Hakel will receive the Orange County Chapter’s prestigious Ray LaHood Man of the Year Award.

This relatively new award, essentially a “man of the year” award, has been created to recognize the men that have been key to WTS International’s efforts to attract, retain, and advance women in transportation. WTS has long called for men to take an active role in bringing more women to the industry and to help women achieve the highest levels of leadership.

“I am honored to receive this prestigious award,” said John Hakel, Executive Director of the Southern California Partnership for Jobs. “This is especially gratifying as it promotes women in transportation and is named after former Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, a giant in the industry.”

The award is named for former Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood who served under President Obama from 2009-2013 after serving on the prestigious House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 1995-2000.

During his term, LaHood supported WTS International’s mission, and his efforts have accelerated the gender diversity issue to expand opportunities. The effort is primarily geared toward creating programs which encourage girls aged 13-17 to pursue an academic path that leads to a career in transportation. These efforts have already reached more than 1,000 students through WTS chapters across the United States that offer mentorship, internships and tours.

The 31st annual WTS Orange County Awards and Gala will be held on Thursday, December 5, 2019 from 5:30-7:30 pm at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim, CA.


The Southern California Partnership for Jobs, (SCPFJ) is an organization that represents 2,750 construction firms and more than 90,000 union workers in all 12 Southern California counties.  Based in Artesia, California – SCPFJ is dedicated to working with elected officials and educating the public in Southern California on the continued need for infrastructure funding and to enhance the regions’ workforce development while creating career construction jobs.

To learn more about the Southern California Partnership for Jobs please visit www.rebuildsocal.org.

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Source azcenral