The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) President Taylor Eighmy considers the school a key part of San Antonio’s workforce development, he told Logan. That’s a reason for the university’s move to establish a center that combines the study of artificial intelligence, data science and cybersecurity, a rare combination in academia. The vision for UTSA, which achieved Carnegie top-tier research status in 2021, is to establish itself as a national collaboration center for AI, partnering with the regional economy that includes the largest defense ecosystem outside of Washington, D.C., with Joint Base San Antonio, the nation’s largest joint base, and a range of support businesses.
Workforce development is critical to the region. As Logan heard from community leaders, the local labor market is bifurcated between high-skilled and low-skilled workers, and employers struggle to hire workers with the necessary technical or specialized expertise. To that end, UTSA is intentional about classroom-to-career curriculum, working to offer students opportunities to learn skills and put them into practice with jobs or internships.