Grant Supports High-Tech Training at UH

The University of Houston has received a $300,000 grant from the Texas Workforce Commission to bolster its efforts to recruit and retain historically underrepresented students in its engineering programs.

The grant, part of the Texas Youth in Technology Strategic Workforce Development initiative, is supported by U.S. Department of Labor funds and is meant to spur job-growth that aligns with Texas Gov. Rick Perry's statewide industry cluster initiative.

"Educating our youth in advanced skills is one of the greatest tools we have to continue positioning Texas as a national and global economic leader," said Perry. "Through support from the Texas Workforce Commission, these initiatives provide the foundation for future high-tech work force success."

UH's program will include peer mentoring to support incoming freshmen and transfer students at the Cullen College of Engineering.

"We developed this transformative program to give additional academic support to students pursuing their engineering degree at UH," said Fritz Claydon, associate dean for research and professor of electrical and computer engineering, who is the principal investigator on the grant. "Though the curriculum is rigorous, our academic workshops and mentoring programs have made a measurable impact on the performance of our students."

The Texas Workforce Commission has awarded 11 Texas Youth in Technology grants worth more than $2.4 million to increase postsecondary enrollments, retention and graduates in engineering and computer science. With the Texas Engineering and Technical Consortium's help, the commission also is using the program to increase collaboration among Texas employers and institutions of higher learning.

"A diverse work force, skilled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, is critical to the future economic success and competitiveness of Texas," said Arturo Sanchez III, chairman of the Texas Engineering and Technical Consortium and manager of work-force development at Texas Instruments.

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 36,000 students.

About the Cullen College of Engineering
UH Cullen College of Engineering has produced five U.S. astronauts, 10 members of the National Academy of Engineering and degree programs that have ranked in the top 10 nationally. With more than 2,600 students, the college offers accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees in biomedical, chemical, civil and environmental, electrical and computer, industrial and mechanical engineering.  It also offers specialized programs in aerospace, materials, petroleum engineering and telecommunications.

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