Lawmakers Fund Engineering Initiative
March 10, 2017
The Utah Technology Council, joined by Utah’s high tech industry and the state’s eight engineering and computer science programs has secured $4 million in ongoing funds from the Utah State legislature to continue to fund the Engineering Initiative.
Since the 2015 appropriation, the funding of this initiative has added 657 additional engineering and computer science graduates per year in the statewide system—more than double the 250 promised in that appropriations request.
Despite this astounding increase, thousands of jobs remain unfilled, hindering industry growth and expansion. However, thanks to this increase in funding, the initiative will address this critical issue by:
- Recruiting more faculty in high demand disciplines.
- Building capacity by creating more class sections and developing online alternatives.
- Boosting retention through academic advising and career counseling.
- Strengthening outreach to women and underrepresented minorities.
Richard Nelson, President and CEO of the Utah Technology Council stated, “The technology community genuinely appreciates the governor and legislative leaders for their vital role in strengthening Utah’s economy by continually investing in this proven program.” Nelson continued, “We are responding to the dramatic needs of our industry. Creating an outstanding, well-educated workforce to feed into these high paying jobs is a win-win for Utah taxpayers as it increases taxable income, diversifies the economy, and stimulates additional economic growth.”
In addition to the UTC, 81 technology companies statewide endorsed the Request for Appropriation led by Representative Val Peterson and supported by legislative leadership.
Richard Brown, Dean of Engineering at the University of Utah commented, “As the technology industry and Utah legislature continue to come together there is limitless potential for Utah’s economy.” Brown continued, “This funding will make an incredible difference in boosting capacity at engineering programs statewide.” — Utah Technology Council