SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

October 17, 2013

Our view: An investment in the local economy

Salem State University President Patricia Meservey is right when she points out, as she did in a story in yesterday’s Salem News, that demand for workers skilled in the so-called STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) “is higher than it has ever been.”

A Brookings Institute study released earlier this year found that as of 2011, 20 percent of jobs in the United States — roughly 26 million jobs — require “a high level of knowledge” in any one STEM field.

So Gov. Deval Patrick was certainly welcome at yesterday morning’s North Shore Chamber of Commerce leadership breakfast at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, where he announced a $32.9 million state commitment to upgrade the science labs at Salem State’s Meier Hall. The project (along with a $20.7 million project on North Shore Community College’s Lynn campus) will be funded over the next five years.

Patrick noted yesterday that the Meier Hall labs “have not been upgraded in 40 years.”

It’s another key investment for Salem State, which has been a state leader in STEM education and has more students majoring in STEM fields — about 2,000 — than any other school in the state university system. That includes the largest nursing program in the state.

The Meier Hall project follows other recent campus improvements, including the new $73.5 million library and a $15 million fitness center. Plans are also in the works for a new residence hall.

Given the need for highly trained workers — yesterday, Abiomed CEO Mike Minogue noted his Danvers-based company, which makes the world’s smallest heart pump, has hired more than 100 people over the last 18 months — the investment should pay off for the local economy as well as the region’s next wave of skilled workers.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion

AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate
Helium