Community support totals more than $500,000 for Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure Initiative at Minnesota State College Southeast in Winona
Minnesota State College Southeast is excited to announce the launch of a successful new project, the Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure Initiative (AMII). This effort, a product of local businesses, community advocates, and the college's leadership, will overhaul the college's advanced manufacturing education capabilities and provide state-of-the-art equipment for years to come.
"The AMII project grew out of needs identified by our manufacturing advisory council members and college volunteers. Together, these team members helped to determine the scope of the project," explained Travis Thul, Dean of Trade and Technology. "Once we defined our goals, our faculty and staff helped design a plan to renovate and install mission-critical laboratory capabilities."
To date, the college has received a total of $524,500 in support towards the Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure Initiative. Individual and corporate donors include:
- DCM Technology
- Merchants Bank
- Miller Ingenuity
- Jerry & Pat Papenfuss
- Peerless Industrial Group
- RTP Company
- Slaggie Family Foundation
- Thern, Inc.
- WNB Financial
- Winona Area Industrial Development Association
"With the funds currently raised, deployment of new laboratory infrastructure is scheduled to start in May 2019 and end the first week of August, in time to begin the 2019-2020 academic year," said Travis Thul. "The lab will house modern and uniform robotic computer numerical control (CNC) systems, brand new precision machining tools, and rapid prototyping capabilities, including additive manufacturing/3D printing."
"This lab will also complement the recently launched industrial automation laboratory, helping to make MSC Southeast one of the most technologically sophisticated two-year colleges in the state of Minnesota," said Interim President Larry Lundblad. "Local employers tell us that many high-demand, high-paying jobs are going unfilled. Facilities like these will help us meet the needs of the region and prepare graduates for the jobs of today and tomorrow."
"Our total goal is to raise $1.4 million, allowing us to continue upgrading laboratory capabilities," said Travis Thul. "We will be able to procure additional equipment pertinent to mechatronics, automation, electronics, and construction technology as the AMII closes in on its ultimate goal."
Winona business leader Jerry Papenfuss has been a supporter of MSC Southeast since the mid-1960s, calling the college "a great cornerstone of this community."
"Winona has over 70 manufacturing companies, unique for a community of our size, so technical education is critical to provide workers for this huge element of our community," he said. "Under President Lundblad and Travis Thul's leadership, Southeast is leading the way in providing an education that is affordable and results in opportunities for graduates to lead successful lives."
Fundraising continues to support the Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure Initiative at MSC Southeast. If you or your company is interested in becoming involved, please contact Travis Thul, Dean of Trade and Technology, at 507-453-2738 or firstname.lastname@example.org.