REMARKS BY THE HONORABLE NORMAN Y. MINETA SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION

 

RSPA University Transportation Center (UTC) Grant Announcement, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN – MILWAUKEE, APRIL 25, 2002, 1:00PM

 

            Thank you for that very kind introduction.     It’s a pleasure to be with you in Wisconsin, and I am honored to recognize your achievements here at the Midwest Regional University Transportation Center with this grant of $870,200.

           

Just four years ago, the very idea of the University of Wisconsin participating in the University Transportation Centers Program was a novel concept.     Today, the Department of Transportation is proud to consider yours one of the most successful and well managed of all of our 33 UTCs.

 

Why?     The answer is simple: the Midwest Regional UTC is an organization that accurately represents the interests of its entire region.     We at the Department of Transportation recognize the collaboration that takes place between all seven campuses within this University Transportation Center. The success of your organization further proves the absolute benefits of cooperation.

 

In his State of the Union address, President Bush clearly articulated three goals for our country: to win the war against terrorism – both at home and abroad, to protect our homeland against future attacks, and, finally, to revive the American economy. 

  

 Not surprisingly, transportation plays a critical role in reaching all of these goals.     Whether you are part of the team that pioneers groundbreaking technology for national security – or you assist in the design of an emergency response plan for your local transportation infrastructure – your efforts will ultimately contribute to the success of these national objectives.

 

Specifically, here at the Midwest Regional UTC, the approach you embrace – an approach that focuses on optimizing transportation investments and operations – will be absolutely critical to developing an economically sound transportation infrastructure, and, in so doing, to strengthening our national economy.

 

Your education methods are some of the most unique and effective today.     This UTC is charged with educating our country’s future transportation professionals -- and in only two years, you’ve already created dynamic courses and inventive seminars.

    

Additionally, we realize that you are designing new graduate and undergraduate transportation degrees and specialties. These programs, coupled with your internship opportunities, help ensure recruitment of the best and brightest minds

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What’s more, it’s been predicted that you will overmatch this grant by 50% this year.     Now I’m no accountant, but I know a good investment when I see one!     Most importantly, you’re not just matching dollar for dollar, you’re matching money with mind-power, and that’s the best kind of return any of us could ask for.

 

As students, I encourage all of you to continue developing your talents through some of the numerous volunteer opportunities we celebrate this National Volunteer Week.     You will find that regardless of your area of interest, there is a volunteer program appropriate for each of you. 

 

In fact, to help facilitate the process of finding that perfect fit, President Bush has created the United States Freedom Corps.     This program will give you the chance to give back to your local community, and I strongly recommend that you look into it.

 

  Keep up the good work.  Your studies are invaluable not only to the Department of Transportation, but to the economic well being of the United States as well, and you should be proud of the work you’ve done here.    

 

Again, thank you very much for allowing me to be a part of your event.

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