(KWES) - The Midland Development Corporation approved funding for the University of Texas of the Permian Basin's new College of Engineering building.
The MDC will provide up to $5 million over a five year period to help complete the new building.
"What these funds will do is allow them to expand their engineering building," said Keith Stretcher, Midland Development Corporation Vice-Chairman.
Stretcher said that currently, one out of ten students at UTPB are enrolled in the engineering program. With their help, UTPB expects one out of seven students at their university will be in the engineering program.
This is an important issue to the MDC because they understand the need for engineers in Midland.
"It's important because we have consistently heard from the oil and gas industry that it's hard to retain and recruit engineers to Midland. And it's obvious that it's easier to do that if these engineers have a Midland connection," Stretcher said.
With this partnership, people will never have to leave Midland to get a quality education and a high paying job.
"What you got to understand is a person can graduate from Midland High School, one of our excellent private schools, go to the University of Texas Permian Basin, graduate with an engineering degree and never leave the city limits," said Stretcher.
The MDC also believes that this partnership will help Midland's economy.
"We think that this partnership with the University of Texas at the Permian Basin means good high paying jobs for Midlanders," Stretcher said.
Along with the new engineering building, the funding from the MDC will also go into transforming the CEED building at UTPB in to a makerspace/incubator.
"That's going to really help kind of grow organically and expand new business for Midland and with that university," said Brent Hilliard, Midland Development Corporation chairman.
The new College of Engineering building hopes to be completed within the next three years.