May 2022 I Will Ride Update

High-Speed Rail Authority Pursuing Federal Grant Opportunities from Historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

High-speed train traveling through flat open land during the sunset.

The Authority has submitted two applications totaling $1.3 billion in federal grant funding to build the nation’s first high-speed rail project. The applications are the first major push for a continued federal partnership under the newly enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“With the state’s continued commitment and the Biden Administration’s leadership and support, we are confident we will deliver a project the country will be proud of,” said Governor Newsom in his support letter for the grants. “California is the home of innovation, and we are committed to advancing this very innovative project to improve our economy, advance clean mobility and expand economic opportunity for all.”

Thank you to Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Alex Padilla, and Representative Jim Costa, along with members of the Legislature, local elected officials, and our supporters in labor, business, and transportation for submitting letters of support.

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Kids Museum High-Speed Rail Exhibit Open for Central Valley Community

Kids and adults stand behind a red ribbon ready to cut the ribbon to show the opening of a new museum exhibit. Behind the people is a large train in a kid’s museum exhibit where kids can play on the train.

On a beautiful Saturday Morning in Merced California, members of the Merced community and staff from the Authority gathered for the soft opening of the new high-speed train exhibit at the Kids Discovery Station museum. The Authority was a proud sponsor, providing an educational and interactive exhibit for kids to learn about technology and careers on a high-speed rail program.

The Authority continues to work collaboratively with Kids Discovery Station to complete the exhibit with factoids about careers and technology, but kids can start enjoying the exhibit now. Stealing the show were the kids running into the train before the ribbon cutting, because they could not wait one second longer! Stay tuned for the grand opening of the full exhibit later this year!

Young child sits in train exhibit seat holding a booklet and smiling. Young child stands smiling in front of train exhibit. Young child with a conductors hat sits in front of train exhibit. Parent smiles alongside child playing in kids museum exhibit.

Visit the Exhibit


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Student Opportunities 

Internships and Fellowships


Dragados USA (Selma) – Field Engineer Summer Intern

This role will be responsible for assisting the Project Manager, Superintendent, Project Engineer(s), and all other construction staff in various areas of the project. Civil Engineering Intern will have the opportunity to apply education to a professional setting, while gaining valuable experience and skills. In this role, the Intern will learn and apply our processes, and understand industry best practices and trends. Specific areas may include tracking and assistance with RFI’s; processing change orders; general project layout assistance relating to engineering plans and specs; and assisting with the project close out process.

Dragados Internship

Flatiron (Fresno) – Field Engineer Summer Intern

Flatiron’s Intern Program provides challenging and rewarding work opportunities for college students majoring in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Construction Management. Join us today at the California High Speed Rail project. As an Intern, you will be given the opportunity to apply your academic training and skills in a real-world setting at any number of project locations. In addition, you will assist the project manager, project engineer, and the rest of the on-site construction staff in the application of principles, methods, and techniques of engineering technology by performing any combination of the following duties at a project job site.

Flatiron Internship



California Transportation Foundation

Caltrans, in collaboration with the California Transportation Foundation provides students interested in a career in transportation some of the most notable scholarships in California. Take a look at this year’s scholarships and make sure to apply before the deadline!

CTF Scholarships


According to the APTA website, “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 twenty-five scholarships, ranging from $6,000 to $10,000 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 2022 semester, and assist with tuition costs or other educational expenses.”

Applications are due by June 20th.

APTA Scholarships

Ray Diversity Fellowship

Eligible RAY Fellow applicants will, come from a racial / ethnic background underrepresented in conservation and clean energy, and demonstrate a commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, be less than one (1) year out of college and have a Bachelor’s Degree by September 2022 (they are not considering individuals with graduate degrees at this time), have not had a full-time job in conservation or clean energy and have the ability to work in the United States and commit to the entire fellowship

Ray Diversity Scholarship

WTS-LA Scholarship Program

According to WTS-LA, “WTS-LA is a leader in supporting and mentoring the next generation of transportation professionals in Southern California. For more than three decades, we have awarded scholarships to deserving women entering the transportation field. Over the past decade, our chapter has awarded over 100 scholarships worth over half a million dollars through the generosity of our members and donors. In 2021, WTS-LA awarded $100,000 in competitive academic scholarships to women in high school, community college, undergraduate, and graduate programs in transportation-related fields. We hope to distribute $100,000 again in 2022!” WTS Inland Empire and WTS Orange County are also currently accepting applications for their scholarship program.

WTS-LA Scholarships
WTS-Inland Empire Scholarships
WTS-Orange County Scholarships

ITS California

As per their website, “ITSCA recognizes the importance of recruiting students into our industry. Each year, ITSCA offers scholarships to students who wish to advance their studies in the area of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). This academic year, three different types of scholarships are available.”

