March 2024 I Will Ride Update

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Happy Spring I Will Riders,

March was Women’s History Month, we celebrated the women making history on the California high-speed rail program. From hosting an invigorating webinar made to empower women to join and grow in the transportation industry to classroom presentations, tabling and social media highlights, we sought to highlight the women who are working on every segment of the project. Take a look to see all the latest news of the month!

Moving the Country, Women Leading in the Transportation Industry Webinar

Five women smiling during a zoom call and a title that reads Moving the Country, Women Leading in the Transportation Industry. Earlier this week, the Authority hosted a thoughtful, informative and uplifting discussion on how women are advancing in the transportation industry. We were honored to be joined by Dr. Beverly Scott, founder of Introducing Youth to American Infrastructure+ who also serves as a member of the California High-Speed Rail Authority Peer Review Group, Authority Board Member Emily Cohen, Executive Vice President, United Contractors and our own Chief of Strategic Communications Melissa Figueroa. Brisha Young. DEI Manger at CPS HR Consulting narrated this lively discussion as the three transportation leaders shared their personal stories and strategies on navigating a male-dominated industry. They talked about the value of mentorship, sponsorship and championing future leaders.
If you weren’t able to catch the conversation live you can watch the recording on our YouTube page.

Watch the Webinar

Women in Construction Week

Earlier this month, we recognized some amazing women working in construction on the California High-Speed Rail Project. Take a look at these highlights on our social media!

Elisa Castro 
Desirae Ponce 
Teresa Bynum 
Heather Simmons 

Woman posing on construction site. Woman posing on construction site. Woman posing on construction site. Woman posing on construction site.

Inspiring 5th Grade Latina Girls to Find Careers on High-Speed Rail

Earlier this month, the Authority joined an afterschool program hosted by the DIY Girls organization to share information and lead an interactive activity with the young girls in the program. DIY Girls is a nonprofit organization founded by California Assemblymember Luz Rivas that is dedicated to getting more young girls interested in STEM. Authority staff received a warm welcome in Pacoima, CA by the group of 5th graders and had lots of fun answering questions and leading an interactive activity with graphics from our train interior design. The girls were asked to create profiles for potential riders based on their ticket seating, some having flex, premium and comfort seating. The girls created fun characters like Barbie and friends, a multigenerational family and a passenger with lots and lots of luggage! The girls were particularly interested to hear that jobs in planning, engineering, communications and others shape every part of the train ride and station experience! We were proud to bring along Latina staff members to represent the Authority to demonstrate to girls the possibilities that Latina women have at the Authority and similar departments and projects.

someone holding a poster and presenting to a group of students. Two women presenting to a classroom.

High-School Students Expand Horizons at LA Metro Women’s Empowerment Summit

For the second year in a row, the Authority worked a booth at LA Metro’s Women’s Empowerment Summit. The summit provided a full day of inspiring sessions and a career fair to encourage women to explore careers in transportation. At the career fair, girls received a transportation passport that was signed by the tabling organizations, so we were privileged to chat with dozens of girls. They had phenomenal questions, like career trajectory, work scope, challenges and opportunities in the industry and asked for advice in their final years in high school. Later in the day, girls also got to meet with LA Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins.

Four women standing in front of outreach table. Woman explaining something to a student in front of outreach table.



13,000 Jobs and Counting

Image that places a graph over a construction picture that represents the growing of construction jobs from 2000 to 13000 from the year 2018 to 2023.The Authority hit yet another major project milestone this month reaching 13,000 labor jobs created from the California high-speed rail project. These jobs created in California’s Central Valley for labor demonstrates the tremendous economic impact this project has provided to various underserved regions in the Central Valley. An astounding 70% of the jobs are done by residents of California’s Central Valley. Through a valued partnership with the California Building Trades and Community Benefits Agreement with our prime contractors, the Authority is proud to have union workers on the project, providing good paying jobs to residents of the Central Valley. To learn more about construction jobs on the project, take a look at our Jobs page on our website.

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ICYMI: Central Valley Training Center Graduation

The individuals of the 12th cohort grin and stand as a group, holding their certificates, on the stage for the graduation ceremony. All are wearing personal protective equipment, such a s reflective vests, hard hats, and safety glasses. A projected screen behind them reads “Central Valley Training Center.”

We celebrated another group of graduates that completed their coursework at the Central Valley Training Center, a pre apprenticeship program that prepares students for jobs in various construction trades. This brings the new total of Central Valley Training Center graduates to 192 since the opening of the training center in 2020. You can learn more about the training center here.

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Upcoming Events

Electrified high-speed rail train traveling at grade during the day.April 11 – Board of Directors Meeting
Make sure to join the Authority for our monthly Board of Directors Meeting on April 11th. You can find more meeting details here on our website.

Tabling Outreach All Over California

The Authority proudly celebrates Earth Day/Week in April every year by participating in various outreach events throughout the state. Here are some places you can find us this year, stop by to say hello and snap a picture with our awesome banners and outreach material!
San Jose – Sciencepalooza (April 20)
Sacramento – Sacramento Earth Day (April 21)
Fresno – Fresno State Vintage Days (April 19-21)
Los Angeles – LA Times Festival of Books (April 20-21)

Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders: Panel at Women’s Leadership & Policy Summit in San Jose State

Panel of women speaking to a large group. On Saturday, March 23rd, in celebration of Women’s History Month, The Authority participated in the Women’s Leadership and Policy Summit at San Jose State University, hosted by Cindy Chavez and Valley Health Foundation. Female transportation Leaders, Melissa Figueroa – California High-Speed Rail Authority, Karen Philbrick – Mineta Transportation Institute, Michelle Bouchard - Caltrain, and trailblazers, Tiffany Woods - Santa Clara County Fire Department, Megan Toeniskoetter - Construction and Kathy Chavez Napoli – Trucking sat on a panel and shared their advice and experience in working in career fields traditionally dominated by men. Approximately 1000 individuals were in attendance. e.

