Governor, industry representatives help SCC dedicate machining facility

Chad Greene, Chad Greene

From left: Darla Armstrong, Milford Chamber of Commerce; Michael Schutte, Precision Machining and Automation Technology student; Ruth Johnson, member of SCC’s Board of Governors; Bill Beltz, faculty representative to SCC’s Board of Governors; Scott Volk, vice president of MetalQuest Unlimited; Lynn Schluckebier, member of SCC’s Board of Governors; Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman; Jack Huck, SCC president; Helen Griffin, member of SCC’s Board of Governors; Bob Feit, chair of SCC’s Board of Governors; Terry Kubicek, member of SCC’s Board of Governors; Lyle Neal, vice president for technology/Milford Campus director; and Kathy Boellstorff, member of SCC’s Board of Governors.

Stu Osthern, Administrative Director of Public Information and Marketing

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Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman said manufacturing is making a comeback in Nebraska and across the nation as he took part in Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for new and remodeled space in Southeast Community College’s Precision Machining and AutomationTechnology program on the Milford Campus.

More than 120 industry representatives, elected officials and SCC students, faculty and staff attended the ceremony, held inside the Eicher Technical Center. Heineman, who earlier in the day met with members of the Nebraska Manufacturers Advisory Council on the Milford Campus, said what SCC is doing – training people with skills for jobs in industry – “is so important.”

“It is crucial to keep up with today’s ever-changing technology, and this state-of-the-art equipment will do just that,” Heineman said.

New equipment in the laboratory includes an Okuma Genos series lathe, a Haas CNC vertical milling machine, Haas CNC lathe, Haas CNC tool room lathe, and a Fanuc robot.

Dr. Jack Huck, SCC president, welcomed attendees to the $1.2 million facility.

“This represents the culmination of a dream and the evolution of this program,” Huck said. “This facility has turned out beyond our wildest dreams.”

Scott Volk, vice president of MetalQuest Unlimited in Hebron, a member of the program’s advisory committee and a 1995 graduate from SCC’s Manufacturing Engineering Technology program, said he was proud to be a part of the Precision Machining and Automation Technology program expansion.

“This is a state-of-the-art, world-class facility,” Volk said. “Now it’s time to get students into the program.”

Volk gave the audience statistics in which the number of available jobs for each of the past several quarters far out-weighed the number of students graduating from SCC programs related to manufacturing.

“They say manufacturing is dead,” he said. “I disagree.”

Michael Schutte, a member of the Milford Campus Student Senate representing the Precision Machining and Automation Technology program, joined the military after high school. He talked about his journey to SCC.

“It took me 10 years to realize that precision machining was my forte,” he said. “Current and future students are lucky to be a part of a program like this. Precision machinists have the ability to do it all.”

Following the short program, Heineman cut the ribbon, and the facility was open to tours. Heineman also used the event to tout successes the state of Nebraska has experienced recently when it comes to economic development.

Precision Ribbon Cutting

Those holding the ribbon share a laugh after the ribbon becomes too much for the scissors. (Photography by Chad Greene


“We want students to stay in Nebraska,” he said. “One of the best ways to grow Nebraska is to provide job opportunities for our young people so they can remain in our state past high school and college. We are working closely with the business community to attract jobs that will help more of our talented young people to remain in the state.

“We modernized our economic incentives program, the Nebraska Advantage, and it has been incredibly successful. More than 400 companies decided to expand or locate in Nebraska during the past six years. These companies are planning to invest $10 billion in our economy and create more than 26,000 new jobs. Nebraska has one of the lowest unemployment rates in America. CNBC ranks Nebraska the fourth-best businesses friendly state. The farm economy is strong, and exports have doubled during the past five years. We have a strong insurance and financial sector. Our technology sector is expanding. The bottom line is Nebraska has good jobs, good schools, safe communities, affordable homes, and an unmatched quality of life.”

SCC’s Precision Machining and Automation Technology program is located on the Milford Campus. Persons interested in more information about the program are asked to contact Scott Kahler, program chair, at 402-761-8354 or [email protected].


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