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Press Release



January 9, 2007

Cowley College to open Center for Technical Excellence in Winfield

In a joint venture with Winfield Economic Development, Cowley College will open the Center for Technical Excellence in Winfield. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. on Jan. 30.

"Cowley College is pleased to present a facility to the Cowley County area that will focus on specialized industry training to increase and support the workforce for local area employers and manufacturers,” Sandy Randel, Coordinator for Career and Technical Education said. “The Center of Technical Excellence will allow for state of the art training facilities and laboratories to increase business and industry development county wide."
The facility, which is located at 1108 Industrial Road in Winfield, is owned by the WED and leased by the college.
Cowley will teach a series of courses with the Manufacturing Business Skills certificate program.

Susan Norton, Cowley College Dean of Corporate Education, is pleased the college is a part of the initial development, and the subsequent delivery, of this training in the new Center for Technical Excellence in Winfield.

“During our discussions with businesses in Cowley, Sumner and Sedgwick county we have been told that the skills in the Manufacturing Skills Certificate are the common denominators that every manufacturer needs their employees to possess,” Norton said. “We anticipate that the need will be ongoing and delivered at other sites in the near future.”

Cowley will also launch its new Mechatronics program, which will give students skills on how to repair automated systems.

"I am very excited we are adding this program to our department,” Bruce Crouse, Chair of Career and Technical Education said. “Mechatronics will be the first and only program in the state to address the demand for these specialized technicians. My research indicates demand is and will remain strong for graduates of this program. These specialized technicians will meet a current and future need for local and area wide manufacturers. I am pleased with the community and industry support we have received developing this program.”
Cowley received a $125,000 grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce to help launch the program. Cowley also has plans to write an Innovative Technology grant this spring to try and secure additional funds for the program.

“We are really excited about this because it gives us another connection in Winfield,” Cowley College Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs Sheree Utash said. “It gives us a unique opportunity to provide education and skills that are currently employed in the plastic industry and those that will hopefully become competent in the workforce in that industry.”
For more information contact Bruce Crouse (620) 441-5219.