Lee College received this month a $250,000 suite of digital computer equipment and software from Mitsubishi Electric Corp., which will be used to train students for a range of high-demand, high-wage technical careers.
The donation included state-of-the-art Mitsubishi programmable logic controllers (PLCs), as well as associated software and training for instructors. Company representatives joined Lee College Pres. Dr. Dennis Brown, members of the Board of Regents and other administrators for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, May 2, at the McNair Center to get a firsthand look at the PLCs before students begin working with them.
An essential piece of equipment in many industries, PLCs help automate electromechanical processes — from the control of a vent fan in an oil refinery, to the motion of a conveyor belt on a factory assembly line. Technicians use specialized software to program the systems to produce the desired function.
In thanking Mitsubishi for its generosity, Dr. Brown noted that Lee College is fortunate to have strong connections with many industry partners. Such relationships benefit students by providing enhanced educational resources and greater opportunities for future success, he said.
“What Mitsubishi has done for the college will move us forward in our mission to prepare our graduates for industry,” Dr. Brown said. “Learning these skills will help students secure a career that can last a lifetime.”
Mark Werthman, director of the technical support group for Mitsubishi, said he hoped its donation would further bridge the gap between industry and education. Finding qualified employees is important to both the company itself, and the customers that purchase its products.
“We recognize the commitment at Lee College to the education and re-education of the workforce in this area, and we thank them for recognizing the needs of the industry,” Werthman said. “We are excited to have this opportunity and look forward to helping the college every step of the way.”