Black & Veatch Pledges $1M for R&D in Sustainable Infrastructure

The support will be given to the university system in Kansas, where the company is headquartered, over the next 10 years.

Black & Veatch Chairman, President, and CEO Len Rodman pledged $1 million of the company’s future earnings to support research and development across the university system in Kansas over the course of the next decade.

The announcement was made as Black & Veatch accepted the Ad Astra award during the Kansas Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Dinner recently.

“Because we believe deeply in the need for innovation to address the long-term needs for sustainable infrastructure and the strong role that education must play to support new solutions, the Black & Veatch Building a World of Difference Foundation will invest over the next decade $1 million from our future earnings with the university system in Kansas to fund research and development of technologies for clean energy, safe water and advanced communications infrastructure,” Rodman said.

He stressed the need for continued global infrastructure investment during his acceptance remarks. He cited the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) 2009 Report Card of America’s Infrastructure that states $2.2 trillion is needed to upgrade vital water, wastewater, energy, and transportation infrastructure across the country. In Kansas, the ASCE estimates more than $4 billion is needed over the next 20 years for upgrades to water, wastewater, and energy infrastructure alone.

Rodman also cited the positive economic impacts infrastructure investment provides to communities, the state and region. For example, the Economic Impact Model from the County Economic Research Institute, affiliated with Johnson County Community College, shows the direct-effects employment multiplier for engineering and technical services is approximately three. This means, for every job within the engineering and technical services industry group, an additional two jobs are supported across all sectors of the regional economy.

In addition, the U.S. Conference of Mayors has reported that every dollar invested in infrastructure spending yields $1.60 in long-term Gross Domestic Product through direct and indirect job creation, consumer spending and greater efficiencies.

“It is imperative that the state advance its role in the global race for competitive, innovative technology and best-of-class students,” said Rodman. “We hope that in some small way our pledge encourages further understanding of the importance and vital role that critical infrastructure plays in assuring the economic vitality of the country and the state of Kansas. Our economic well being and social fabric depend heavily on abundant, cost-effective clean energy, adequate supplies of safe water and reliable communications networks to provide a foundation for creating 21st century jobs.”

Source: Black & Veatch