ASU Uplifts Students in Transportation Field

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ASU's Dr. Carl S. Pettis (photo credit David Campbell/ASU).

ASU's Transportation Workforce Development Office Strives to Uplift Students 

By Kenneth Mullinax/ASU 

Students desiring a career in the field of Transportation may now get enhanced practical work experience, via paid internships, to put on their resumes while still attending college. The initiative is part of Alabama State University's office of Transportation Workforce Development (TWD), explains Dr. Carl S. Pettis, ASU’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. 

TWD was established by a federal grant that was submitted by Dr. Pettis who explains that the funding allows for the inaugural TDW office to be located at Alabama State University and service not only ASU students, but also all students from other colleges and universities across the state. 

"The Transportation Workforce Development Office is headquartered at Alabama State and is yet another example of ASU working with the community for the career advancement of ASU's students, as well as for high school seniors and students attending other institutions of higher education who are all focused on having a career within the many facets of the transportation industry. To be eligible for a paid TWD internship, these students must also be full-time students with a good academic standing to qualify for the program that offers various jobs across the state within the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) offices," Pettis said. 

Brandon Smith is a new ASU employee who will oversee the TWD program which was first led by ASU's Ms. Taylor Johnson. Johnson was recently named as the director of ASU's GEAR-UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) office, which is another federally funded program. GEAR-UP serves a specific cohort of seventh and eighth grade students within the Montgomery Public School System. 

"We are glad to have Brandon Smith on board to oversee the TWD office that is a partnership between ASU and ALDOT," Johnson said. "Provost Pettis is responsible for ASU having the TWD office located at the University, and we wouldn't have this existing partnership right here on campus that benefits our students and so many others throughout the state without Dr. Pettis's grant and his great working relationship with the Alabama Department of Transportation." 


Smith started work at ASU with a deep knowledge of the mission of the program he now directs and an acute desire of how important these paid internships will be to help ASU and other school's students get a firm career foothold in the transportation industry, via internships with ALDOT and the contacts they make on the job while still in school. 

"We will be offering paid internships to students for a minimum of 20 hours per week up to a total of 480 hours per undergraduate career, with all of the internships taking place in ALDOT offices in different locations such as Montgomery, Mobile, Birmingham and elsewhere. Of course, we will only place the students in offices nearby to where they attend college, so as not to disrupt their regular course of studies; so naturally, ASU's students would work for ALDOT here in Montgomery," Smith said by phone. 

"This is a most amazing and fruitful program for ASU and other college students who want to work within the field of transportation in such varied employment areas as administration, STEM, human resources, IT and elsewhere because they will all get good, paid work experience and on-the-job training, which offers them a hand-up in landing a good job upon their graduation," explained Smith. 

For more information on the program, send an email to Brandon Smith at 

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.