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U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater to speak at policy forumon UT Austin campus about challenges for transportation in the 21st century

Transportation experts from throughout the country, including U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, will hold a policy forum at The University of Texas at Austin on Aug. 27 to discuss the workforce, technology and infrastructure needs of transportation in the new millennium.

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AUSTIN, Texas– Transportation experts from throughout the country, including U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, will hold a policy forum at The University of Texas at Austin on Aug. 27 to discuss the workforce, technology and infrastructure needs of transportation in the new millennium.

The 2:30 to 5 p.m. event at the Lyndon B. Johnson Auditorium is titled "Opportunities and Challenges for Transportation in the 21st Century" and honors the 30th anniversary of the legislation signed into law by President Johnson to create the U.S. Department of Transportation. The public is invited to attend the forum in the auditorium at 2313 Red River.

The event is being held on Johnson's birthday in recognition of his leadership in launching the Department of Transportation. The contributions of Lady Bird Johnson in the beautification our nation's highways also will be recognized.

Members of the audience will be encouraged to participate in discussions with the panelists about the role transportation plays in a national and global economy. Confirmed panelists include: Professor Robert Bullard, director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University; Robert L. Crandall, chairman and chief executive officer of American Airlines; J.B. Hunt, senior chairman of J.B. Hunt Transport Inc.; and Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and chief operating officer of Federal Express. The event is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the LBJ Library and the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin.

Before the panel discussion, U.S. Sen. Charles Robb, D-Va., will provide brief remarks as a representative of the Johnson family. Former Texas Gov. Ann Richards will present a personal perspective on one of Johnson's legacies ­ civil rights.

"On President Johnson's birthday, we have the privilege of bringing together great leaders representing business, government and education to discuss the future of transportation, specifically to address issues related to the industry's workforce, infrastructure and technology," said Slater.