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VCU College of Engineering Tops Off New Engineering Research Building

The final beam is being placed on the roof of VCU’S new College of Engineering this morning. It represents the beginning of a new era in training tomorrow’s scientists and engineers and placing them in jobs that often are close to home.

The 95-million dollar 133-thousand square foot facility at Belvidere and Cary has no classrooms.

“So that whole first floor is maker space.”

The second floor has computer studios and Dean Barbara Boyan says the school puts high-tech careers within reach of a diverse and talented group of students.

“Our student body in the College of Engineering is in excess of 50% under-represented minorities and these are high quality students so they are able to get jobs very easily.”

She says they place every student within six months of graduating, most have jobs by the end of the first semester of their senior year”

“What I hear about our students continuously is that they have grit and resilience and I think that speaks to the backgrounds these students come from.  Many of them have not had great wealth while they were growing up and they have had to learn how to earn a living, so this kind of training is in direct response to industry.  Industry wants people that can do things.”

And 80% stay in the area and contribute to the local economy.

“Businesses in Central Virginia have asked us to please not forget them, with all of the Amazon noise, it’s been very important to them to know that we are training students that will be there for them when the time comes.  We received a grant from the legislature for tech talent pipeline development for the young people who will stay in the region and work in the region.”

Where exactly are they finding work here?

Well, they are employed by Amazon and by Google, but importantly here they are employed by CoStar, by Dominion, by Capital One, by Bank of America, by the Fed, you name a big business in the area and they are hiring our students.  We are training the workforce for Central Virginia.

The new Engineering Research Building is set for completion late next Fall.