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Alexandria Technical and Community College awarded $100,000

Those present at 3M’s awarding of $100,000 to ATCC were (back row, left to right) Jan Doebbert, ATCC; Rob Auel, ATCC; Troy Roling, 3M Hutchinson; Tom Mayer, 3M Hutchinson; Kevin Kopischke, ATCC; Rich Huss, Festo; Mark Sagedahl, ATCC; Jesse Tintes, Festo; Eric Winter, Festo; Greg Swanson, Festo; (front row, left to right) Tom Apse, 3M Alexandria; Kim Peterson, 3M Alexandria; Kathy Nohre, ATCC; Todd Zarbok, ATCC; Jeff Nelson, 3M Alexandria; Jennifer Black, 3M Alexandria. (Contributed)

3M’s Alexandria, Hutchinson, New Ulm and Fairmont 3M Plants have taken the lead on a new challenge that is focused on reaching out to the youth in surrounding communities.

These 3M plants have created a partnership with the area technical colleges, regional high schools and 3M Foundation to develop a program that will bring into schools both the awareness and training for the growing opportunities in the technical trades field.

That partnership has come in the form of a $100,000 grant to Alexandria Technical and Community College (ATCC).

The grant will be used to help develop high school curriculum that will provide all students with the core technical skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in today’s advanced manufacturing facilities.

These skills will be supported by the deployment of “trainers,” equipment designed to provide hands-on training for the principles of hydraulics, pneumatics, process automation control and the general understanding of applied physics.

The trainers are mobile systems, miniature lab units that will be utilized at four regional high schools. Those high schools that will be included in the initial pilot are Alexandria, Hutchinson, New Ulm and Fairmont.

Along with the trainers themselves, there will be a two-day training program at ATCC that will be provided to both high school teachers and 3M Plant Engineering employees that will participate in launching this into the classroom.