Like most industries, manufacturing seems to change and adapt toward efficiency as technology evolves.

A new program at Salina Area Technical College will prepare students for setting up and maintaining automated machinery — a skill in high demand in the greater manufacturing workforce.

The Industrial Maintenance and Automation program will train students on various components of industry-standard automated machines. Salina Tech announced that it has secured a $1.8 million grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce to fund roughly half the cost of a new 15,000-square-foot building to house the program.

“Our facilities in the region are moving in that direction — automation, by and large,” Nichols said.

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DeLoss Dulohery (left) instructs a course on CNC Mills Jan. 20. Dulohery teaches in the machine tool technology program at Salina Area Technical College.