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College Students Get a Day of Transportation Innovation at OCTA

Earlier this month, members of the WTS Transportation Academy kicked off their two-week journey to explore the many different facets of the transportation industry with an informational and fun-filled day at OCTA. Sponsored by The Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) of Orange County, the academy offers undergraduate and graduate college students an opportunity to learn about management, finance, operations and planning, engineering, construction management, and public involvement principles. 

Students began their day with a meet-and-greet and panel discussion featuring CEO Darrell Johnson and staff members Rose Casey, Director of Highway Programs, Christina Byrne, Manager of Public Outreach, and Kristen Essner, Manager of State and Federal Relations. The panelists shared advice and discussed their roles at OCTA, educational backgrounds, career paths, and major lessons learned.

In keeping with the academy’s theme of innovation, Lloyd Sullivan, Manager of Enterprise Solutions, led a presentation about technology growth in the transportation industry and how OCTA keeps pace with the changes.

The students then boarded an OCTA bus and headed to Santa Ana for a tour of the future OC Streetcar route, led by Tresa Oliveri, Community Relations Officer. To envision what the upcoming project will look like, students visited streetcar stops including the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center (SARTC) and Downtown Fourth Street. During the bus ride, academy participants learned about the upcoming I-5 Central County Improvements Project.

WTS is an international organization of transportation professionals committed to excellence in the transportation industry. The transportation academy is just one of the many opportunities the organization provides to students to promote and recognize women in the field of transportation. 

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