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Beyond Employee Tuition Reimbursement: Who's Investing in the Next Generation of Transportation Professionals?

Transportation-focused organizations—such as AirSage, Coalition for Smarter Growth, Dewberry and more—are advancing the industry philanthropically.

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) December 19, 2013

Where do transportation students and professionals go for funding when they attend educational conferences, earn certification credits, or further develop a skill through continuing education courses? Surprisingly, many are turning to other transportation-focused organizations.

While larger companies may be known for their general scholarship funds and traditional employee tuition reimbursement plans, some lesser known options are making a big impact. From companies supplying transportation data and studies for road construction projects to transportation planning firms to non-profit organizations, established private enterprises are quietly investing in the industry's future thought leaders. And, the recipients often have no connection to the benefactor other than a shared passion for the industry.

For Daniel Tischler—a Transportation Planner with the San Francisco County Transportation Authority—a desire to become part of the travel modeling community meant he needed to attend the TRB (Transportation Research Board) 93rd Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. But the trip came with a financial hurdle, which was solved by The AirSage PASS: Professional Advancement & Success Scholarship.

Atlanta-based AirSage™—a pioneer in digital population analytics and the largest provider of consumer travel trends and population movement intelligence in the U.S.—offers quarterly scholarships. Tischler was one of three recipients of the AirSage PASS, which is awarded exclusively to Young Professionals in Transportation (YPT). AirSage PASS funds opportunities that can advance the transportation industry as a whole, such as professional development and continuing education. After only one quarter, the AirSage PASS program has funded the educational aspirations of three YPT members. The next round of scholarship awards will be announced on Jan. 4, 2014.

Non-profit organizations are also helping to develop young talent despite restricted budgets. The Coalition for Smarter Growth—a Washington D.C.-based organization that promotes walkable, inclusive, and transit-oriented communities in the Capital City region—offers training and mentoring to transportation students and young professionals through fellowships and internships. Each semester, three to six professionals are accepted to the program, which introduces them to a proven model of smart growth advocacy. In 2013, the Coalition trained a dozen emerging leaders in policy and advocacy for smart growth and in 2012, there were nine. Participants often take advantage of the networking and learning opportunities available at the annual TRB conference.

Abigail Zenner worked with The Coalition as a Policy and Outreach Fellow. In January 2013, the position afforded her the opportunity to attend a portion of the 92nd Annual TRB meeting where she made some important industry connections and enhanced her focus on transportation policy.

Dewberry is a Virginia-based engineering, architectural and consulting firm that provides transportation planning and design services to public and private clients up and down the entire eastern seaboard. For multiple years, the firm has contributed to TRB annual and regional meetings. Dewberry also invests in promising engineering students at universities in different states through two scholarship programs: The Dean Meyers Memorial Scholarship at Pennsylvania State University and the Dewberry Virginia Tech Scholarship. These scholarships were created to honor and heal communities in the wake of two distinct tragedies.

Dean Meyers, a civil engineer and a 20-year employee of the firm, graduated from Penn State University and was a victim of the Washington-area sniper attacks. The permanent, fully-endowed Dean Meyers Memorial Scholarship was created in his honor in 2002. The Dewberry Virginia Tech Scholarship was established in the spring of 2007 in honor of the victims at Virginia Tech through contributions from employees, clients, associates, and friends with those funds matched by Dewberry owners. Since establishing each scholarship, one to two engineering students have benefited annually. These students have the potential to impact the travel and transportation landscapes of communities across the nation.

About AirSage

AirSage™—a pioneer in population analytics—is the largest provider of consumer locations and population movement intelligence in the U.S. Each day, AirSage uses patented technology to capture and analyze more than 15 billion anonymous, real-time, cellular-signal data points to identify travel patterns and transportation trends. Partnerships with the nation’s largest wireless carriers give AirSage exclusive access to data from more than 100 million mobile devices. Analyzed and aggregated, AirSage data provides actionable insights into where and when people travel and is transforming the transportation industry, commercial enterprises and a diverse range of industries. Find AirSage online at

About Dewberry

Dewberry is a leading professional services firm with a proven history of providing architecture, engineering, and management and consulting services to a wide variety of public- and private-sector clients. Recognized for combining unsurpassed commitment to client service with deep subject matter expertise, Dewberry is dedicated to solving clients’ most complex challenges and transforming their communities. Established in 1956, Dewberry is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, with more than 40 locations and 1,800+ professionals nationwide. To learn more, visit

About The Coalition for Smarter Growth

The Coalition for Smarter Growth is the leading organization in the Washington D.C. region dedicated to making the case for smart growth. Its mission is to promote walkable, inclusive, and transit-oriented communities, and the land use and transportation policies needed to make those communities flourish. To learn more, visit the Coalition’s website at

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