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Oregon Governor Kate Brown provides spark for computer science education

Brown at SparkLab
Karen Richards
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, center, with, from left, Director of the Oregon Dept. of Education Colt Gill, OR Sen. Janeen Sollman, SparkLab students, OR Sen. James Manning, OR Rep. Nancy Nathanson, SparkLab Exec. Director Heidi Larwick, and Lane Workforce Exec. Director Ashley Espinoza.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown visited SparkLab in downtown Eugene today to announce a roadmap to bring computer science education to every corner of the state. She’s dedicating 5-million dollars in emergency education funds to provide grants, with special consideration for programs that reach women, people of color, and rural communities.

Brown told KLCC, “These students are having real work opportunities, hands on learning, which is incredibly effective, and as you can tell from meeting these students, they’re going to school, they’re also going to go to university, but they’re very excited about engineering, about computer science, and that’s exactly what we need for the future of Oregon.”

Brown said gaps exist in tech jobs across Oregon, and she’s asking to develop a statewide plan to provide computer science education for all. SparkLab is a place where Lane County students work with industry partners on real-world projects. Some students help companies develop products and are paid for their work.

Karen Richards has been a KLCC reporter since the fall of 2012.