WCTC receives $2.6 million to enhance, expand Integrated Manufacturing Center
Waukesha County Technical College and the WCTC Foundation have announced a $2 million donation by former Signicast Corporation president and owner Walter (Terry) Lutz to enhance and expand the college’s Integrated Manufacturing Center (IMC).
“Manufacturing is crucial to the success of the United States and the American dream,” said Lutz. “For manufacturing to succeed it needs employees with skills in tool making, maintenance, machining and welding. Technical colleges like WCTC provide students with the skills they need to prosper in manufacturing.”
The IMC and adjacent building will be named the “Terry Lutz Integrated Manufacturing Center” in recognition of the donation. College officials are in the process of considering various facility enhancements to best support student learning.
“This exceptional gift recognizes the legacy of Terry Lutz and his commitment to manufacturing excellence,” said WCTC Foundation President Ellen Phillips. “Terry’s donation provides the opportunity to enhance WCTC’s IMC, a center that was created through numerous donations in 2015. The WCTC Foundation is grateful for Terry’s generous support of our students and the advancements he provides for their educational journey.”
In addition to the $2 million donation toward facility enhancements, the Lutz Family Foundation plans to commit $600,000 toward the purchase of new training equipment. In February, the foundation donated $188,000 to purchase an automated manufacturing cell for the college’s Automation Systems Technology (AST)/Robotics program.
Lutz, who holds a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering, hired many WCTC graduates throughout his career with Hartford-based Signicast. He is the author of the book, “In Pursuit of Manufacturing Excellence – The Signicast Story.” The book details how the company was transformed into the largest commercial investment casting company in the United States.
“At Signicast, I had a firsthand view of the skills required of employees who wish to become leaders in manufacturing. WCTC does an outstanding job teaching those skills to its students,” Lutz said. “I feel strongly about the need for technical colleges like WCTC to train our future manufacturing technicians. I decided to make a sizable gift so the college’s Integrated Manufacturing Center could have the most modern facilities and equipment.”
WCTC Dean of Applied Technologies Mike Shiels said the gift will have “an incredible impact” on the college’s advanced manufacturing programs and students will benefit from the new equipment and improvements to the facilities adjacent to the IMC.
"WCTC is fortunate to have formed relationships with individuals like Terry Lutz who recognize the power of manufacturing and the role that our state’s technical colleges play as a significant talent pipeline for employers and driver of our economy,” Shiels said.
Waukesha County Technical College, the leader in workforce development, prepares learners for success within the region and global economy. The College offers more than 150 areas of study including associate degree, technical diploma, apprenticeships and short-term certificate programs; customized training for employers is also available.