Topeka, Kan. – Mars Wrigley and Kansas Board of Regents will be recognized for their roles in the expansion of an existing technical program at a special donor appreciation event set for 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 21 at Washburn Tech East, 2014 SE Washington St.  The event will begin with a brief news conference.  

     Grant awards from the two donors will provide a foundation for the funding of a Certified Production Technician (CPT) program at Washburn Tech East, offered for the first time at that location in the upcoming fall semester.  A $50,000 grant from Mars Wrigley will enhance the purchase of equipment, also known as trainers, as will a $25,475 Innovative Tech Grant from KBOR.

     Mars Wrigley has been part of the Topeka community since 2014. As a family-owned business, and a proud employer of choice in the U.S., the company has a long history of investing in current and future talent.

     “Mars Wrigley is dedicated to investing in the Topeka community to ensure future talent has the opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Mike Heatwole, supply excellence manager, Mars Wrigley Topeka. “We are proud to partner on this program with Washburn Tech which helps create more career opportunities within the manufacturing workforce.”

     “I’m excited that Washburn Tech will leverage this Innovative Technology Grant to support the workforce needs of Kansas manufacturers,” said Dr. Blake Flanders, Kansas Board of Regents President and CEO. “This initiative builds partnerships with industry through a focus on innovation and supporting programs in emerging technologies and areas experiencing skills shortages.”

     Tim Clothier, director of business and industry at Washburn Tech, also noted the advantage of the program: “The implementation of the CPT program at Washburn Tech East offers our manufacturing and logistical partners a resource from which to supply their workforce needs. The new CPT students will also be provided a foundation to discover other programs that will enhance their career opportunities.”

     CPT will be a one semester, half-day program in which students can obtain credentials that will boost their employability in the manufacturing industry. High school and adult students are welcome to enroll and scholarship assistance is available.  The program will follow certification curriculum established by the Manufacturing Skills Standard Council. 

     “The generous financial support by Mars allows Washburn Tech to purchase skills training equipment for use in the advanced manufacturing programs at the east campus,” said Dr. Gary Bayens, dean, Washburn Tech. “Students will learn hands-on how to set up, test and adjust electronic and mechanical systems used in manufacturing machinery.”


For further information: Lori Hutchinson 785.670.2199
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Washburn University prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, veteran status, or marital or parental status. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Dr. Pamela Foster, Equal Opportunity Director/Title IX Coordinator, Washburn University, 1700 SW College Ave, Topeka, Kansas 66621, 785.670.1509,

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