Each year we select a theme that reflects where we are as an organization and an industry, providing a focus for our efforts throughout the year. For 2022, we chose “Investing in Our Future.” This theme seems apropos from an internal perspective, where we are making significant investments in the growth and development of our members, and for our profession, where we have seen the recent passage of the largest infrastructure bill in U.S. history.
ITE will have a major emphasis on students and younger members in 2022. These emerging transportation professionals are the future of our organization and our profession, and we want to do all we can to support their careers, help them grow, and keep them engaged in ITE. Last year the ITE Board of Direction approved the elimination of dues for student members. Our goal is to get as many students as possible engaged in ITE Student Chapters so they can learn more about the transportation profession and see all ITE has to offer. The Board also adopted a Student to Younger Member 2022 Implementation Plan that sets forth a series of actions at all levels of the organization to help students make a successful transition to young professionals. ITE has many benefits for younger members, including a discounted dues structure for those under 30 years of age, the Matson and Hammond Mentoring program to connect young members with seasoned professionals, the LeadershipITE program (now in its 8th year), leadership and networking opportunities through our local Sections and our Councils and Committees, and a plethora of free professional development options through the ITE Learning Hub.
We continue to grow our charitable giving program at ITE through the Legacy Fund with academic scholarships, LeadershipITE scholarships, Student Leadership Summits, our mentoring program, and STEM activities. Our Diversity Scholars program continues to grow, with three new students joining the program last fall.
We are also investing in all members: starting this month, all stand-alone webinars—live and recorded—will be free for members. With more than 60 new webinars planned for 2022 on the latest developments in our profession, ITE is making a major investment in enhancing the knowledge base and skill set of our members.
With the recent passage of the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), we will see critical investments in the nation’s transportation system and infrastructure, more broadly. Next month’s issue of ITE Journal will focus on the wide range of programs and initiatives funded through this legislation with a focus on those areas of primary importance to our members. For more on the legislation, visit our BID/IIJA resource page at www.ite.org/IIJA.
Now is the right time to invest in our future. ITE has emerged from COVD-19 stronger than ever, with a thriving membership, increased financial reserves, experience in leveraging both in-person and virtual events, and a clear vision for making ITE stronger. With the passage of the BIL and IIJA, we will see opportunities to reshape the way
transportation is delivered in United States and create a greener, more connected future. We want to give ITE members the resources to take on these new challenges and lead the way forward. As always you can reach me on the ITE e-Community or on Twitter: @JPaniatiITE.