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Summer Transportation Institute aims to mold the next generation of transportation workers

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Summer Transportation Institute at Benedict College looks to expose high school students across South Carolina to educational and career opportunities in the transportation industry.

“Transportation is often times thought of to be just only engineers but transportation is such a vast industry,” said program director Dr. Vareva Harris.

The four-week residential program is funded by the Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration and will run from July 5-28. 

Harris says this program has been in place for nearly 20 years and started at South Carolina State University.

“We’re real excited to be a part of what’s happening in transportation now. It’s exciting. The students bond over those four weeks from across the state. They make new friends and it’s really been interesting to follow up with them to track them and see where they end up,” said Harris.

She says alumni of the program have gone on to have engineering careers at the South Carolina Department of Transportation. Others have even started their own businesses.

The students will have access to workshops conducted by statewide and local transportation leaders. There will also be field trips to Boeing of South Carolina and the Challenger Learning Center. Students will learn about roadway construction and road safety.

“As Secretary Buttigieg has said, diversity, equity and inclusion is not a convenience it’s something that’s necessary in order to fill all of the shortages that’s in the transportation industry now,” said Harris, “so we’re not in a place where anybody can be left behind and there are so many great career opportunities in transportation that we definitely wanna make sure we are able to expose our students to.” 

The application deadline for the program is Friday. Selected participants will be notified by Monday.

To learn more about the program and apply, visit the Benedict College website.  

Source: WLTX

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