- Associated Press - Friday, April 25, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is assembling a council of education and industry leaders to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics opportunities in West Virginia.

The panel formed Thursday aims to spur growth in STEM degree graduates over the next decade. Tomblin said an education push will prepare for projects like a proposed ethane cracker plant in Wood County. The initiative could require thousands of qualified workers.

The council includes a variety of state education and economic development officials, along with representatives from oil and gas, petrochemical, technology, manufacturing, logistics, aerospace and chemical industries.

Improved K-12 instruction, post-secondary education and training, and enhanced energy and natural gas programs are among the group’s goals.

The council will submit findings and recommendations to the governor by Dec. 1.

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