Briggs & Stratton Donates $5,000 to Boost HPS Technology

Monday, January 01, 2018

A donation from the Briggs & Stratton Foundation will help students at Holdrege High School gain valuable career skills.

The foundation has awarded a $5,000 grant to HHS to upgrade welding, robotics and CAD equipment and supplies

“Through these efforts, we reinforce the importance of educating and exposing our local youth to skilled trades that are integral both within the community and in our business,” said Jim Kaplinski, Operations Manager at Allmand Inc.

Allmand Bros. was purchased by the Briggs & Stratton Co. in 2014 and is now officially operating under the name, Allmand Inc.

“Briggs & Stratton is more committed than ever to making a difference in communities where they operate,” Kaplinski said. “Our involvement in the community has been an integral part of our history.”

Holdrege High School Industrial Technology Teacher Jeremy Ham said the donation will fund the new required operation system for robotics. In the CAD classes, the donation will fund larger computer monitors, new keyboards and upgrades to allow students to work on projects outside of class. The new technology should be available for students by January.

“This donation helps HHS students by enabling them to learn and interact with the latest technology associated with CAD and robotics,” Ham said. “The technology in these two areas changes rather quickly and is expensive to keep current.”

Ham said students gave their input on how the donation should be used and are excited and appreciative of Briggs and Stratton’s generosity.

The business community has been supportive of HHS needs in the past as well. Ham said South Central Diesel has given donations to the Industrial Technology department for tool and equipment upgrades, and BD has provided funding for the drafting and bridge building contests for many years. 

“These donations are greatly appreciated and help us to provide quality education and experiences for our students,” Ham said. 

Phelps County Development Corporation Executive Director Ron Tillery said the Briggs & Stratton donation came just two weeks after he arranged for Kaplinski to meet with school officials and take a tour of the high school.

“Our role is to simply introduce people and bring the parties together,” Tillery said.

Tillery said that he and Kaplinski have conversed multiple times about the challenges in local workforce development.

“Allmand Inc. is poised for growth and new investment in 2018, which underscores how important it is to prepare local students to meet those new employment opportunities,” Tillery said.

For more information about PCDC, contact Ron Tillery at (308) 995-4148 or ron@phelpscountyne.com.

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