South Central College leverages state equipment funds with support from AgStar

(March 16, 2015) The AgStar Fund for Rural America has awarded a $4,000 grant to South Central College, North Mankato Campus Foundation for the purchase of a much-needed parts washer for SCC’s Agribusiness Service Technician program.  The program prepares students to work in the high-demand industry of ag service, curtailing a significant shortage of qualified technicians in the industry.  Funds will be matched through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature.

The automatic parts washer will provide a safe and efficient solution to cleaning parts used in the Agribusiness Service Technician program.  Specifically, the washer eliminates the need for harmful cleaning solvents and provides SCC faculty and students with a time-saving solution.  Valuable lab and classroom time is saved when students can utilize the parts washer to clean parts while they perform other tasks.

In each program of study at SCC, faculty members have been working closely with industry partners to identify the equipment needed to train students in high-demand fields of study. 

“We are excited to build on a longstanding partnership with AgStar and the AgStar Fund for Rural America with this project,” said Tami Reuter, Executive Director of the South Central College North Mankato Campus Foundation. 

Today’s gift will be matched through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature.  The leveraged equipment program funds provide resources for colleges to acquire state-of-the-art equipment to be utilized for training students in areas with high employer need.

“This initiative is a series of collaborative projects which will have lasting impact.  AgStar and the SCC Foundation Board are proud to be supportive of current and future South Central College students,” said Jodie Hermer, AgStar Senior Vice President, Operational Excellence and Quality, and a member of the SCC Foundation Board of Directors.

“It is our desire, as educators, to inspire a passion for lifelong learning and provide a platform for learning job-ready skills using today’s technology,” said Brad Schloesser, Dean of the Southern Minnesota Center for Agriculture at South Central College.  “We appreciate AgStar for being a positive example of our industry partners who continue to support us in delivering a highly relevant education to our students.”

The SCC Foundation is currently working with additional industry partners and faculty members to seek donations totaling more than $160,000 to fully utilize the matching gift opportunity for the coming academic year.