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KNOXVILLE — The Center for Transportation Research (CTR) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is hosting a day-long transportation workforce development conference on May 11 in Nashville. The meeting begins at 7:45 a.m. at the Embassy Suites Nashville Airport. Among the participants are Tim Webb, Tennessee Department of Education commissioner; Senator Jim Tracy, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee; Randy Lovett, chief of Administration for Tennessee Department of Transportation; G. Tommy Hodges, chairman of the American Trucking Association; and Alene Arnold, director of Statewide Outreach for State Collaborative On Reforming Education (SCORE).

The goal of the conference is to bring together those in industry who need transportation workers at all levels and the organizations that educate and train this workforce. The focus will be on the high school, community college and technical school sectors in the southeast. It is part of a larger, national effort by the U.S. Department of Transportation whose results will help shape the future of transportation in the U.S. for decades to come.

“We want these sectors to talk directly with each other about the needs of the market and how institutional education can meet those needs,” said Stephen H. Richards, STC director and associate professor of civil engineering at UT Knoxville. “The ideas this dialogue promises to yield will help us create innovative programs to produce and retain the best possible transportation workforce — one that is an integral component of a well-designed, well-maintained, safe, secure and environmentally sustainable system of moving people and goods across the nation.”

Other participants include representatives from transportation agencies at the federal, state, and local level; educational institutions and related government agencies; transportation carriers, contractors and suppliers; and elected decision makers.

The conference is organized in association with the Southeastern Transportation Center (STC). The STC is a consortium of nine universities — the University of Tennessee, Georgia Tech, North Carolina A&T, North Carolina — Chapel Hill, North Carolina State, the University of Florida, the University of Kentucky, the University of South Florida and Vanderbilt. The center strives to enhance transportation safety research, education and training by recruiting talented people into the profession and sponsoring outstanding individuals to pursue graduate and undergraduate degrees in transportation-related disciplines. For more information about STC, visit http://stc.utk.edu/.

The CTR was created in 1970 to foster and facilitate interdisciplinary research, public service and outreach in the field of transportation at UT Knoxville. The CTR oversees programs associated with the educational, research, training and industrial aspects of the transportation field. For more information about the CTR, visit http://ctr.utk.edu/.

C O N T A C T :

Lissa Gay (865-974-8760, lissa@utk.edu)