportation entities—not to mention the fascinating makeup of the participants—all created an environment of learning, exclusive access, and networking at a level that will provide for unique entre into the transportation industry when participants choose this path once they have completed their studies.

"The Transportation YOU DC Summit program solidifies our association's commitment to making a difference in the lives of our younger generation of future transportation leaders and continues to inspire girls to pursue careers in transportation," said Maggie Walsh, WTS International Board Chair.

Summit supporters included Atkins and Lea+Elliott, without whom the Transportation YOU DC Summit would not have been accessible to many of the 2018 program participants.

The following organizations also contributed to the success of the 2018 DC Summit:

  • United States Department of Transportation
  • DDOT Circulator
  • Senate Transportation Committee members
  • Reagan National Airport
  • Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center
  • George Washington University
  • University of Memphis
  • Marcy Schwab, Inspired Leadership, LLC
  • Bryna Hefler, Arlington County
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • HNTB

WTS International, the industry's premier multi-modal association, is an international organization with more than 6,500 members (including women and men) and 79 chapters. WTS is connected to a network of 40,000 transportation professionals. More information can be found at www.WTSinternational.org.


Acting FHWA Administrator Brandye Hendrickson and Acting FTA Administrator Jane Williams of United States Department of Transportation welcome the 2018 DC Summit participants. Jasmy Methipara of FHWA facilitated a panel with executives from various modes who discussed the unique paths they took to their transportation careers. The speakers included Agnes Velez (FHWA), LaToya Johnson (FHWA), Ahuva Battams (PHMSA), Amanda Rutherford (MARAD), Joanne Waszczak (FTA), and Stacey Zee (FAA).

Contact Data