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Strategic Goal 4 Expand a World-Class Knowledge Base

Strategic Goal 4 Expand a World-Class Knowledge Base

Invest in the agency’s higher educational and training resources and apply their full capabilities to the challenges and opportunities facing the Nation’s transportation system.


The agency’s educational and training resources are aligned with the Department’s goals for safety; reduced congestion; environmental stewardship; global connectivity; security, preparedness, and response; and organizational excellence.


To ensure a world-class workforce, training, and university research capability, RITA will:

  • Invest in the Knowledge Base: Invest in university-based centers of excellence, including the University Transportation Centers (UTCs), to advance innovation, research, education, and technology transfer and to prepare the future transportation workforce.

    Three key initiatives to support this strategy would be:

    • Identify Synergies and Strengthen the Connection between the University Transportation Centers (UTC) and the DOT's Research Priorities: Foster a closer connection between UTC research and the needs of the operating administrations 17 U.S. Department of Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Administration and DOT. As USDOT continues to tackle tough transportation challenges, ensure that the research of the UTCs is fully leveraged and readily available. Increase UTC connections to DOT’s strategic goals and RD&T priorities and programs.

    • Strengthen Oversight and Management of the UTC Program: Work with the operating administrations to increase technical oversight of the individual UTCs’ selection and evaluation processes for research. Provide leadership and guidance for the UTCs to ensure that they attract the best students to transportation careers and conduct research and technology transfer that is relevant and in support of national transportation goals.

    • Develop Student and Faculty Exchange Programs: Develop and implement a student exchange program that will enable UTC graduate students to serve internships with USDOT. Provide opportunities for faculty to apply for sabbatical opportunities with the Department. These two initiatives will help us better identify and recruit students and faculty who may want to embark on a career at USDOT, as well as provide our UTC students with valuable job experience.

  • Provide Training and Services to Support the Department's Goals: Continually provide worldwide training, products, and services to the public and private sectors that promote advances in safety procedures, share best safety practices, and improve congestion reduction and accident prevention strategies across all modes of transportation.

    Two key initiatives to support this strategy would be:

    • Broaden Base of Stakeholders Taking Advantage of RITA's World Class Training Services: Strengthen communication of RITA—the Transportation Safety Institute’s and the Volpe Center’s—training capabilities and garner support and recognition for its contributions in this important area. Continue to meet customer needs by incorporating existing and evolving technologies in the development of training programs. RITA will promote and communicate its capabilities and services to existing and potential sponsors, stakeholders, and industry. TSI, Volpe, and the ITS JPO will provide worldwide training, products, and/or services for people in the public and private sectors through innovative, state-of-the-art methods and technologies that contribute to meeting USDOT’s strategic objectives.

    • Continually Develop the Next Generation Transportation Workforce: Ensure that the transportation workforce has the skills needed for successful deployment of innovations through professional capacity building and fee-for-service training.