COMTO PROGRAMS & NATIONAL EVENTS

To further our mission, COMTO National holds a series of annual conferences, programs and presentations. Each of these events are planned to energize, educate, support and inspire members in our 35 Chapters throughout the country as well as our stakeholders, partners and young people interested in careers in the multi-modal, multi-billion-dollar transportation industry.

In addition, each chapter holds their own mission-oriented events, programs and presentations.

Events and Awards

Generally held in July, our conference brings together industry leaders across all modes of transportation for four days of seminars, training sessions, and networking.  The Conference is open to transportation professionals at all career levels, government employees, manufacturers and suppliers, and other interested participants.
For more than 30 years, COMTO’s Industry Awards have recognized individuals, organizations, and COMTO Chapters who have made outstanding contributions to the transportation industry. Industry Awards honorees come from all sectors and modes of the industry. The Industry Awards banquet is the signature and closing event of COMTO’s National Meeting & Training Conference. Tickets to the Industry Awards are included with full Conference registrations. A la carte tickets may be available upon request.
Since 2012, this Awards Breakfast recognizes the outstanding contributions of women who are leading and advancing America’s transportation industry.  The event is hosted in Washington, DC, in observance of March’s Women’s History Month.
Our annual Chapter-driven membership recruitment drive is a full week in November of creative activities to help bolster local Chapter membership and participation, and bring transportation industry professionals from all modes under the COMTO banner. COMTO Week supports our Strategic Goals through:
  • Enhancing and increasing membership benefits
  • A focused membership campaign
  • Improving local chapter effectiveness
  • Strengthening organizational effectiveness

COMTO Week Toolkit

Internships and Scholarships

This program provides minority college students with an opportunity to gain professional and practical experience in the industry. Designed by industry professionals, the program offers a 10-week paid internship open to college juniors, seniors, and first year graduate students from all academic disciplines.

COMTO National’s Scholarship Program awards $100,000 annually in national academic scholarships to minority graduate and undergraduate students pursuing careers in the transportation industry.  Additionally, COMTO Chapters collectively award close to $500,000 annually in academic scholarships to local applicants.
Garrett A. Morgan was born in Paris, Kentucky on March 4, 1877.  He was an African-American businessman and inventor whose curiosity and innovation led to the development of many useful products, including the first traffic signal. The Garrett A. Morgan Shadow Day Program was developed under the Clinton administration by Rodney E. Slater, former Secretary to the US Department of Transportation. The program is designed to educate students in grades K-12 about career opportunities in transportation. Garrett A. Morgan Shadow Days take place on any day during the month of February, in observance of Black History Month. Much of the seasoned transportation workforce is retiring, while the demand for both traditional and new skills is expanding. The nation’s need for technologically literate transportation workers continues to grow. As an organization, COMTO strives to ensure that today’s minority youth are aware of, and prepared for, the variety of career opportunities in the field of transportation. Local COMTO chapters are encouraged to participate in mentoring future transportation officials, and host Garrett A. Morgan Shadow Day activities in their communities.

Garrett A. Morgan Shadow Day Toolkit

Advocacy

This September event is a day of legislative advocacy on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  It brings together legislative and industry experts to discuss relevant issues facing the transportation industry. The program begins with a legislative panel discussion and concludes with COMTO members visiting their respective Congressional officials and representatives.
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Transportation Braintrust brings together the best minds and brightest thinkers in the field to discuss issues of particular relevance to people of color in transportation, including economic development, community participation, public safety, universal access, and business opportunity. The 20-year-old event is hosted jointly with Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) during the CBC’s Foundation event in September.
The TCRP Ambassador Program was developed in 1998 as a joint effort of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP). The Ambassador Program is credited with assisting the TCRP in reaching an expanded segment of the transportation community that would otherwise have limited access to these resources. The Ambassadors are a diverse group, representative of various professions and transportation communities in the United States. Ambassadors serve a two year term and are asked to identify opportunities to educate the industry.

Past Conferences

2018 National Meeting & Training Conference Recap