New K-State Salina scholarship to also ease Great Plains workforce needs

FILE - K-State Graduation
FILE - K-State Graduation(WIBW)
Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 8:23 AM CDT
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SALINA, Kan. (WIBW) - A new scholars program will help Great Plains Manufacturing meet immediate workforce needs while also affording students at K-State Salina a chance to work in the industry and a discount on their education.

Kansas State University says thanks to the brand new one-of-a-kind scholarship opportunity at its Salina Aerospace and Technology Campus, engineering and technology students will gain real-world experience and save money on their education.

K-State noted that Salina-based Great Plains Manufacturing Inc. created the Great Plains Manufacturing Scholars Program to allow students to apprentice part-time alongside industry professionals, learn new skills and earn a scholarship and paycheck while helping Great Plains meet an immediate need for qualified team members.

The University said the new program will provide learning opportunities in basic manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, advanced robotics programming and engineering design. The program is meant for students who earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology programs at the K-State Salina campus.

K-State indicated that each participating scholar will get an annual scholarship of up to $9,900 per year - which covers about 85% of in-state tuition. With year-round course options, it said freshman students earn degrees within three years while also working up to 20 hours per week at Great Plains Manufacturing.

The University also said students gain on-the-job training which could count toward some academic credits. It said the scholarship will allow students to gain over 2,400 hours of relevant professional experience.

“The Great Plains Scholars Program is one of the ways that Kansas State University as a whole is defining how next-generation land-grant universities can be accessible,” said Alysia Starkey, K-State Salina CEO and dean. “With our 2030 initiatives to reduce student debt by 50%, this program will help many students earn their degrees with little to no student debt while receiving a quality education.”

K-State said the Great Plains Manufacturing Scholars Program enhances the educational experience of students at K-State Salina with real-world, industry-specific training and helps graduates transition to a full-time career much faster.

In addition, K-State said the program supports industry and the next-generation workforce by providing relevant skills to the workforce of today and the future which ultimately strengthens the economic development of the Sunflower State and the Midwest as a whole.

K-State noted that the program will be available to students beginning their freshman year and will expand to 36 students over the next four years. After acceptance into the program, it said students will start to work in line assembly, advance to robotic weld automation centers and finish in a design, supervisory or troubleshooting role.

“The Great Plains Manufacturing Scholars Program is a great way to leverage the talents and skills of K-State students and provide them valuable professional experience,” said David Disberger, Great Plains Manufacturing executive vice president and K-State Salina Dean’s Advisory Council member. “As a result, we will grow our workforce with students who have a strong manufacturing-technology focus.”

The University indicated that students who complete the program will have the chance for careers in engineering, procurement, manufacturing, information technology or environment, health and safety.

For more information about the Great Plains Manufacturing Scholars Program, click HERE.