KSU Salina, Great Plains Enter Scholarship Agreement

A Salina manufacturer is partnering with a Salina college to provide a one-of-a-kind scholarship opportunity. The collaboration between K-State Salina and Great Plains Manufacturing will allow engineering technology students to gain real-world experience and save money on their education.

According to Great Plains, the new GPM Scholars Program will allow students to gain professional work experience and receive a scholarship each semester to help cover tuition costs. The program is open to K-State Aerospace and Technology first year students who are enrolled in an engineering, manufacturing-technology, or a related field of study.

After fulfilling program qualifications and obtaining a recommendation from a K-State faculty member, applicants will interview at Great Plains Mfg. Once accepted into the program, students will work for GPM 20 hours per week and commit to attending classes full time year-round.

GPM Scholars who begin the program their freshman year will graduate in three years with a Bachelor of Science degree and over 2,400 hours of relevant, professional experience. Students in the program will gain experience in assembly, robotic weld automation and programming, new product design layout, production flow design, troubleshooting, and will attend monthly supervisory training. The GPM Scholars Program will provide students opportunities for careers in engineering, procurement, manufacturing, information technology, environmental health and safety, and other related professions after graduation.

David Disberger, Great Plains Manufacturing Executive Vice President and K-State Salina Dean’s Advisory Council member, said, “The program is set to increase to 36 students within four years. We see this partnership as a great way to grow our employee base with stronger technology skills and help provide students with valuable professional experience.” Upon completion of the GPM Scholars Program, graduates can apply for a full-time position at Great Plains Mfg.

The GPM Scholars Program is part of a larger partnership with Kansas State University. Over the next four years, Great Plains Manufacturing has committed to annual gifts and support of the College of Agriculture, College of Business Administration, and the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering on the Manhattan campus.

Donations to the College of Engineering will support the Engineering Leadership and Innovation (ELI) programs, as well as provide professional networking opportunities for students. Monetary and equipment donations will help support the College of Agriculture’s Willow Lake Student Farm – a student-led farm that conducts research and supplies fresh produce to various campus food service sources. For the College of Business Administration, annual gifts will support student clubs and programs. More
information about the Kansas State University partnerships and the GPM Scholars Program can be found at: www.GreatPlainsMfg.com/Scholars.

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Photo via KSU Salina: K-State Salina and Salina-based Great Plains Manufacturing have launched the Great Plains Manufacturing Scholars Program that allows students who want to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology to also acquire firsthand, on-the-job experience with part-time employment at the company