WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Purdue University and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) announced plans to build a 100,000-square-foot electric power research facility Thursday. The research center will bring 300 new high-tech jobs to the university's Discovery Park District.
City leaders are hoping it will continue to help the economy grow by offering more options to graduates.
"The big thing when you go to college is that you want to get a job when you graduate," said Purdue Electrical Engineering student
Daniel Walsh. "If there's something even right by campus that's going to give you jobs when you graduate, is big."
That goal of immediate employment after graduation is becoming more of a reality thanks to an investment at Discovery Park.
Purdue University is partnering with Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories to build the facility.
The company conducts electric power research and development
"Having an investment like Schweitzer here is almost common sense," said West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis. "We are truly talking about going straight from the podium and having a job before the ink even dries on your degree."
The new facility will add to Purdue and West Lafayette's recently announced $1 billion plan to expand Discovery Park and the west side of campus.
Mayor John Dennis believes it's the first of many investments to come.
"They're coming here because this is the place to be right now," Dennis said. "They're coming here because this has an environment that is going to be suitable to attracting the right type of employee. Most importantly, they're coming here because they know this is going to be the beginning of a huge success story."
A huge success story, that could keep Walsh in West Lafayette instead of returning to his native Virginia.
"Obviously, I kind of want to go home, but if there are opportunities out here then yeah, I'll stay around," said Walsh.
Groundbreaking for SEL Purdue is expected to take place this summer.