UConn getting $1.5B in state funding - WFSB 3 Connecticut

UConn getting $1.5B in state funding

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STORRS, CT (WFSB) -

University of Connecticut announced a big boost for the college as millions of dollars will be spent to make it more competitive when it comes to science and research.

State officials held a ceremony Monday afternoon to celebrate the final approval of a program that will invest $1.5 billion in the University of Connecticut.

The program, Next Generation Connecticut, is a major program that has been endorsed by more than 100 businesses and aims to support major expansions across three of the university's campuses.

The program is also expected to bring 4,050 permanent jobs to Connecticut. Over the next 10 years, the project will attract $270 million in research dollars and $527 million in new business activity.

"Twenty percent of the engineers in our state are 55 years old and older," said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. "And it's easily predictable that if we did not take the kinds of steps we are taking now, companies that are currently here will move or go elsewhere."

Other goals of the plan include the hiring of 259 new faculty members, the enrollment of an additional 6,580 undergraduate students, the construction of new labs and facilities, the expansion of digital media and risk management degree programs and providing student housing in Stamford.

It also aims to relocate UConn's Greater Hartford campus to downtown Hartford "to improve accessibility, strengthen collaboration with regional business, and the addition of real-world internships to help students launch careers," UConn officials said.

"With the vision of making Connecticut home to the best-educated, most-skilled and productive workforce, we are investing in STEM at our flagship university to assemble a critical mass of scientific personnel, attract the best and brightest students and prepare them for 21st Century jobs, and position UConn as one of the leading research institutions in the nation," said Malloy in a statement.

It took a little more than six months for these students to build a race car that can go from zero to 60 in less than four seconds.

"All of these companies that supported us are in Connecticut," said UConn senior Andrew Chuckta, who added he wants to stay in state. "And it's the place to be."

Every year about 500 students graduate from UConn, who go on to engineering, but the demand is twice that. The hope of the program is with the money and investment, it will create more jobs of the future.

"The emerging bioscience industry and STEM fields play to all of Connecticut's strengths, and Next Generation CT will allow us to take advantage of those assets," Lt. Governor Wyman said in a statement Monday. "There are some who say we being too ambitious and are moving too fast. But this is exactly the kind of investment we need to reinvent this great university and to reinvent our economy, for us and for our children and grandchildren."

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