KU news – New measures position KU to address state shortage of engineers

New measures position KU to address state’s shortage of engineers

http://www.news.ku.edu/2011/may/25/engineering.shtml

LAWRENCE – Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback today signed into law two measures that will enable the University of Kansas School of Engineering to address the state’s growing need for engineers.

The first measure devotes $10.5 million in gaming funds annually to engineering programs at KU, Kansas State University and Wichita State University beginning in 2013. The three schools will receive equal $3.5 million allotments and match these state funds with private donations and other resources.

The second measure gives KU bonding authority to begin constructing an engineering education building. This complements the federally funded engineering research facility currently under construction.

The measures were endorsed by the Kansas Legislature on May 13.

“We appreciate the Legislature and Gov. Brownback’s endorsement of these critical workforce measures,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, who joined Brownback and legislators at today’s Statehouse signing ceremony. “Kansas needs more engineers if we’re going to grow the economy and create jobs. As a result of these two new laws, we’re significantly closer to meeting our state’s crucial workforce need and educating the engineers of tomorrow.”

Engineering-intensive industries account for one-third of Kansas’ payroll and two-thirds of its exports. Leaders of firms ranging from Cessna to Black & Veatch have called for a 60 percent increase in the number of engineering graduates, saying that the growth of their businesses in Kansas is hampered by a shortage of engineers. That forces projects and jobs out of state.

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