HARTFORD, CT - Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, joined by University of Connecticut (UConn) President Susan Herbst, Senate President Don Williams, Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey, representatives from United Technologies, and state officials, announced a $1.5 billion investment in UConn to support major expansions across three campuses, bring thousands of jobs to the state, and, over the next ten years, catalyze hundreds of millions of dollars in research investment and business activity.
“Connecticut used to lead the world when it came to innovation—we had more patents, more groundbreaking discoveries than anywhere else in the world. Somewhere along the way the world caught up. This is about to change,” said Governor Malloy. “By targeting state resources to our flagship university we ensure that our young people have the skills they need to fill the jobs we are so aggressively pursuing. Make no mistake, we are making Connecticut competitive again.”
“This initiative will fuel Connecticut’s economy with new technologies and companies, patents, licenses, and high-wage STEM jobs,” said Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman. “UConn will be not just a great place to get an education, but will be a driver of job creation and economic growth now and for generations to come.”
‘Next Generation Connecticut’ will begin a major expansion of and investment in UConn—increasing enrollment, bringing in new faculty, and improving the infrastructure.
The proposal calls for:
· $137 million in state funds to support a 30 percent increase in enrollment at UConn—adding 6580 students and 259 faculty to the UConn Storrs and UConn Stamford campuses.
· Expansion of the School of Engineering by increasing enrollment by 70 percent.
· A 47 percent expansion in the total number of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) graduates.
· Addition of 50 STEM doctoral fellowships and creation of the premier STEM honors program in the U.S.
· Relocating the Hartford campus to improve accessibility, strengthen collaboration with regional business, and addition of real-world internships to help students launch careers.
· $1.54 billion in bonding to construct new STEM facilities, build out teaching and research labs, upgrade information technology, and renovate and build additional housing and parking.
“This is an investment in attracting and retaining some of Connecticut’s most talented students and setting them on path to compete for jobs in science, technology and engineering,” said Senate President Donald E. Williams, Jr. “Over the last two years, Connecticut and its flagship university have partnered to position the state as leader in fostering the biomedical and technology driven jobs of a new economy.”
New curriculum builds on earlier state investment in the digital media sector by adding a new Digital Design and Media degree to Stamford’s School of Fine Arts and Digital Design and Media, and new degrees in the business program. UConn expects to enroll more than 1500 students and 35 faculty across both programs.
Over the next ten years, the curricular expansion and focus on STEM is expected to attract $270 million in research dollars and $527 million in business activity. The proposal will create 30,000 construction jobs and support 4050 permanent jobs.
Data shows that from 2000 to 2010, STEM jobs grew three times faster than non-STEM jobs, and unemployment in the STEM fields are 4.4 percent lower. Responding to the needs of business, the Governor’s plan will increase STEM graduates by 47 percent, turning out a workforce that is trained for real-world jobs.
“This initiative will create and support the very jobs we need to be an economically vibrant and successful state in the future,” said UConn President Herbst. “In this era, more than ever, states must rely on their public research universities to be the backbone and the driver of economic success – and that is exactly what this proposal would accomplish.”
“It is critical that we continue to give our colleges and universities the necessary tools and resources to prepare students for the high tech jobs that will need to be filled right here in Connecticut,” said Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey. “This is an investment in our state’s economic future, which in turn is a good investment for taxpayers.”
In the last two years, Connecticut has positioned itself as a global leader in bioscience. Through unprecedented investments in Jackson Lab, Alexion, support of the UConn Health Center, and by assisting many smaller bioscience companies, the state has established itself in the field and attracted more than $2 billion in private investment.
The proposal, announced at Pratt and Whitney in East Hartford, is part of the Governor’s legislative package which will be unveiled on February 6.