BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
LEE COUNTY – Have something in the garage that’s sitting in the corner taking up space? How about a piece of equipment on the floor that’s outdated and you just haven’t figured out where to go with it.
The Lee County Economic Development Group is hoping you’ll look their way and donate that equipment to a new program that’s up and running in conjunction with Southeastern Community College and local industries.
Dana Millard, vice president of marketing and communication with LCEDG, said a curriculum is being developed at the SCC Technology Center in Keokuk for mechanical troubleshooting.
The program is designed to help employees analyze and troubleshoot the causes of problems with industrial and mechanical equipment.
“The equipment we’re looking for is stuff like pumps, valves, compressors, small motors, where students can get some hands-on experience with root cause analysis,” Millard said.
“Working with these things that are typically in all industries whether it’s equipment like you’d see at Roquette, Pinnacle, Huffman Welding, anything like that. A lot of the stuff could be applicable to tinkering around in the garage. We want to help employers by building those troubleshooting skills in order to figure out problems and how to fix those problems without causing more problems.”
She said Dave Rector, the SCC/Center for Business Industrial Maintenance instructor has developed a curriculum with the help of Roquette America, Silgan Containers, Independent Can Company, Iowa Fertilizer Company, and Pinnacle Foods.
Silgan and Decker Manufacturing out of Keokuk, have already donated to the program.
Some of the items being sought for the class include piston, vane, impeller, external gear, lobe and Herringbone pumps; plug, globe and parallel gate valves; small single or two-cylinder compressors; and other things like small belt drive and gear train mechanisms, varieties of switches, and bad bearings.
“We’re looking for things that could be broken and the students could figure out why they have a defect or fault. If it’s working great, if not we can still use it,” Millard said.
“We’re excited to see this kind of learning going on and it really fits the needs the employers are looking for.”
Millard said those who have items that could fit the class are encouraged to contact her or Rector at the Keokuk SCC campus.
“Silgan Containers is happy to join SCC and Lee County EDG in their effort, to insure the successful future of area manufacturing” stated Brad Hagmeier with Silgan Containers. “Donating a few parts, or spare equipment, seems a small price to pay in return for a skilled workforce.”