President Obama recognized the importance of programs like UCM’s, “Everybody is now working together to equip students with better skills, allow them to graduate faster with less debt and with the certainty of being able to get a job at the other end,” he said.
Nissanka said, “The visit by President Obama was a monumental event for Warrensburg and the area. More importantly it focuses attention on a cutting edge education program in our own back yard that brings a unique way for our future work force to learn.”
“The goal of the program is to train a generation of advanced, educated employees for companies throughout the region including Exergonix,” Nissanka said. “Our goal is not only to develop a quality workforce, but also to spark further innovation and incubate new entrepreneurs through hands on learning.”
The Missouri Innovation Campus (MIC) is a collaboration between the Lee's Summit R-7 School District, Metropolitan Community College, the University of Central Missouri and business partners such as Exergonix, Cerner and DST. MIC students will graduate with a four-year degree, two years after high school, no student debt, applied experience through paid internships and highly sought-after skills for high-paying careers. Beginning their junior year in high school, students take classes from Metropolitan Community College and the University of Central Missouri to earn college credit. Upon graduation from high school, these students will have their high school diplomas and associate degrees. After high school graduation, students
who finish their curriculum are eligible to complete a bachelor's degree from UCM
in only two years. Academic programs at the MIC focus on the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. (http://www.ucmo.edu/about/mic/)
Exergonix, based in Lee’s Summit, Missouri designs and builds renewable energy solutions for a wide range of applications including storage for solar and wind power, utility management and emergency back up. The company’s technology provides the missing link in the advancement of grid and micro-grid level infrastructure. Energy storage and renewable technologies are essential to the evolution of a smarter decentralized grid structure that can help the world's population alleviate its dependency on fossil fuels and protect the environment for future generations.
The company is building its world headquarters and production facility on an 85-acre campus it owns in Lee’s Summit. The campus is also planning to house the future home of the Missouri Innovation Campus and other renewable energy businesses that will also employ MIC students. The company also is expanding in Europe and in Asia in a diversified business structure to become a global leader in green initiatives.
Nissanka – a graduate of UCM – was recognized as a Distinguished International Alumnus in 2006. His work on the Innovation Campus concept has been recognized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Lumina Foundation and the Senate Commerce Committee which had him testify about the concept in 2012.
You can see video footage on President Obama’s speech and MIC initiatives below:
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