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Region’s Vital Manufacturing Base Celebrated at Daylong Event

Behind a product display, representatives of First Quality Products Inc. preside over an afternoon roundtable discussion David Whitten delivers a closing address in Penn's Inn Dean Donald O. Praster takes the group through College Avenue Labs ... ... and the college's recently renovated welding laboratories Primus Technologies Corp.'s Keith Boyer receives a plaque from Elizabeth A. Biddle, K-12 project manager, in appreciation of the business's participationMade in Central PA,” a manufacturers’ showcase of the products and career opportunities available in Penn College’s nine-county back yard, was held Thursday on main campus. About a dozen people including teachers and counselors from area high schools, as well as representatives of regional career and technology centers attended. The group heard presentations and participated in roundtable discussions in Penn’s Inn, lunched at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant and toured related academic majors. “Manufacturing in this country is not dead,” reassured Donald O. Praster, dean of industrial and engineering technologies. “We have any number of companies who have hired and continue to be interested in hiring our graduates.” Praster led a visit to welding, machining and automated manufacturing facilities, and assistant dean Bill Mack took the group through the plastics laboratories. Among participating manufacturers were Primus Technologies Corp., Videon Central, Ames True Temper, the Pennsylvania Hardwoods Development Council, Lewis Lumber Products Inc. and First Quality Products Inc. The keynote speaker was Lauren Bryson, statewide director of the Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center Network; closing remarks were delivered by David Whitten from Bingaman & Son Lumber Inc. and the Keystone Wood Products Association. The event was sponsored by the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corp. and the college.

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Commemorating the Gene Haas Foundation’s $15,000 grant award to Penn College are, from left, Luke J. Davies, instructor, CNC machining/automation; John M. Good III, instructor, automation and computer integrated manufacturing; Bill Zimmerman, sales manager, Phillips Corp. (a Haas Factory Outlet); Kathy Looman, director of education, Gene Haas Foundation; Mark Schankweiler, vice president, inside service operations, Phillips Corp. (and a Penn College alumnus); Lindsay Cline, director of education and events, Phillips Commercial;  Ken Wawrzyniak, sales engineer, Phillips Commercial; Richard K. Hendricks Jr., instructor, machine tool technology/automated manufacturing; Elizabeth A. Biddle, director of corporate relations, Penn College; Howard W. Troup, instructor, automated manufacturing/machine tool technology; and Bradley M. Webb, dean of engineering technologies. (Photo provided)
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