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Transportation and Congressional Leaders Meet to Discuss Industry and Infrastructure at Upcoming Pan

Thursday, September 13, 2018   (0 Comments)

Diverse Workforce Development and Emerging Technologies are Key Topics


CONTACT: JaLissa D. Coffee

(Washington, DC – September 13, 2018) – Hosted by Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) once again have combined forces to host the annual “CEO Transportation Braintrust” panel discussion.  

The public is invited to attend the event on Thursday, September 13 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Walter Washington Convention Center, Room 147B, in Washington, DC during the CBCF’s 48th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC).

“For more than 20 years the CBCF’s Transportation Braintrust has worked with COMTO to bring together the best minds and brightest thinkers in the field to discuss issues of particular relevance to the collective peoples of color in transportation, including economic development, community participation, public safety, universal access, and business opportunity,” said Congressman Cummings, who has been a joint sponsor of the event since its inception. 

This year the panel will “address the challenges presented by the convergence of emerging technologies in transportation and infrastructure with workforce development in order to ensure workplace diversity,” said COMTO Board Chairman Freddie Fuller.

Examples of emerging technologies include autonomous vehicles, drones, mag-lev, high-speed rail, he noted, adding “these can create dynamic even volcanic changes in workforce needs.”

“COMTO has assembled an impressive panel of distinguished experts in their fields,” said COMTO President and CEO A. Bradley Mims. “They will explore the following questions in solution-oriented discourse”:

  • How do we as leaders in either the private or public sectors attract, train and retain the best talent in light of the changing needs?
  • Further, how do we overcome the inertia and resistance to change in the current, aging workforce? 
  • Even in the face of changing technologies, people and processes continue to be of critical importance so how do we reconcile a changing of the guard with the effort to maintain a culturally intelligent organization and institutional knowledge?

The Braintrust panel members include: 

  • Rodney E. Slater , who is former US Secretary of Transportation– Moderator
  • Nalini Mani, who is the Principal Strategic Initiatives Director for Internal Business Operations at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)
  • John E. “Jack” Potter, who is the President and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
  • Fred Craig, Jr., PE, who is CEO of Purple Line Transit Partners, currently directing the development of the 16.2-mile, $5.6 billion light rail project for the MDOT Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) 
  • Diana Mendes, who is Mid-Atlantic Division President of HNTB Corporation , a national infrastructure solutions firm
  • Telva McGruder, who is Director of Global Facilities Engineering & Manufacturing Operations at General Motors
  • Rena Davis, who is Senior Public Policy Manager at Lyft

Founded in 1971 on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC, the Conference Of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) was created to provide a forum for senior-level minority professionals in the transportation industry. The organization encompasses individuals, organizations, transportation agencies, non-profits and Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs). From highways and roads to mass transit systems; from subways to rail systems; and from port authorities to airports, COMTO members represent every facet of the transportation industry. They are the presidents and chief executive officers who determine the direction of major transportation systems and the mechanics and operators who ensure the safe passage of millions of transportation riders every day.