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Sammi Jo Kirst, environmental health specialist at the UW Oshkosh ERIC, works in the facility’s laboratory.

Three new, high-demand, collaboratively-developed engineering technology degrees designed to close skills gaps will take center stage at the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents meeting and New North Summit this week.

On Nov. 1, the Board of Regents’ Research, Economic Development, and Innovation (REDI) Committee approved a $1.9 million workforce-development grant supporting the launch of the three engineering technology degrees developed by the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, UW-Green Bay and colleges and institutions in the Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance. Regional manufacturers have also helped guide development of the programs.

On Dec. 5, the REDI Committee was scheduled to review the “Incentive Grants” awarded. CLICK HERE to see and hear live streaming coverage of the full Board of Regents’ December meetings.

Students entering the new “Leadership in Engineering Technology” program and pursuing any of its three degrees are able to begin their academic studies at any one of 13 NEW ERA institutions and colleges, finishing the program and earning their degrees at either UW-Green Bay or UW Oshkosh. The program breaks new ground in providing easy access for northeastern Wisconsin students to pursue and obtain engineering knowledge and skill regional manufacturers say they are ready to put to work.

On July 12, the Board of Regents initially approved the collaborative, interdisciplinary program, scheduled to launch in the 2013-14 academic year, pending final approval from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The program offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, and Environmental Engineering Technology through collaboration between the NEW ERA institutions, colleges and an array of business partners.

A day after entering the Board of Regents’ spotlight, UW Oshkosh faculty and students will scheduled to, once again, share the engineering technology degree programs’ story on a large, regional stage. The programs will be featured within the New North Summit – an annual, regional meeting of business, education, workforce and economic development leaders.

UW Oshkosh Professor Greg Kleinheinz, associate dean of the College of Letters and Science and director of the Environmental Research and Innovation Center (ERIC), will join a New North Summit panel discussion profiling the engineering technology program’s unique development.

UW Oshkosh ERIC interns and environmental studies and business students will also take part in a sustainability-research presentations and a related meet-and-greet session during the summit.

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