Public works staff discuss careers at youth summer camps

Students gathered in front of a dump truck at Discover STEM camp
Campers at Discover STEM

Transportation agencies in Minnesota and elsewhere are facing a growing workforce shortage. Many local agencies in particular are understaffed, delaying some maintenance and construction projects. Building awareness of exciting career opportunities for students—and getting them in the education pipeline—is an important action to address this issue.

This summer, representatives of several transportation agencies and companies participated in two University of Minnesota youth summer camps: Eureka! and Discover STEM. The camps—two on campus, one virtual—were offered by the U’s College of Science and Engineering.

The Minnesota Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP), housed within CTS, coordinated the presenters’ participation. Sessions focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers in public works.

Eureka! is a five-year summer and school-year program focused on STEM for girls entering grades 8 and 9. It builds sisterhood with girls from all over the Twin Cities, exploring their career interests and dreams while supporting them through high school graduation and preparing them for the next step in their post-secondary education.

Discover STEM is a summer program for students entering 11th or 12th grade. During the interactive program, students network with peers while learning about research, academic programs, and potential careers through presentations, laboratory tours, and science and technology demonstrations.

Representatives this year were:

  • Eureka!: Kristin Asher and Olivia Wycklendt, City of Richfield
  • Discover STEM (virtual): John Rodeberg, SEH; April Crockett, MnDOT; Jennifer Selchow, Bolton & Menk
  • Discover STEM (in person): Russ Mattys, City of Eagan; Jennifer Selchow, Bolton & Menk; Alan Offerman, Stantec; Brian Schreurs, Braun Intertec

CTS would like to partner with more local agencies on youth outreach efforts. If you are interested, please contact Katherine Stanley at or 612-626-1023.

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Media Contact

Michael McCarthy