News | ITS Talent Pipeline Pilot Program Connects CSULB Students to Paid Summer Internships

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ITS Talent Pipeline Pilot Program Connects CSULB Students to Paid Summer Internships

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

by METRANS Staff

From left to right: Miles Witting, Lan Ca, and Patrick Son.

Three California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) students are actively developing skills and abilities associated with intelligent transportation systems (ITS) as part of a pilot talent pipeline program made possible through a strategic partnership between CSULB and Gannet Fleming, a global engineering firm. A talent pipeline, unlike a traditional internship, features a structured onboarding process and a bidirectional relationship between the educational institution and the industry employer.


Officially called the “ITS Engineering Talent Pipeline,” the pilot program was designed to prepare students for career success through self-paced training modules, regularly scheduled meetings between CITT staff and Gannett Fleming representatives, and one-on-one mentorships. The ITS Talent Pipeline pilot program ultimately connected undergraduate students Miles Witting (Economics) and Lan Ca (Engineering) with paid internships at Gannett Fleming’s offices in Irvine, California. Additionally, CSULB graduate student, Miti Desai (Computer Science) is continuing her ITS Talent Pipeline work this summer at CSULB’s Center for International Trade and Transportation (CITT). Desai’s ITS work will focus on machine learning, artificial intelligence, and related digital rights issues. 


“Miti, Miles, and Lan all gained mission-critical knowledge, skills, and abilities that helped them secure opportunities that will prepare them for meaningful ITS careers,” said CITT Director of Research and Workforce Development Tyler Reeb.


Leaders at Gannett Fleming are also pleased with the ways that the talent pipeline has prepared CSULB students for ITS careers. “This pilot program was invaluable for numerous reasons, but it ultimately shows that university-industry partnerships offer a unique path forward for universities and employers to consider how to adapt and respond to education and training needs in the face of a rapidly changing workforce,” said Patrick Son, who oversees the internship program and serves as Senior Transportation Systems Management and Operations Engineer for Gannett Fleming. 


The pilot program was developed and implemented as a proof of concept for a recent California Senate Bill (SB) 1-funded Mineta Transportation Institute publication, "Trade and Transportation Talent Pipelines: Building University-Industry Talent Pipelines in Colleges of Professional and Continuing Education.”