(AP) - Alabama's community colleges may offer a new associate's degree in engineering next fall to meet industry demand.

Figures from Gov. Bob Riley's Office of Workforce Development show that Alabama needs 1,100 new engineers a year. Alabama Community College System Chancellor Bradley Byrne recently organized a meeting among deans at some of the state's four-year and two-year colleges to come up with a way to increase the number of engineering graduates.

Kenneth Swinney, a Bevill State Community College physics and engineering teacher, was appointed to head a task force that will study an associate's degree.

Any proposed degree program must be approved by the state Board
of Education.

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