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Equipment Donation Benefits Penn College Manufacturing Students

Manufacturing students at Pennsylvania College of Technology are the beneficiaries of a recent equipment donation from the owners of a company with strong ties to the institution.

Richard and Marion Leonhard, part owners of Southwestern Industries, donated two computer-numerical-control milling machines for the college’s automated manufacturing lab. Hundreds of students in the college’s four manufacturing majors will gain experience on the equipment each academic year.

“Our students will learn to set up, program and operate these machines that are very popular in the low-volume CNC production environment,” said Richard K. Hendricks Jr., instructor and department head of automated manufacturing and machining. “The machines provide another valuable tool for us to enhance students’ hands-on education.”

Rudy Gebhard (right), senior sales representative for Southwestern Industries Inc., and Richard K. Hendricks Jr., instructor and department head of automated manufacturing and machining at Penn College, with a TRAK KMX milling machine donated by Southwestern Industries
Rudy Gebhard (right), senior sales representative for Southwestern Industries Inc., and Richard K. Hendricks Jr., instructor and department head of automated manufacturing and machining at Penn College, with a TRAK KMX milling machine donated by Southwestern Industries

“This industry has been very good to my family, and it is with great pleasure that we are able to give back to entities that help keep this industry as great as it is,” said Richard Leonhard, past CEO and chairman of Southwestern Industries.

Rudy Gebhard, senior sales representative for Southwestern Industries, facilitated the donation.

Headquartered in Rancho Dominguez, California, Southwestern Industries specializes in engineering, manufacturing and distributing tuning and milling equipment for low-volume work. The company regularly recruits at Penn College career fairs and employs five alumni.

“We truly appreciate the generous donation from Richard and Marion and the continued support of Southwestern Industries for our manufacturing programs,” said Elizabeth A. Biddle, director of corporate relations at Penn College. “Access to the donated machines will benefit students for years to come. We are fortunate to have outstanding manufacturing majors that attract such strong support.”

Penn College offers a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering technology; associate degrees in automated manufacturing technology, machine tool technology and metal fabrication technology; and a machinist general certificate.

For more about those majors and other programs offered by the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520.

Penn College is a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development. Email Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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