Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
University of Washington, Tacoma Institute of Technology Pinkerton Building Ribbon Cutting
February 5, 2003
Thank you, Chancellor Carwein. I am honored to be here.
Two years ago, I proposed that our state establish an Institute of Technology at UW Tacoma. Today we celebrate both the completion of this renovation and the great progress the Institute has made. I congratulate everyone who has contributed to the Institute’s academic progress and to this renovation.
The Institute is a great example of effective public-private partnership. Six million dollars has already been invested from non-state sources.
My goal in proposing the Institute was to address our state's shortage of high-tech professionals with bachelor’s and master's degrees. Already the Institute has conferred 39 bachelor’s degrees. This fall, 192 undergraduates and 24 graduate students enrolled. The partnership is succeeding by educating our workforce for the future.
We also gave the Institute the specific goal of educating more women and people of color as high-tech professionals. The Institute has responded rapidly and energetically to this charge. And a foundation is being built for the future.
This spring, for example, the Institute is sponsoring a conference. The conference will introduce 200 girls, aged 12 to 14, to leading women in technology. It will feature activities to pique their interest in computing. The event will be co-hosted by Chancellor Carwein, Senator Cantwell and Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson.
What a great opportunity! My daughter Emily is not quite six-years-old; otherwise I’d sign her up for the conference! The partnership is succeeding by supporting one of our greatest strengths—our diversity.
We designed the Institute to fuel high-tech development in the South Sound region. A global utilities consulting firm has moved its headquarters from Australia to Tacoma, partly because of the Institute's presence here.
And Sagem Morpho [“saw-zhem MORE-fo”], a Paris-based technology group with offices in Tacoma, is partnering with the Institute as well. This partnership is both as a donor and as an industry partner, offering internships and career opportunities for graduates.
We designed the Institute partnership to include 15 community and technical colleges. The academic path from a community college to a rigorous, upper-division computing program is not easy. But the faculty and administration at UW Tacoma and the University of Washington have been determined and creative in finding solutions. Every effort has been made to link students and advisers and faculty members from both ends of the partnership and to craft agreements that will serve students well.
Washington has one of the strongest community college systems in the country. Linking community colleges to the Institute offers a significant enhancement to the options they can offer their graduates. The partnership is succeeding by looking at our entire system of higher education and training, and working together seamlessly.
Partnerships like the one we celebrate today are a key to our state’s future economic vitality. Graduates of the Institute contribute to our high-tech economy. That’s why we preserved capital construction funding for the University of Washington, Tacoma, in spite of deep budget cuts. Investing in public works is the right thing to do in a tough economy. Such projects create good family-wage jobs now, and long-range benefits to the economy.
I look forward to the continued success of this partnership. Working together, let’s continue to make our state a great place to live, learn, work and raise a family.