The Salina Area Technical College has received two major donations recently that came from members of the College’s Foundation Board. One donation is providing equipment for the machine tool and diesel programs, and the other is a new car for the college’s vehicle pool.
The new vehicle is a 2020 Chevy Malibu that was donated by Holm Automotive, a longtime Abilene auto dealer that recently opened a location in Salina. Dealership owner Tim Holm joined the Salina Tech Foundation board in September.
The Malibu, with a value of $20,000, is a welcome addition to the college’s vehicle pool, said college president Greg Nichols.
“We have employees traveling as much as ever — to area high schools to teach classes, visit business and industry partners, and attend recruiting events,” Nichols said. “Our vehicles are getting older, and this donation frees up $20,000 we can use instead for equipment and supplies in our labs and classrooms.”
Holm said he had been talking with Larry Pankratz, Salina Tech’s director of development, about the college’s needs when the shortcomings in the motor pool came up, and the dealership was in a position to help.
The college has also received two milling machines and two diesel engines from AGCO in Hesston. The milling machines will become part of the Machine Tool Technology program, while the diesel engines are headed to the diesel technology department. The engines include a tractor engine with the latest EPA Tier 4 emissions systems and a Tier 3 engine from a combine.
Those donations were arranged by Chad Westbrook, manufacturing engineering manager at AGCO, who joined the Salina Tech Foundation board in April.
“I’m happy to help Salina Tech any way I can,” said Westbrook, a graduate of Salina Tech’s welding program who went on to study engineering at Kansas State University. “I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for Salina Tech.”
“Donations such as these help ensure Salina Tech students are gaining relevant experience, learning to work with the tools and equipment they’ll find in their careers after graduation,” Pankratz said.