To review the three different scholarship opportunities offered by ITs. Check out their website to learn more.
1. ITS and California Transportation Foundation Scholarship (will reward up to 4)
2. International Smart Cities Scholarship
3. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Scholarship

ITS Scholarships

Federal Railroad Administrator Visits Central Valley Workforce Training Center

Man standing while addressing a group of people who are wearing hard hats and yellow reflective vests

The Authority welcomed Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Administrator Amit Bose back to California’s Central Valley. The FRA Administrator is the head of the FRA and is the principal representative to the US Department of Transportation on railroad affairs. His visit included a tour of the Central Valley Training Center in Selma. Bose shared a few words with students and encouraged them to continue their efforts within the field of construction. Workforce development programs like the Central Valley Training Center come together with local, state and federal funds all with the same goal to provide pathways to good jobs through large infrastructure and development projects.

California Transportation Secretary Tours High-Speed Rail Construction

Two men in construction vests and hard hats review paperwork.

Earlier this month, we had an exciting tour with California’s newest Secretary of the California State Transportation Agency, Toks Omishaken. In his first high-speed rail construction tour since his appointment in February 2022, Secretary Omishaken and members of the Authority’s executive team toured the Central Valley Training Center in Selma, before heading to see the Pre-Cast Girder Facility, the Conejo and Hanford Viaducts in Construction Package (CP) 2-3 and the Cedar Viaduct in CP 1.

Secretary Omishaken was especially eager to talk with the folks making this project come to life, “What’s the most exciting part of the trip is getting to talk and engage with people working on the project. Almost 1,000 people come to work every day on this project and it is going to make a difference.”

The day wrapped up with a presentation on Central Valley station planning efforts. The Secretary concluded his visit with a note to those that are critical of the project, “To the critics out there that say they don’t see high-speed rail happening…I say, come visit. I am here on the ground and it is definitely happening.”

Take a look at the highlight video of the Secretary’s visit and feel free to share on social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)

Cali. Secretary Tours High-Speed Rail Construction

Fresno City College Student Classroom Presentation and Construction Tour

Under clear blue skies, a group of 30 or so students and professors stand holding a Fresno City College banner while on a construction site. All those photographed are in safety vests and construction hard hats.

The month began with a fun-filled two-day event in the field with Fresno City College engineering students. More than 20 students, alongside a few engineering instructors, got to see construction up close by visiting the completed San Joaquin River Viaduct and Cedar Viaduct in Madera and Fresno County. Prior to their construction tour, students welcomed two Authority staff members to provide a project overview in their engineering class. Students hopped on a bus the following day and put on their personal protective equipment to view some of the most recognized high-speed rail structures in the Central Valley. On the day of the construction tour, Senior Transportation Engineer Sam Singh was also on site answering students’ questions regarding construction. To learn more about our student outreach efforts, visit our student outreach and I Will Ride pages online. Go Fresno City College Rams!

Man giving classroom presentation to a group of students. Three people in construction safety gear pose for a photo under clear blue skies on a sunny day.

General Student Outreach I Will Ride

CivicSpark Fellow on Move this Spring with Outreach

Women stands in front of an outreach pop-up banner with a California high-speed rail alignment map that shows a statewide angle. Woman talking to two community members.

As the high-speed rail CivicSpark Fellow Kelsey Shockley works through her AmeriCorps service year, she has been out and about in the Central Valley community. Taking the lead on multiple tabling events, Kelsey is working on an outreach survey to gain a greater understanding of what the community is looking for in and around the future high-speed rail station in Fresno. Kelsey takes on a strong equity approach to her outreach, organizing tabling and outreach at Farmers Markets, swap meets, universities and community events that reach historically under-resourced communities. Kelsey’s research project and the many lessons learned from her tabling event will be utilized by Authority staff long after she completes her service year. CivicSpark fellows focus on a community project that addresses equity and climate change and propose solutions through research and community partnerships.

Learn More About CivicSpark

In the News: U.S. Transportation Leaders High-Speed Rail Opinion Editorial

Large viaduct and pergola structure over the San Joaquin River Viaduct in Madera and Fresno California. Overlayed text that reads, In the News.

In the news this month, leaders in the transportation field authored an opinion editorial with Northern California’s San Jose Mercury News. The authors note the recent Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll that showed a majority of California voters still support the California high-speed rail project, in addition to noting how expanded rail options are necessary with the escalating price of gas. You can find all the information and a link to the piece below.

Opinion: Let’s find the courage to complete high-speed rail project
PUBLISHED: May 20, 2022
San Jose Mercury News

Read the Op-Ed
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? Possibly 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!

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