LSC Working to Expand and Relocate Manufacturing Program

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: February 25, 2020 06:33 PM

Manufacturing continues to be a high demand job, especially here in the Northland. Lake Superior College is taking steps to expand its manufacturing program to better prepare students going into the field.

The manufacturing program is currently located in downtown on 120 N. 2nd Ave W. LSC said they've outgrown the building. They also say the leased building has been getting extensive.

That’s why they wants to relocate it back to the main campus on 2101 Trinity Road, to offer a newly remodeled, expanded and updated manufacturing, welding and electronics lab. The change would also feature additional space for a Machine Tools Lab.

“This is really great not just for LSC but also for our community. It's for our region and for our state. We really are one of the biggest manufacturing schools in the state,” said Dan Fanning, the vice president of the advancement and external relations at LSC.

Max Udovich has been an instructor with LSC’s manufacturing program for 13 years and says it has grown a lot since then.

“We've probably quadrupled our enrollment. We're seeing a big influx of students looking for welding and machining engineering,” said Udovich.

LSC staff say the demand for the workforce only keeps growing.

“We have a lot of our partners reaching out to us to fill positions right now,” said Udovich.

A shining example of that is Brandon Tessier. He's a student at LSC and landed his first manufacturing job while finishing up the program.

"They know you’re in school, they want to work with you and they know that they're going to lead to better things in the end after you graduate,” said Tessier.

In order to get the project going, LSC is seeking $14 million in state money. They already have support from Gov. Tim Walz, who visited the campus last fall. He is supporting the proposal in his bonding package.

“We can create better quality materials with better quality tools. That makes learning a lot easier when you have the right tools to learn with,” said Tom Sola, a LSC student.

In addition, LSC says the move would help connect students in the manufacturing program with the support services on the main campus, as well as the new housing project near campus which is scheduled to start soon.

LSC says they still want to have a presence downtown, but that it will likely be in the form of a smaller footprint, flexible classes and customized training for downtown businesses and community partners.

LSC said this change is necessary and hope to get the support needed to get it going.

"We're really helping prepare that next generation of workforce and what we're trying to do is work with our industry partners to make sure that they have the talent that they need to be successful,” said Fanning.

The state funding still needs approval from the legislature. It would take an additional 2 to 3 years to start the construction of the project.

To learn more abut the project, click here.

Credits

Alejandra Palacios

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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