Orange, Texas-based flat die maker Cloeren Inc. will donate more than $500,000 to Lamar State College Orange to establish a mechatronics program with scholarships for students who enroll in it.
The donation will provide $300,000 worth of machinery and $200,000 in scholarship funding over the next four years.
The company also committed resources, such as steel for in-class project use, cutting tools, cutting fluids and Cloeren staff to provide lectures and instruction for students.
In addition, Cloeren will offer hands-on learning through part-time paid internships and consider program graduates for job openings.
Founded in 1979, Cloeren produces tooling for the plastics extrusion industry, including coextrusion feedblocks, single and multi-manifold dies and accessories for the food, medical and pharmaceutical packaging, personal care and consumer goods markets.
Cloeren dies serve the cast film, extrusion coating and laminating, web coating, sheet, oriented films, and woven and nonwoven extrusion processes.
As part of its partnership with LSCO, Cloeren will donate a manual knee-type mill, a CNC mill, a CNC lathe and other equipment for the basis of study for the program.
"As a global mechatronics company, we see the need for a workforce that is well educated and committed to the advancement of this field," Cloeren CEO Peter Cloeren said in a news release. "This investment of time, money and training into Lamar State College Orange will further ensure that our area is poised to support the growing workforce demand for mechatronics and ensure that LSCO will be a leader in training future workers in this space in partnership with Cloeren."
He also said women will be encouraged to try for the scholarships.
"Certain areas of the mechatronics field are incorrectly stereotyped as male jobs," Cloeren said. "I believe women can make significant contributions in the field, particularly in the area of CNC machining, programing and metrology."
LSCO officials said they are thrilled and grateful for the partnership.
"This investment will be a game-changer for our campus in our ability to make our students competitive at a global level in the latest mechatronics industry trends. With Mr. Cloeren's vision, commitment and partnership, we hope our mechatronics program will become the national leader in the education of the future workforce in this field," LSCO President Thomas Johnson said.
The college's mechatronics program will begin accepting students in April 2022 for fall 2022 classes.