Transportation Engineering Professor Lends Expertise to President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness (from Cockrell School of Engineering)
A professor at the Cockrell School of Engineering was among a group of academic, business and government leaders invited by President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to discuss how public and private sectors can partner to create opportunity and support job creation.
C. Michael Walton, an international authority on transportation policy and a transportation engineering professor in the school’s Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, lent his expertise to a panel discussion Sept. 1 at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
The session, which included U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Tom Donohue, and U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, focused on the importance of infrastructure investment to creating jobs across sectors of the U.S. economy.
As past chair and member of the Transportation Research Board’s Executive Committee and past board chairman of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, Walton has long been called upon for his transportation and public policy expertise.
“The most important short-term impact of investment in transportation infrastructure is jobs,” Walton said. “One of the most powerful things Congress can do to support existing jobs now, and create new jobs in the near future, is to pass a robust multi-year reauthorization of the federal highway and transit programs in 2011. Just as important as the contribution of transportation investment to jobs, is its contribution to the long-term growth and competitiveness of the economy.”
Another session was held Aug. 31 at Portland State University and focused on steps that the U.S. must take to curb a shortage in engineering. White House officials said the shortage threatens America’s role as the world’s leading innovator and hinders the country’s ability to create jobs.
The panels in Texas and Portland are part of a series of regional Council Listening and Action Sessions that are taking place around the country as a result of the President’s challenge that the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness bring new voices to the table and ensure that everyone can participate and inform its work and recommendations.
The ideas and information exchanged at the events will help inform future policy work of the council, which meets with President Obama each quarter to recommend critical steps that private and public sectors can take to create jobs and help strengthen the economy.
The council was formed in January 2011.