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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests More than $1 Million to Support Experiential Engineering at Wichita State University

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a more than $1 million grant to Wichita State University (WSU) in Kansas to upgrade road and water infrastructure to support the Innovation Campus’ first building, the Experiential Engineering Building (EEB). According to the grantee, the new EEB facility will engage businesses, train students, and create 448 experiential engineering jobs within three years.

“The Obama Administration and the Commerce Department are committed to ensuring that young people are getting the training they need in cutting-edge technologies so that they can compete for the jobs of the future,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The EDA investment announced today will enable students to learn the latest innovative manufacturing techniques that employers are looking for now.”

The Innovation Campus will house private enterprises, academic programs, joint university-private enterprise ventures, and support facilities. It will bring together large and small businesses, defense contractors, research enterprises, university researchers, students, support organizations, and government agencies to accelerate innovation by advancing industry-relevant manufacturing technologies and processes. The EEB will house experiential engineering facilities, research, commercialization and educational laboratories, institutional business spin-outs, and technology-based businesses that benefit from co-location with institutional technical and business faculty. WSU experiential engineering programs have been extraordinarily successful in encouraging students to persist to graduation and to retain the engineering and business talent for regional manufacturers.

Wichita State University also leads the South Kansas Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) (PDF) consortia, which has prioritized advanced manufacturing research and innovation investments as the primary catalytic public investments for the region. IMCP, which was launched in the fall of 2013, is an initiative designed to revolutionize the way federal agencies leverage economic development funds. It encourages communities to develop comprehensive economic development strategies that will strengthen their competitive edge for attracting global manufacturer and supply chain investments. Through IMCP, the federal government is rewarding best practices – coordinating federal aid to support communities’ strong development plans and synchronizing grant programs across multiple departments and agencies.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.