Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman said
manufacturing is making a comeback in Nebraska and across the nation as he took
part in Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for new and remodeled
space in Southeast Community College’s Precision Machining and Automation Technology program on the Milford Campus.
More than 120 industry
representatives, elected officials and SCC students, faculty and staff attended
the ceremony, held inside the Eicher Technical Center. Heineman, who earlier in
the day met with members of the Nebraska Manufacturers Advisory Council on the
Milford Campus, said what SCC is doing – training people with skills for jobs
in industry – “is so important.”
“It is crucial to keep up with
today’s ever-changing technology, and this state-of-the-art equipment will do
just that,” Heineman said.
New equipment in the laboratory
includes an Okuma Genos series lathe, a Haas CNC vertical milling machine, Haas
CNC lathe, Haas CNC tool room lathe, and a Fanuc robot.
Dr. Jack Huck, SCC president,
welcomed attendees to the $1.2 million facility.
“This represents the culmination
of a dream and the evolution of this program,” Huck said. “This facility has
turned out beyond our wildest dreams.”
Scott Volk, vice president of
MetalQuest Unlimited in Hebron, a member of the program’s advisory committee
and a 1995 graduate from SCC’s Manufacturing Engineering Technology program,
said he was proud to be a part of the Precision Machining and Automation
Technology program expansion.
“This is a state-of-the-art,
world-class facility,” Volk said. “Now it’s time to get students into the
Volk gave the audience
statistics in which the number of available jobs for each of the past several
quarters far out-weighed the number of students graduating from SCC programs related
“They say manufacturing is
dead,” he said. “I disagree.”
Michael Schutte, a member of the
Milford Campus Student Senate representing the Precision Machining and
Automation Technology program, joined the military after high school. He talked
about his journey to SCC.
“It took me 10 years to realize
that precision machining was my forte,” he said. “Current and future students
are lucky to be a part of a program like this. Precision machinists have the
ability to do it all.”
Following the short program,
Heineman cut the ribbon, and the facility was open to tours. Heineman also used
the event to tout successes the state of Nebraska has experienced recently when
it comes to economic development.
“We want students to stay in
Nebraska,” he said. “One of the best ways to grow Nebraska is to provide job
opportunities for our young people so they can remain in our state past high
school and college. We are working closely with the business community to
attract jobs that will help more of our talented young people to remain in the
“We modernized our economic
incentives program, the Nebraska Advantage, and it has been incredibly
successful. More than 400 companies decided to expand or locate in Nebraska
during the past six years. These companies are planning to invest $10 billion
in our economy and create more than 26,000 new jobs. Nebraska has one of the
lowest unemployment rates in America. CNBC ranks Nebraska the fourth-best businesses
friendly state. The farm economy is strong, and exports have doubled during the
past five years. We have a strong insurance and financial sector. Our
technology sector is expanding. The bottom line is Nebraska has good jobs, good
schools, safe communities, affordable homes, and an unmatched quality of life.”
SCC’s Precision Machining and
Automation Technology program is located on the Milford Campus. Persons
interested in more information about the program are asked to contact Scott
Kahler, program chair, at 402-761-8354 or email@example.com.