Wayne State College is proud to recognize the groundswell of support it received from industry, foundations, private donors, and the City of Wayne for construction of the Center for Applied Technology (CAT) scheduled to open on the college’s campus in 2019. The college hosted the official groundbreaking ceremony for the $15.2-million center today in Gardner Hall.
The Wayne State Foundation worked closely with industry leaders around the state to encourage support for the facility, which is projected to serve as a gateway of opportunity for students to experience industrial manufacturing in an environment that cultivates interest and excitement in industrial technology. Complemented by top-notch faculty who deliver an industry-based curriculum, the CAT will attract students from high schools as well as community colleges to seek careers in this growing area. Based on economic analysis, the facility will have a direct economic impact of more than $10 million over 10 years, with a net effect of more than $15 million.
Industry support for the project included a $100,000 gift from Timpte, Inc., the market leader in aluminum bulk commodity trailers; $100,000 from The Raimondo Family Foundation of Behlen Manufacturing Co., a leading manufacturer of farm and ranch equipment and building systems; and a major gift from the Lozier Foundation.
“Timpte Industries’ ability to partner with Wayne State College is a winning formula for both institutions,” said Dale D. Jones, president and CEO of Timpte. “The new Center for Applied Technology will be a key tool for all area manufacturers. The course content falls directly in line with the needs of evolving manufacturers. We must continue to develop the resources that are capable of implementing the most cutting-edge technologies into our facilities. The opportunity to work directly with the faculty and students is precisely what we need in order to compete in the global market moving forward.”
"We are proud to participate and support Wayne State's direction to enhance student and instructor enrollment in STEM related careers,” said the Raimondo Family Foundation. “Preparation for leading edge performance in our digital global economy will require continuous learning."
Industry support, combined with private donations and the support of several charitable foundations, totaled more than $1.5 million. These gifts, along with state bonds and $1 million in support from the City of Wayne, were instrumental in ensuring Wayne State could design and build a facility of more than 53,000 square feet with 13 state-of-the-art instructional labs for manufacturing, applied engineering, and robotics.
“These gifts are a testament to the passion, generosity, and foresight of our corporate partners who understand the essential role of higher education in the industrial technology and manufacturing industry,” said Kevin Armstrong, CEO of the Wayne State Foundation.
The City of Wayne led the way with $1 million in support of the CAT in May. The Center will deliver education for industry, provide a career academy for local school districts, and serve as a regional hub for innovation and workforce development. The city will provide the funds over two years in exchange for access to college facilities, services, and educational opportunities.
The college began construction and site preparation for the new facility in May, with completion set for December 2018. Wayne State offers Nebraska’s only Industrial Technology education degree in which teachers can earn certification in these fields. This is critically important with the increased emphasis on high school career academies throughout Nebraska and the need to provide qualified teachers.