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Shaheen Celebrates Nearly $1 Million Headed to Plymouth State University to Bolster Robotics Program

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, celebrated nearly $1 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce headed to Plymouth State University. The funding comes through a congressional directed spending (CDS) request that Shaheen secured through the fiscal year (FY) 2022 omnibus package that passed earlier this year. 

The funding will be allocated through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for the procurement of equipment and devices to bolster the university's robotics program. These technological improvements will enhance learning and collaboration for students and faculty through industry-standard gear and the creation of teaching and prototype stations. 

“I'm glad to see this federal funding head to Plymouth State University to bolster their robotics program. As technology evolves, it's important that students engage with cutting-edge equipment through their education, especially as they prepare to enter the workforce and innovate in the economy,” said Senator Shaheen. “As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee that funds NIST, as well as several other science and research agencies, I’ll continue to advocate for federal funding to invest in advancements in STEM education across the Granite State.” 

“We are so grateful to Senator Shaheen for her efforts in securing this funding for Plymouth State University,” said PSU President Donald L. Birx, Ph.D. “As the first New Hampshire institution to offer a B.S. robotics degree program, we hope to develop the next generation of robotics engineers and learning-machine manufacturers with a new, state-of-the-art robotics lab. More than that, robotics brings together and develops so many key skills (computers, sensors, networks/communications, kinematics, AI, mechanics, design, electronics) across a wide variety of critical disciplines required for the enormous workforce needs over the next century, that there are few programs like it in terms of broad impact on the state, businesses, and the students involved.  This grant will ensure our students have the most advanced training, equipment and tools at their disposal, providing experiential, project-based learning, a central component of our unique Cluster Learning Model. Access to this cutting-edge technology means access to an emerging job market in New Hampshire’s high-tech sector.” 

As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen helped secure $69,047,000 for projects across New Hampshire through the CDS process in FY22 legislation that was signed into law. Shaheen recently announced more than $89 million in CDS awards that she secured in Senate Democrats’ FY23 government funding proposal for 95 New Hampshire projects, including water infrastructure, health care facility investments, educational training, resources to combat homelessness and food insecurity, support for substance use disorder programs and much more.