Wyden and Snowe Introduce Bill to Train Nanotech Workers
Bill Will Create Grant Program for Schools to Build Up Nanotech Labs
Washington, D.C. – In an effort to develop the next generation of scientists and engineers leading innovation in nanotechnology, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) introduced the Promote Nanotechnology in Schools Act to help schools such as community colleges, universities, and even high schools purchase the advanced equipment needed to educate students and train workers in this emerging field.
“Few if any fields hold as much growth potential as Nanotechnology. The sky really is the limit in terms of where the next great advancement may lead,” Wyden said. “This legislation will help schools obtain nanotech equipment and give students the opportunity to fill the high tech jobs that will be created by this cutting-edge industry.”
“This extraordinary science has limitless potential to revolutionize our daily lives and solve the daunting challenges of our future. Indeed, our nation is poised to emerge as a global leader within the nanotechnology industry, but only if we have the skilled workforce to do so,” said Sen. Snowe. “This legislation will provide schools with the vital resources they need to strengthen education programs within the field and better prepare future generations for the well-paying jobs in this competitive, 21st century industry.”
The Promote Nanotechnology in Schools Act directs the National Science Foundation to establish a grant program that provides schools, community colleges, two and four year colleges and universities and other educational institutions with up to $400,000 to purchase nanotechnology equipment and materials. Schools participating in the program will be required to provide matching funds of at least one-quarter the grant amount. According to the National Nanotechnology Initiative – the federal government’s organization for coordination of nanotechnology research across all federal agencies – the global nanotechnology workforce will require 2 million trained workers within five years. Senator Wyden has long supported nanotechnology issues in the Senate and serves as the co-chair of the Senate Nanotechnology Caucus.