The new president of Kansas State University was in Salina Wednesday to visit a business partner of the school. Great Plains Manufacturing hosted Kansas State University President, Richard H. Linton, and Kansas State University Salina Aerospace and Technology Campus CEO and Dean, Dr. Alysia Starkey, at its new Construction Equipment (CE) Facility in south Salina.
According to Great Plains, the visit was part of a growing collaboration between Great Plains Manufacturing and Kansas State University to expand corporate-student partnerships through networking, research, and employment
opportunities. Chris Montgomery, Manager of CE Operations, led the group on a tour of the new facility.
David Disberger, Great Plains Manufacturing Executive Vice President and K-State Salina Dean’s Advisory Council member, said, “With the expansion of our CE facility and the growth surrounding manufacturing, we’re working to develop a long-term vision and strengthen ties with our local universities. This new facility opens up more opportunities for students and their future career paths, and we’re excited to explore opportunities for collaboration.”
Positive Momentum for CE Facility
Along with the opportunities for future partnerships with Kansas State University, Great Plains Mfg. recently received approval for the second phase of the Salina CE facility expansion.
The Step II expansion will be a $124 million investment that will include the installation of an automotive-grade eco-paint system with two paint lines, one for powder and the other for liquid applications. Expanded welding, assembly, and fabrication areas, and the construction of a building addition will increase production capacity and bring more jobs to the Salina community.
Step II is expected to be up and running by mid-2024, adding about 200 more jobs to the area.
Chris Montgomery said, “Step II is next in a three-phase strategic plan to be completed in the coming years, adding production capacity and new jobs to our Salina community. This expansion continues to show the confidence that Kubota and Great Plains have in our ability to manufacture high quality power units for the North America Construction Equipment market.”
Step I of the project is well underway, operating on time and under budget. To date, over 115 employees have been hired, with plans to add over 30 more positions before the end of the year. Mass production of the Kubota SVL65 compact track loaders is scheduled to begin in September.
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Photo courtesy Great Plains Manufacturing
From Left to Right:
Dr. Michael J. Pritchard, K-State Salina Assistant Professor & Graduate Faculty – Department of Integrated Studies;
Dr. Alysia Starkey, K-State Salina Aerospace and Technology Campus CEO and Dean;
David Disberger (back, black suit), Great Plains Mfg. Executive Vice President and K-State Salina Dean’s Advisory Council Member;
Dr. Richard Linton, Kansas State University President;
Linda Salem, Great Plains Mfg. President and CEO,
Jamie Hall, Great Plains Mfg. Director of Facilities;
Chris Montgomery, Manager of CE Operations;
Dr. David Rosowsky, Kansas State University Vice President for Research;
Troy Harding, K-State Salina Department Head – Integrated Studies