Are you ready to Fast Forward to the world of possibilities in transportation?
Here to welcome you to Fast Forward, a new online resource for transportation career awareness, is Clark Martin with the Federal Highway Administration.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is the division of the United States Department of Transportation (US DOT) that focuses on highway transportation. This is the division of the federal government that oversees the National Highway System, including Interstate Highways and U.S. Routes. According to the US DOT website, FHWA “coordinates highway transportation programs in cooperation with states and other partners to enhance the country's safety, economic vitality, quality of life, and the environment.”
One of Martin’s roles at FHWA is to make sure that talented individuals realize the career possibilities in transportation that may be hidden to the average user. He and the teams at FHWA work to maintain a vibrant highway system that leads the world in safety, efficiency, and livability - and Martin said reaching out to students is integral to that mission.
Fast Forward is a new project targeting the students who will lead the transportation system into the future. Transportation may be a student’s path to making a difference in the lives of millions of Americans who use and share many dynamic modes of travel, such as cars, buses, and bikes, every day.
Fast Forward is intended to raise awareness of the many rewarding careers in the transportation system, relating not only to highways, but to all areas of transportation. A career in transportation offers students a chance to impact communities, states, nations - even the world.
Martin explained that even within just one discipline, such as engineering, all types of talents and interests can contribute to a safe and effective transportation system. For instance, a student can translate the strategic skills necessary in playing video games to those needed by a traffic engineer to design busy city intersections - controlling and managing the flow of pedestrians, cyclists, and cars. Or, a student concerned about the environment could research vehicle exhaust systems as an environmental engineer, helping to decrease air pollution.
Martin’s enthusiasm for Fast Forward goes beyond encouraging students to pursue a career in transportation.
“The more students understand transportation, the better users of the transportation system they will be,” Martin said. “As future taxpayers and voters, students will be asked to make important decisions that will shape the transportation system.”
Whatever students’ interests or goals might be, Martin said he believes that they should open themselves up to opportunities, especially those that don’t come to mind right away. Take his story for instance: as a political science major in college, Martin loved his classes, but wasn’t clear on the course that his career would take. Now, after 20 years in the transportation industry, he is proud of his part in increasing highway safety and showcasing the transportation industry as an attractive career opportunity.
Martin said students need to decide how they want to contribute, and then search out jobs that will motivate them to succeed. Fast Forward is the perfect place for students to connect their interests to a career just waiting to be discovered.