"If our mission depended only on people…there's almost nothing we couldn't do."
This sentiment was shared by now-Secretary Yassmin Gramian during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Transportation Committee. Days prior to her May 27, 2020, confirmation, she outlined not only the landscape of our current challenges but also enthusiasm for PennDOT's role in the future of Pennsylvania.
While COVID-19 has changed many things for PennDOT and Pennsylvanians – some temporarily and some possibly for the long term – the virus has magnified the department's strengths and challenges alike. As outlined in her Dec. 23, 2019, introductory blog message, our funding needs and also our commitment to every Pennsylvanian were established well before the pandemic occurred.
Despite continuing concerns with sustainable revenues, Secretary Gramian described her optimism for the path forward. During her May 26 hearing, she said:
"We are finding opportunities and innovations for our operations and workforce moving forward. We are implementing and exploring new ways of doing business that will benefit our customers. These innovations should also attract and keep talent in the agency. As we work through and eventually emerge from today's reality, I am committed to continuing our focus on diversifying our business opportunities as well as our team.
"I am inspired by the grit and persistence our employees have shown in the face of this virus. I truly believe we will be improved in many ways when the dust settles. We are committed to continuous support in our recovery of Pennsylvania's path forward."
Learn more about Secretary Gramian in her bio.