CSULB-USC partnership program wins award

The METRANS Transportation Center, a joint partnership between Cal State Long Beach and the University of Southern California, has been awarded “Organization of the Year” by the California Transportation Foundation.

The leading nonprofit organization recognizes achievements and excellence in all forms of transportation across California.

It is the first time university entities have ever been given the award.

“Our selections represent the best of the projects, programs and people who made a positive difference for California transportation in 2010,” CTF executive director Sarah West said in a press release.

METRANS, established in 1998, is part of the United States Department of Transport University Transportation Center.

Its aim is to solve transportation problems in large metropolitan areas through research, outreach and education.

Due to its Los Angeles location, one of the busiest container ports in the country, the main focus of the center is on goods movement and international trade.

METRANS works not only to help transportation workers in the Los Angeles area, but also promotes and educates students for careers in transportation.

Senior sociology major Chris Snyder is currently working on a METRANS project to try to identify the workforce needs of California’s regional transportation planning and regional transit agencies.

He believes that working at METRANS has had a positive impact on his future career prospects.

“Working with METRANS is giving me research experience that is very valuable to me as I plan to continue my education in graduate school,” Snyder said.

As the Port of Long Beach prepares to celebrate its centenary year, transportation to the local community is something of great importance for Marianne Venieris, METRANS Deputy Director and Executive Director of CSULB’s Center for International Trade and Transportation.

“Whatever happens at the Port of Long Beach affects the nation,” she said.

Commenting on METRANS’ achievement, Venieris said she believes the award was a “wonderful testimony to the work we do.”

Snyder added that, during his time at METRANS, he has been impressed with the high caliber of people working with the company.

He said, “There is a great team in place and I think they are deserving of the award, having earned it with all of their hard work.”

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