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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Public Roads - May/June 2000

National Transportation Week, May 14-20

"Transportation is the tie that binds us," said Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater during a March 8 rally of representatives from more than 30 organizations. Held to create support for National Transportation Week (NTW), which is May 14 through 20, the rally highlighted many of the successes so far of the planning group and encouraged participation in this year's events.

Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater speaks at a rally on March 8 to promote National Transportation Week, which will be held May 14 through 20.

"Transportation is about a journey," Slater said. "National Transportation Week gives us an opportunity to say that. ... It is a wonderful time to give voice and form to that story."

The rally also emphasized "Workforce Issues" as the focus of NTW this year. In a time when job opportunities outnumber the personnel available to fill them, NTW is sponsoring activities that will encourage young people to pursue careers in transportation.

"There is probably no other issue that reaches across all the modes [of transportation] in both the public and private sectors," noted Joseph S. Toole, director of professional development for the Federal Highway Administration and one of the organizers of NTW. "This is an issue that very much unites all of the transportation community."

A number of events and outreach programs are planned during NTW to reach young people. These complement the Garrett A. Morgan Technology and Transportation Futures Program, which is aimed at encouraging students from kindergarten to college to consider careers in transportation. The Garrett A. Morgan Program was initiated by Slater and has already reached more than 1 million children.

One NTW activity is a poster contest being sponsored for fifth graders. Students are invited to enter artwork that represents their thoughts on the theme, "Transportation ... Taking You Where You Want to Go." Prizes will be awarded to winners, and it is hoped that the winning artwork will be used in next year's NTW program.

"One of our greatest desires is to use National Transportation Week as a way to generate interest in transportation throughout the country," noted Stephen Van Beek, assistant deputy secretary (of transportation) for intermodalism and co-chairman of NTW 2000. "This is why we are encouraging so many organizations to work with their field offices and chapters to sponsor regional or local events."

Another event planned during this week is the Design for Transportation National Awards, scheduled for May 16 at the National Academy of Sciences. The awards will be presented to facilities and for proposals that exemplify the highest standards of design and that have made an outstanding contribution to the nation's transportation system.

Other activities planned for NTW include a discussion on "Transportation in the 21st Century," featuring a panel of former secretaries of transportation, and a reception at which the historical, transportation-related paintings by artist and former Bureau of Public Roads employee Carl Rakeman will be displayed.

A tool kit that outlines how organizations can spread the word about NTW on a local level is available.

For more information, visit the Web site at, or call the toll-free telephone number (877) 558-6874.