WATERTOWN, SD – Officials at Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown announced today that two grants totaling $110,000 from 3M will be used at LATI to generate interest and increase student enrollment in manufacturing career programs.
“3M is pleased to partner with LATI and area manufacturers on this program that will increase the college’s ability to train more students using the latest technology for careers in the skilled trades,” said Ann Getting, Plant Manager of 3M Brookings.
The $10,000 Manufacturing Career Camps grant will fund day-long camps in Lake Area Tech’s Robotics and Precision Machining programs for area high school students. Camp objectives include increasing general awareness of the modern manufacturing environment, generating female interest in the industry, recruiting more students into the programs, and providing regional industries an expanded graduate pool.
The $100,000 Expanding the Regional Manufacturing Skilled Workforce Pipeline grant will fund the purchase of two high-tech industrial robots for LATI’s Robotics and Electronic Systems Technology programs. The additional robots will allow students to train on high tech robots similar to those used in manufacturing plants. Officials expect an increase in student enrollment numbers due to the program enhancements.
“Lake Area Tech is elated 3M shares our vision and is willing help us raise the level of excellence in our Advanced Manufacturing programs,” said Tom Paulson, Lake Area Technical Institute Foundation Executive Director. “The commitment by 3M, and other industry partners, is a key piece of LATI continuing success. As we see manufacturing becoming more reliant on automation, the robots purchased through 3M generosity fills a critical need providing our students the tools for success now and for the future. ”