HARTFORD, CT - Monday, State Senator Carlo Leone (D-Stamford) spoke in favor of the Next Generation Connecticut initiative, a plan to reinvigorate the UConn Stamford campus and grow the city and state’s economy through major investments across the entire University of Connecticut system in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
“Investing in higher education is a smart move that pays off for students, and it also pays off for the economy where those students are educated. Next Generation Connecticut rightly focuses on science and technology, the fields where the best paying jobs are and will be in the future. By expanding UConn Stamford in these areas, and building housing to create the city’s first residential college, we will plant seeds for the future success of thousands of Stamford students, residents and businesses,” said Senator Leone.
Data shows that from 2000 to 2010, STEM jobs grew three times faster than non-STEM jobs, and unemployment in the STEM fields is 4.4 percent lower. The curricular expansion and focus on STEM is expected to attract $270 million in research dollars and $527 million in private business activity to Connecticut. The entire Next Generation project will create approximately 30,000 construction jobs and support 4,050 permanent jobs.
Next Generation Connecticut will expand the Stamford campus’ curriculum by adding a new Digital Design and Media degree to Stamford’s School of Fine Arts and Digital Design and Media. New degrees will also be added to the business program. UConn expects to enroll more than 1500 students and 35 faculty across both programs.
Over ten years, Next Generation Connecticut plans call for construction of new STEM academic facilities, build out of teaching and research labs, information technology upgrades, and renovation and construction of additional housing and parking. Proposed funding for the initiative also includes a total of $10 million for the construction of student housing units on the Stamford campus, a first for the branch.
The entire Next Generation Connecticut initiative will add a combined 6580 students and 259 faculty to the UConn campuses in Storrs and Stamford. Enrollment at the School of Engineering will increase by 70 percent, with the goal of expanding the total number of STEM graduates by 47 percent.