Archive for Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kansas House committee urged to support initiative to increase engineering grads

April 27, 2011, 4:01 p.m. Updated April 27, 2011, 4:55 p.m.


— Industry representatives on Wednesday urged legislators to approve a bill that is designed to increase the number of engineering graduates in Kansas.

“If our company is to grow and prosper here in Kansas, we need a steady supply of trained engineers,” said Phil Straub, vice president of aviation engineering with Olathe-based Garmin International.

Straub told the House Appropriations Committee that Garmin has hired 135 engineers from Kansas State University, 129 from Kansas University and 16 from Wichita State.

Under House Bill 2149, the state would allocate casino gambling revenue to increase funding of engineering programs at KU, KSU and Wichita State. The increased funding would total $4 million in 2012 and $7 million each year after that.

The Appropriations Committee took no immediate action on the bill as the Legislature reconvened its 2011 session.

The goal of the bill is to increase the number of engineering graduates in Kansas from 875 per year to 1,365 per year, an increase of 490 per year.

Tom Hilpert, director of advanced design and central engineering at Hawker Beechcraft, said, “A major element of Hawker Beechcraft's decision to remain in Kansas last December was the ability to have a steady stream of world-class engineers.”

The Kansas Senate has already approved the measure.


kelku688 6 years ago

I find it odd that they want to increase the number of engineering grads when the ones graduating right now can't even find jobs. My husband and his classmates are good examples. KU grads in engineering having a very difficult time finding jobs in the US much less the state of Kansas.

kelku688 6 years ago

Even 4.0 GPA students are having a tough time. I think availability of jobs needs to increase before students can find jobs.

Dan Thalmann 6 years ago

What is this funding supposed to go to? Increased scholarships? More professors/classes? Improved facilities to attract more students? Marketing?

imastinker 6 years ago

My question exactly!!

I got the impression it WASN'T scholarships.

imastinker 6 years ago

My question exactly!!

I got the impression it WASN'T scholarships.

Tristan Moody 6 years ago

At KU, the funding is primarily going to go to expansion of facilities and faculty. Learned Hall is basically full--they can't hire more faculty because they literally don't have offices and labs to put them in, and if you can't expand faculty, you can't really increase enrollment.

Jimo 6 years ago

We don't need Kansas Republicans to create a social engineering plan but rather a jobs plan.

Brownback has been in office for months. His jobs plan? Crickets.

Shardwurm 6 years ago

At all institutions the increases in funding go primarily to pay for staff. That's the way it is in every business.

Higher Education is a business subsidized by the taxpayer with no oversight.

Anyone who thinks the Education Industry 'gives a flip' about educating is living in a dream world. They care about money. Period.

Jimo 6 years ago

"Higher Education is a business subsidized by the taxpayer with no oversight."

I thought maybe you meant Wall Street.

Or oil companies.

Or military contractors.

Or .... .... ....

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