RIT awarded $2 million to prepare workforce in transportation sector

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Rochester Institute of Technology was recently awarded $2 million as part of the Biden Administration’s Investing in America program to focus on creating jobs in the high-demand areas of infrastructure and transportation. 

RIT is one of 34 national organizations, and only one of three in New York, designated with funds through the U.S. Department of Labor-led Building Pathways to Infrastructure Jobs Grant Program. The program works to improve U.S. competitiveness by developing a highly skilled workforce. 

Under the Pathways program, RIT will coordinate the project that brings together multiple partners from academia, corporations and training/workforce agencies in the Northeast.  

Organizations such as the New York, Virginia and Maryland Workforce Development associations; Virginia DBE Transportation Association; the National Highway Institute, and the American Public Transportation Association are involved. 

Contributions entail expertise in workforce recruitment, training and curriculum development to advance the transportation sector.  

Other related focus areas will include renewable energy sectors, broadband expansion and integration of smart city grids, and improvements to the in-demand skills of electrical, industrial and civil engineering professionals who design, maintain and modernize the infrastructure systems in the U.S. 

Funding extends over five years and is intended to build a scalable, sustainable ecosystem that emphasizes the integration of new skills into the transportation and infrastructure workforce, said Lu Sun, professor in RIT’s College of Engineering Technology  and principal investigator. 

“We need to assess the current sector needs and provide the best training and resources,” Sun said. “And all of this needs to part of a continual, evolving structure, because industry demands are changing, and because the nation needs a highly skilled workforce in the transportation sector.”  

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