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City of Wayne Approves $1 Million Support of Wayne State’s Center for Applied Technology

Published Monday, May 8th, 2017

Wayne City Council looks to grow the Wayne community with their financial support towards WSC's new industrial technology building.

Wayne State College and the City of Wayne have taken a major step forward together with the City Council’s approval of $1 million in support of Wayne State’s Center for Applied Technology. The Center will deliver education for industry, provide a career academy for local school districts, and serve as a regional hub for innovation and workforce development. The city will provide the funds over two years in exchange for access to college facilities, services, and educational opportunities 

“The Wayne City Council has the responsibility to grow our community,” said Ken Chamberlain, mayor of Wayne. ”If Wayne State grows, our community grows. The Wayne City Council took action to not only further solidify Wayne's relationship with Wayne State, but also ensure our community will continue to prosper.”

The college will begin construction and site preparation for the new facility this month, with completion set for December 2018. The city’s support with the May 2 agreement signals strong confidence in the college’s vision for the Center for Applied Technology. Wayne State offers Nebraska’s only Industrial Technology education degree in which teachers can earn certification in these fields. This is critically important with the increased emphasis on high school career academies throughout Nebraska and the need to provide qualified teachers.  

The city’s support underlines Wayne State’s service as a gateway of opportunity for students to experience industrial manufacturing in an environment that cultivates interest and excitement in industrial technology. The city’s decision also considered the projected economic impact of the facility, and the additional opportunities and resources the college’s state-of-the-art facility will provide to the city. 

Stan Carpenter, chancellor of the Nebraska State College System, said that this is a unique and innovative arrangement between the City of Wayne and Wayne State College. 

“This partnership will strengthen both the city and the college,” Carpenter said. “The Center for Applied Technology will be an impetus for strengthening economic development in northeast Nebraska. This facility will bring incredible opportunities to the community and our students.”

The new facility will provide updated and adequately sized drafting, construction and woods, manufacturing, welding, power and energy, electronics, and skilled and technical science laboratory/lab support space; two classrooms; faculty and staff offices; and administrative support space. The new facility will also provide networking, computer hardware, robotics, and general computer instructional laboratory space for the Computer Science and Computer Information Systems programs. 

Wayne State’s Center for Applied Technology, complemented by top-notch faculty who deliver an industry-based curriculum, will attract students from high schools as well as community colleges to seek careers in this growing area. Based on economic analysis, the facility will have a direct economic impact of more than $10 million over 10 years, with a net effect of more than $15 million. 

Economic impact calculations included estimates of spending by Wayne State College, which would include additional faculty as well as operations and maintenance relating to the Center; spending by additional students enrolled in programs relating to the Center; spending by participants engaged in activities hosted in the Center; and spending related to business and industry utilizing the Center.

Fundraising efforts by the Wayne State Foundation are still underway with several major foundations, along with alumni, friends, and regional manufacturing companies. The total project cost is $15.2 million.

“This is an exciting extension of a great partnership that Wayne State enjoys with the city of Wayne,” said Dr. Marysz Rames, president of Wayne State. “I am so pleased to join hands with the city to expand opportunities in industrial technology.”