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The Kansas City Kansas Community College Foundation has received a boost thanks to a partnership between the Thomas R. Burke Technical Education Center and a local business.
Earlier this month, Henke Manufacturing in Leavenworth, Kan. made a $500 donation to the KCKCC Foundation. Henke has 100 years of experience in designing and manufacturing snowplows and other attachments and continues to see its sales grow throughout the United States. KCKCC-TEC instructor Eric Theel worked with Henke during the fall and spring semesters to develop a customized/specialized blue print reading training on-site for Henke employees.
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“Overall, we have noticed an improvement in quality and a reduction of rework by our welders and fitters, which has allowed us to increase efficiency,” said Amber Steele, the Human Resources Generalist for Henke Manufacturing. “On top of that, we have noticed a boost in employee morale as this program is paid for by Henke. The employees see that as a company we are investing in them. Both the Production Manager and President (of Henke) are very happy with the knowledge that our employees are gaining (from the trainings), and they see this as a program that Henke and KCKCC should continue to offer employees in the future.”
Rich Piper, director of technical programs at KCKCC-TEC, said partnerships with the business community have always been important in developing our local talent.
“With two million skilled labor positions open in our country, it is even more critical that the college and our employers become creative and flexible in filling the skills gap,” he said. “Henke is a perfect example. The college sends an instructor to teach on location. Henke sets time aside from the normal work day to allow its employees to attend the training.”
Piper said the goal of the training is to make the employees more proficient at reading blueprints for the purpose of reducing rework in the production phase. This goal, he said, has been reached, and the leadership team at Henke is satisfied with the results.
“The value added to the training is in the community that Henke invests in its employees,” Piper said. “The results are a more qualified individual are applying for the positions Henke has to offer.”
Steele said there are other unexpected benefits from Henke’s partnership with KCKCC-TEC.
“As you know, our employees are our best recruiting sources,” she said. “We have applicants that are actively seeking us out because they see that we invest in them – specifically our employee population at the Lansing Correctional Facility. There is a huge push there to get hired by Henke.”