The University of Texas-Pan American has been awarded nearly $145,000 as one of 23 public and private universities in the state funded through the Texas Technology Workforce Development Grant Program.
Created by the 77th Legislature, more than $4.5 million has been allocated to increase the number of engineering and computer science graduates in Texas.
UTPA received an initial allocation of $144,865 for electrical engineering recruitment and retention enhancement and may receive up to $268,180 through the program if the collaborators are successful in raising their full target of $9 million in funding.
"The Digital Revolution rests on the shoulders of our young students coming out of Texas schools," said Gov. Rick Perry, who announced the awards Monday, April 1.
"We must make sure that every young Texas who desires to build the next super-chip or the next life-saving digital device has access to training and expertise available in one of our many great universities."
The grants are the first collaboration among government, industry and higher education.
To address the critical shortage of workers in the fields of engineering and computer science, Perry signed into law Senate Bill 353 establishing the Texas Engineering and Technical Consortium. The consortium – composed of representatives from education and the technology industry – is a public-private partnership aimed at promoting education in the engineering and computer science fields.
Colleges and universities were invited to submit funding proposals to increase enrollment and retention rates in electrical engineering and computer science programs. Consortium members worked with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to review and approve projects.