KS Department of Commerce awards $310,237 for manufacturing, IT programs – KSCB News.net

LIBERAL — Seward County Community College has been selected to receive a Higher Education Advanced Manufacturing & Information Technology Equipment Grant in the amount of $310,237 from the Kansas Department of Commerce. The funds support the needs of the advanced manufacturing industry in Kansas and will focus on reskilling/upskilling individuals affected by COVID-19 to meet economic sector needs in high-demand, high-wage occupations.

Dean of Industrial Technology Chris Hickman received the news Oct. 13. 

“What a great way to come back from fall break,” he said. “What this funding really means is that as the world continues to be more automated, we will be right there, ready to lead the way.” 

Charity Horinek, grant-writer for SCCC, said the grant opportunity came at the ideal time. 

“We’re so excited and grateful to the state for awarding us this opportunity to advance our own technology programs,  and to upskill people in our region who are in industries that are changing and transforming,” she said. Paired with a $197,465 Perkins reserve fund grant awarded through the Kansas Board of Regents earlier in the year, the money will “bring us up-to-the-moment technology-wise,” Horinek said. 

That will come first in the form of fiber-optics to connect the agriculture department’s greenhouses, machine tool technology labs, and various industrial technology areas. This interlocks with a new grain operator program set to launch in 2021, said Hickman, as