Gov. Jack Markell joined with Department of Transportation (DelDOT) Secretary Carolann Wicks, DSU President Harry L. Williams, and Associate Secretary of Education Amelia Hodges on campus Dec. 3 to announce a new formal agreement between DelDOT and DSU.
DSU President Harry L. Williams, shown here shaking DelDOT Secretary Carolann Wicks hand, said that the partnership is consistent with the University's Vision Statement, as it prepares DSU students to be first-choice in transportation job opportunities.
The new accord creates the Transportation Education Development Program (TED) – a one-of-a-kind program will establish education and training courses at DSU aimed at developing curriculums for potential employees, and to create awareness of possible careers in surface transportation.
“This partnership benefits students and the state by preparing some of our future transportation workers, whether they will become engineers, appraisers, surveyors or land planning specialists,” Gov. Markell said. “It’s in our interest and theirs to make sure they enter the workforce educated, trained, and prepared to succeed with a clear path forward.”
Secretary Wicks said the program is important to DelDOT. “Today’s agreement with Delaware State University will help the Department of Transportation tap into a previously under-utilized resource, to help us prepare current and future potential employees with the education and skills necessary to move into the future,” she said.
DelDOT, the Department of Education (DOE), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and DSU will partner in this program to provide training in support fields for workers in transportation. As DelDOT’s current workforce changes due to retirements in the future, the training programs and courses that will be offered will help to ensure that the knowledge and skills needed by future DelDOT workers are available and maintained.
President Williams said the University is excited about its role in the new program. “The partnership provides our young people with a roadmap toward great careers and professional growth in the transportation arena,” the DSU president said. “It also fits right into our University's vision to assist the state with targeted needs--in this case the professionals and skills needed to fulfill the goals of Delaware's transportation blueprint.”
The partnership agencies will sustain pipeline activities that will highlight possible transportation careers for potential employees, as well as the academic offerings at DSU. The program will also take advantage of an existing partnership for the recruitment of engineers, and will include Delaware Technical and Community College in the collaborative effort. DelDOT will coordinate with the DOE for outreach efforts to schools in order to create an awareness of existing programs and careers in education that will be available.
The program, which was specifically designed in Delaware, also supports an Executive Order by President Barack Obama to encourage relationships between federal agencies, state agencies which are the recipients of federal funds, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The details of the new partnership were worked out over the last two years by Keesha Wilson, executive assistant to the DelDOT Secretary, and John Austin, DSU director of Sponsored Programs.