Sustainable Mobility Careers Awareness &
Introducing Youth to American Infrastructure, Inc.,
(“iyai+”), is a national 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, (Tax ID: 82-4854602), located in California. iyai+ was incorporated in 2018 and launched its first youth pilot program in 2019 at the historic, nationally recognized Francis L. Cardozo Education Campus, TransSTEM Academy (District of Columbia Public Schools), established in 1991 as the first transportation studies academy in the Washington metropolitan area
MISSION AND WORK
Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is at the core of all aspects of our work. iyai+’s mission is to motivate young people to choose infrastructure careers and become tomorrow’s infrastructure leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, and skilled workforce -- with specific emphasis on increasing the interest, motivation, participation, and retention levels of historically under-represented youth – young women and people of color. A well-documented, high-risk “people-readiness” challenge facing our critical infrastructure sectors.
Starting from a unique “Community-Building” lens -- iyai+ programming is cross-sectoral and partnerships-based by design. Our increasingly interdependent world requires re-thinking the career-readiness” education, skills, experiences, and exposure necessary for the 21st century. Working collaboratively, we have an opportunity to expose our youth to a much broader range of careers, personal and professional development opportunities. Including exposure to important lifetime values (the iyai “+”) and transferable skills (good jobs creation, and entrepreneurism) that will unlock their untapped potential – respect their “learned experience”, increase their personal readiness and earning potential, leadership abilities, and active civic engagement.
At iyai+, we believe this important work starts with
providing our participating youth with meaningful professional and personal development opportunities and “relationships” that can extend beyond a “one-time” event –
career awareness including a broader range of available resources, career-focused learning and experiential opportunities, greater access to industry professionals at all levels and related fields (i.e., role models, teachers, peers, potential mentors/buddies, coaches, and sponsors), along with opportunities for greater personal visibility. And very importantly – become familiar with infrastructure sector career resources, professional networks and navigational skills.
We respect and meaningfully incorporate “YOUTH VOICE” in all aspects of our work – tapping the considerable “learned experience” of our youth -- including “co-creation” program development and implementation opportunities.
“Stay Connected – Build on the Program Experience.”
There are plenty of opportunities to encourage and support youth membership and participation opportunities in educational/training programs, grant and scholarship opportunities, professional associations and community-based organizations at both the local/regional and national levels, i.e., WTS International – May 2023 (Atlanta), Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) – July 2023 (LA/southern California), APTA EXPO – October 2023 Orlando (Orlando) – to highlight a few.