Deputy Executive Jeff Flynt
Center Promotes Private/Public Collaboration, Innovation, Entrepreneurship
(Brown County, Wis.) – Governor Scott Walker, Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach, UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller and Einstein Project CEO Kelly Ellis helped break ground on the transformative Brown County STEM Innovation Center on the UW-Green Bay campus.
“This STEM Innovation Center is the future of Brown County with regards to helping create long-term, family-supporting jobs,” says Streckenbach. “For me, this day represents being a hands-on partner for providing solutions to help secure our region’s manufacturing future, helping create economic development for years to come, and ensuring all our students have opportunities to be tomorrow’s innovators.”
The Brown County STEM Innovation Center will serve as the home of UW-Green Bay’s school of Engineering, which will address Northeast Wisconsin’s educational training and skills gap of qualified employees to support manufacturing growth and entrepreneurship. Additionally, the space will enable the co-location of The Einstein Project, UW-Extension and Brown County’s Land and Water Conservation departments.
“This community has been asking for engineering and STEM careers for decades,” said Gary L Miller, Chancellor of UW-Green Bay. “Through our partnership with Brown County in the STEM Innovation Center, we established the Richard J. Resch School of Engineering to help meet the needs of this community. This is the first School of Engineering established and based in Northeast Wisconsin, and we believe it will transform the economy for generations.”
The center will be an approximately 63,730 square feet, and received $5 million from Governor Walker’s 2017-19 capital budget, $5 million from Brown County and $5 million in donations through UW-Green Bay for construction. This unique collaboration will have a positive impact on Northeast Wisconsin’s economy and received broad support of the local business community, employers, the State of Wisconsin and the UW System.
“The Einstein Project has long been a leader in STEM education in the state and we were founded on the principle that if education and industry partnered we could do so much more together than alone,” says Ellis. “The STEM Innovation Center project is going to provide wonderful opportunities for the entire community. The collaborative initiatives that will take place in our new center for learning and innovation will impact everyone who lives in the Greater Green Bay area in a meaningful way.”
Brown County and the greater Northeast Wisconsin region have a long history in the manufacturing industry. Manufacturing is the largest employment sector in the region with nearly one of every five workers in Brown County employed in industry. The Brown County STEM Innovation Center will serve as a focal point for the region’s growth plans by providing engineering training to meet Brown County’s 18.5% increase in demand for engineering professionals since 2010 (according to NAICS data) to enable Northeastern Wisconsin to remain competitive in manufacturing. The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), Baccalaureate and Master’s Engineering Supply and Demand in Wisconsin study determined that in 2013 there was a need for Baccalaureate Degree engineers in Northeast Wisconsin with a demand of 1,110 and supply of eight, resulting in a demand/supply ratio of 134 which is a significantly higher demand than any of the other Wisconsin regions studied.