KCC receives $50,000 DENSO grant for new manufacturing equipment

RMTC Director Tom Longman, second from the left, accepts grant funds from DENSO representatives at the RMTC in August.

Kellogg Community College has been awarded $50,000 by the DENSO North America Foundation to purchase new manufacturing equipment to support student learning and worker training in Battle Creek.

The one-year grant was awarded to the College via a DENSO Foundation grant program supporting higher education engineering programs and student projects that promote and enhance training required for entry into the automotive industry.

Tom Longman, director of the College’s Regional Manufacturing Technology Center, where the new equipment will be installed this fall, said the grant will facilitate the kinds of hands-on, applied practice that is critical for student learning in industrial skilled trades.

“Our goal is to ensure that students who graduate from RMTC programs possess the skills, knowledge and abilities required to succeed in industrial skilled-trades occupations,” Longman said. “Applied practice is the single most effective means of ensuring the skills learned in industrial trades training will transfer to the job, and the equipment funded with this grant from DENSO will help our students get more of that hands-on training.”

Karen Cooper-Boyer, member of the DENSO Foundation board of directors, said that DENSO is passionate about preparing students for careers in manufacturing and generating interest in these fields.

“The auto industry is extremely competitive and the technology is advancing rapidly, so we recognize the value of modern learning environments for our current and future workforce,” Cooper-Boyer said. “As a local employer, we are fortunate to be able to support and partner with organizations like KCC and the RMTC on programs that give students hands-on learning experiences and necessary skills to be successful in today’s advanced manufacturing environment.”

The grant is the fourth DENSO Foundation grant awarded to KCC to fund new manufacturing equipment at the College since 2013. The funds were presented to the College by DENSO officials on Aug. 25 at the RMTC, which has seen several upgrades over the past few months.

A new 8,400-square-foot expansion opened to students this summer, while $2.2 million in state funding for renovations and upgrades to the older 40,000-square-foot portion of the facility was announced by Gov. Rick Snyder in June. The state funding will be matched by an additional $2.2 million from KCC’s dedicated capital millage for upgrades to security, plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems beginning this fall.

Pictured above, from left to right, are Mary George, Community Relations Specialist for DENSO Manufacturing Michigan, Inc.; RMTC Director Tom Longman; DMMI President Andris Staltmanis; and DMMI Communications Manager Sarah Frink.

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