WANTMAN GROUP COMMITS $100,000 ENDOWMENT TO UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Wantman Group (WGI) proudly announces its commitment to donating $100,000 over the next five years to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ Geomatics Program with the goal of stimulating the growth and number of graduates attracted to its highly rated program. The demand for qualified licensed Surveyors is greater than the supply, not just in Florida, but across the nation. WGI is committed to supporting the University of Florida’s efforts to make the Geomatics Program the best in the nation through academic excellence, leading-edge technology, and high educational standards.
“As a University of Florida graduate, I noticed the number of qualified applicants for our professional positions had seen a decline from my alma mater and also from every other university level program,” said David Wantman, PE and WGI’s president. “It prompted us to become more engaged in U of F’s outreach to attract more students to the surveying profession.”
Dr. Tim White, the Director of the School of Forest Resources and Conservation (which houses the Geomatics program), added, “We are so appreciative of the Wantman Group for their support of our Geomatics Program. Faculty and students will benefit from the relationship with the Wantman Group, through their endowed fund as well as its commitment to support of the program through internships, involvement in teaching, and gifts of equipment, that will help catapult our program to one of the elite surveying and mapping programs in the US. “
Robin Petzold, PSM and WGI’s senior vice president, is spearheading the partnership. “This endowment is not just monetary. WGI will also assist the university with a media marketing effort directed by our WGI Creative division, make equipment donations, and provide adjunct faculty.”
“I am already guest lecturing and teaching classes,” he added. “Our involvement will be across the board.”
In addition to the five-year endowment, which will be gifted in $20,000 increments, WGI will:
- Work directly with the University of Florida’s Geomatics Program to develop and execute a comprehensive strategic media marketing plan, spearheaded by WGI Creative, to recruit students at the regional, national, and even international levels.
- Assist the Geomatics Department by donating equipment to facilitate the use of up-to-date technologies to be used in its educational process.
- Provide guest lecture appearances as requested by the university to instruct and demonstrate emerging technologies that will aid in the students’ professional knowledge and growth.
- Provide adjunct faculty instruction for upper-level courses as requested to provide up-to-date education through lifelong-experience teaching.
- Provide substantive internship opportunities to give students hands-on and progressive experience to enhance their educational learning.
This partnership comes at a pivotal time. On the national level, there is an enrollment movement started over the past two years through the National Council of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES). The NCEES is initiating an awards program this year offered to two- and four-year programs with prize dollars of $10,000 per school that meet certain criteria in their programs.
“That’s the long game,” notes Petzold. “We hope our efforts with the University of Florida will stimulate growth in the shorter term, as the industry is hungry for young, talented professionals. We can, at the very least, stimulate growth in the profession at the regional level – and offer these talented young students placements after graduation.”
“We’re all on the right track.”
As a multidisciplinary consulting firm, WGI has eight offices throughout Florida and specializes in the following disciplines: Land Development/Municipal Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Surveying and Mapping, Subsurface Utility Engineering, Structures, Water Resources, Landscape Architecture, Environmental Sciences, Land Planning and Creative Services. WGI is one of the biggest and best geospatial firms in the nation, ranking #23 in Point of Beginning Magazine’s list of “Top 100 Firm Awards 2015 for Surveying, Mapping and Geospatial Revenue”. In August 2015, WGI ranked #12 in the $25 M and over category as a 2015 “Fast 50” Honoree from the South Florida Business Journal and rose to #3425 on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America. Also in 2015, WGI was ranked #338 on the ENR’s list of the Top 500 Design Firms and is ranked number 14 ENR’s in Top Southeast Design Firms. The Zweig Group ranked WGI #39 on the “Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies” list and placed WGI are the “Best Firms to Work For” list as well as its “Hot Firms” list. For more information, please go to www.WGInc.com
Sima Narcus, Client Services Manager
Alchemy Communications Group