I Will Ride logo with a train and text that reads internships, Jobs and Scholarships.

2024 CAPIO Young Communicator Scholarship

Applications are now being accepted for the CAPIO Young Communicator Scholarship. This program awards one $1,500 scholarship to an undergraduate or graduate student seeking a career in government communications.
Eligible candidates must be enrolled full- or part-time at a California state college or university or must have graduated within one year of applying for the scholarship. Candidates must be majoring in a communications-related field such as communications studies, public relations or marketing with a GPA of at least 3.0.

Learn more and apply 



California Transportation Foundation Scholarships
The California Transportation Foundation’s (CTF) mission is to educate the future of the transportation profession through scholarships, educational programs, mentoring and internships. To learn more about the various scholarship opportunities offered by CTF check out their website below.
Learn more and apply

COMTO National Scholarship Program
COMTO annually awards multiple national academic scholarships, ranging from $500 to $6,000 each to minority graduate and undergraduate students from across the country. Scholarship awardees are represented in all academic backgrounds and are pursuing various careers in the transportation industry.
Learn more and apply

Latinos in Transit Scholarship
Latinos In Transit is continuing its scholarship program to support Latinos and other minorities in their pursuit of educational advancement. The purpose of this scholarship is to create opportunities for underserved and/or underrepresented individuals pursuing degrees and/or certifications from accredited educational institutions in a public transit-related field of study such as, but not limited to, business administration or management, marketing, finance, project management, urban or transportation planning, engineering, etc.
Learn more and apply

San Jose State Mineta Summer Transportation Institute
The Summer Transportation Institute invites Bay Area high school students to learn about transportation careers in a free, three-week on-campus session at San Jose State University. Regardless of their initial interest in transportation, students will be excited about earning college credit while getting an inside look at businesses impacting the day-to-day activities of hundreds of thousands of people.
Learn more and apply

American Public Transportation Foundation Scholarship Program
In furthering our mission to increase and retain the number of individuals choosing the transit field as a career, the APTF will award a minimum of thirty scholarships, ranging from $5,000 to $12,000 to college students or transit professionals who are interested in pursuing or advancing in a career in the public transportation industry. Awards cover the academic year, beginning in the fall 2024 semester, and assist with tuition costs or other educational expenses.
Button: Learn more and apply

Metropolitan Transportation Commission Summer Internship Program
MTC’s summer internship programs for college and high school students offer insights and experience for the next generation of transportation and housing experts. Students in our internship programs learn how MTC works, how we partner with other agencies and how they can be a part of shaping the landscape of the Bay Area.
MTC offers educational summer opportunities for both college and high school students. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the College Internship Program became the Pathway to Government College Mentorship Program and the High School Internship program became the Bay Area Summer Academy.
Learn more and apply

LA Metro Transportation Career Academy Program
TCAP provides summer internship opportunities to current junior and seniors (class of 2024 and 2025), who depend on transit, reside in LA County, live in close proximity of a Metro rail station and whose schools are located near Metro’s rail expansion efforts. This program offers students an opportunity to learn about careers in transportation and how to apply classroom theories and concepts to “real-world” work situations at one of the nation’s largest public transportation agencies.
Learn more and apply

Engineering Intern – Arcadis (Selma, CA)
Arcadis is seeking an Engineering Intern to join their team in Selma, CA. Sitting within their Mobility Business Area, this part-time, as-needed role will be responsible for working with the High-Speed Rail Project. Working within their Design and Engineering teams, you’ll create some of the world’s most iconic and ground-breaking structures and spaces that transform the world around us, from making journeys easier to opening public places that bring people together.
Learn more and apply

Entry Level Environmental Compliance Field Specialist – Arcadis (Selma, CA)
Arcadis seeks an Entry Level Environmental Compliance Field Specialist to join the team in Selma, CA to conduct routine inspections of ongoing construction projects. Must be able to work onsite in Selma, CA.
Learn more and apply

Environmental Engineer – Arcadis (Selma, CA)
Arcadis is seeking an Environmental Intern to join their team in Selma, CA. Sitting within our Mobility Business Area, this part-time, as-needed role will be responsible for working with the High-Speed Rail Project. As part of the Program and Project Management team, you’ll help deliver some of the biggest, most iconic projects imaginable, with some of the best talent around. With your energy, agility and a keen eye for detail, you’ll deliver transformational outcomes for multiple clients every day.
Learn more and apply

Stay Connected 
 Informational flyer for student I Will Ride program. Webinars, Project Updates, Student Opportunities and Construction Tours. Photos of professionals panel, train rendering, students tabling and construction tour. Are you a student that wants to learn more about the California high-speed rail project, tour construction or join the project as a fellow or intern? Don’t miss any important updates, opportunities or notifications when you sign up for I Will Ride! Sign-Up for I Will Ride

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