The future of the transportation profession depends upon a stable and continuing flow of students who are excited and passionate in the career opportunities afforded by transportation engineering and planning. In an ever-competitive environment to attract students with strong math, science and analytical capabilities, many transportation firms and agencies have had to look for employment candidates outside the region and the US. Over the past five years ITE Western District has greatly expanded student initiatives with the objective of attracting the best and brightest to the transportation profession in the west.
These initiatives have included:
- Waiving ITE dues and District Annual Meeting fees for faculty advisors
- Providing funds for reference books to new student chapters
- Waiving ITE Dues and subsidizing District Annual Meeting fees for students
- Funding travel to District Annual Meetings through student competitions, student papers, student projects, the Data Collection Fund
- Sponsoring special events for students and professionals
In the past, these programs were modestly funded utilizing existing annual operating and annual meeting budgets. This has limited the scope of the programs and resulted in the use of operating reserves. In an effort to avoid increasing dues and to assure continuous, stable funding for the current and future student initiatives, the Student Endowment Fund was established to provide a self-sustaining funding source for these programs. The Board projects that the Endowment Fund needs to reach $500,000 to be self-sustaining enough to generate enough annual revenue to support the District’s student initiatives.