Iowa Central Community College and Tate & Lyle recently announced more than $40,000 in equipment donations from the new corn wet mill near Fort Dodge to the college's Maintenance Electrician training program.
Representatives from Tate & Lyle, Rockwell Automation and Control Tech were on hand to meet with Mike Brueschke, coordinator of the Iowa Central Maintenance Electrician program in room 131 of the Applied Science and Technology building. An outlay of equipment and instrumentation presented to the college included sophisticated control valves, meters and a computerized process control system.
The donated equipment will allow Iowa Central instructors to train students on the very same instruments to be used in the Tate & Lyle plant west of Fort Dodge which is scheduled to open in March. This connection will allow a smooth transition from school to career for program graduates.
Standing among the many control valves, meters, and other instrumentation donated by Tate & Lyle to Iowa Central Community College for training purposes are (L to R) Janet Summers and Denny Taylor of Tate & Lyle, Mike Brueschke, Iowa Central, Andy Vespestad, Rockwell Automation, and Dan Barkley, Control Tech.
Those in attendance included Andy Vespestad of Rockwell Automation and Dan Barkley of Control Tech, two long time Tate & Lyle suppliers, Denny Taylor, project engineer for Tate & Lyle, and Janet Summers, lead electrical and instrumentation technologist for Tate & Lyle and 31-year veteran of the Tate & Lyle sister plant in Lafayette, Ind.
``Everything we needed, they got to us through Denny Taylor and his vendors,'' Brueschke said.
Said Taylor, ``we have really good vendors, people we've worked with for many years and they came forward and stepped up to the plate with the donation of these instruments.''
Because of the donations, Iowa Central's students (78 first and second year students in the Maintenance Electrician program) will have the opportunity to learn very technical skills on an immediate level using equipment exactly like that in use at Tate & Lyle and other similar industrial concerns. ``We have between 5,000 and 6,000 instruments in the plant right now,'' said Summers. ``A lot of the people there who will be using them are people who took classes here at Iowa Central or went through this program. They have the confidence to run these tests we need. I really think Iowa Central is one of the best technical schools I've seen.''
Vespestad and Barkley, whose companies work closely with Tate & Lyle, also praised the Iowa Central initiative to bring closer the technical skill training and professional on-site application of those skills. ``Our products are only as good as the people who work with them,'' Barkley observed.
``It's great that Iowa Central and Tate & Lyle have partnered to train engineers and electricians who understand and can use our products,'' Vespestad said. ``Iowa Central is a step ahead of other community colleges when it comes to training these people. There is a large demand for people with these skills, and we think the engineers and electricians who come from Iowa Central, come out a step ahead.''
Other Tate & Lyle vendors who have donated to the Iowa Central training program but were not represented at the press briefing, include Foxboro, Moore Industries, Mettler Toledo and Riley Corporation.