Established more than thirty years ago, the California Transportation Foundation (CTF) is now the leading charitable transportation organization in the state. With generous donations from individuals, corporations and organizations, CTF supports California’s transportation community with the following programs:
- Scholarships for students planning a career in transportation;
- Financial assistance to those injured on the job and to the families of transportation workers who died;
- Remembrance and recognition of transportation service with roadway memorial signs and the Worker’s Memorial service on the steps of the State Capitol; and
- Career development and awards and recognition.
CTF also sponsors the following events:
- Transportation Forum;
- Transportation Awards;
- Transportation Education Symposium; and
- Charity Golf Tournament.
CTF is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes. The CTF tax ID number is 68-0165257.
The History of the California Transportation Foundation
The California Transportation Foundation was founded in June 1988 by Heinz Heckeroth. Mr. Heckeroth had recently retired as Chief Deputy Director of Caltrans and wanted to create a charity that would support the Caltrans community and be able to expand to serve private sector and other public transportation agency employees. Mr. Heckeroth served as the Foundation’s first executive director and recruited a dedicated board of former Caltrans employees.
Supporting Caltrans workers injured or killed on the job was the first priority for the new charity. CTF has now expanded that program to the private sector and other public sector transportation employees. The Foundation now provides Fallen Worker Grants to provide immediate assistance to the families of the fallen, and creates individual accounts in the name of the injured and fallen to which people may donate. CTF matches those donations dollar for dollar when the injury or death is work related.
The Transportation Awards was another very early program of CTF. Then called the Tranny Awards, the Awards provided recognition for transportation achievement. Today the Transportation Awards recognize achievement from public and private sector, all modes and from all regions of the state.
Early in its history, CTF purchased and placed in Caltrans Headquarters and in each Caltrans District, bronze plaques recognizing those killed on the job. CTF planted a tree near headquarters which is visited each year in April at the Caltrans Fallen Worker Memorial Ceremony on the steps of the state capitol building.
The CTF scholarship program began in two ways. First, Heinz and Hope Heckeroth endowed a scholarship for university and college undergraduate students majoring in civil engineering, interested in pursuing a career in transportation after graduation, and who were affiliated with Caltrans (interns, volunteers, student assistants, employees). Next, CTF established the CTF Partnered Scholarship program in which Caltrans districts and divisions worked with CTF to establish scholarship parameters. The partners raise 75% of the scholarship amount and CTF provides the rest out of general fundraising. While each scholarship has unique criteria, general CTF scholarship rules include: students must be studying in California, must be studying something to do with transportation, and no member of a selection committee can be related to a scholarship winner. Scholarships are not limited to students affiliated with Caltrans. CTF now has 40 scholarships and recently reached $1 million in total scholarships provided.
CTF added the Career Development program next. The Foundation helps relatively new public employees travel to conferences like AASHTO when their agencies can’t provide travel funding.
Other CTF programs came later, the Transportation Education Symposium, a two-day mentoring event, began in 1994. The Transportation Forum soon after when Californians for Better Transportation disbanded and bequeathed the event to CTF. The CTF Charity Golf Tournaments, fundraisers for CTF programs, were added next.
Today, CTF is a growing charity with a diverse board that is ready to help transportation employees. In addition to our regular programs we are flexible, ready to help with emergencies including paying for a hotel for the family of an injured worker hospitalized far from home. The California Transportation Foundation looks forward to working with California’s transportation community – remembering those who were lost and aiding those injured in the job, recognizing achievement in transportation and educating the next generation of California transportation leadership.
581 La Sierra Drive
Sacramento, CA 95864