Minnesota State College Southeast has received a $229,312 grant from the Jones Family Foundation and Red Wing Area Fund of the Saint Paul Foundation to support the college’s unique Bicycle Design and Fabrication program.
“This extraordinarily generous grant will make it possible to upgrade the bicycle program lab with state-of-the-art equipment that is safer and more efficient,” said Dr. Marsha Danielson, Minnesota State College Southeast president. “It will also help us increase the enrollment capacity for this program, which already draws students from all over the state of Minnesota and across the United States.”
“The Jones Family Foundation has long believed that Minnesota State College Southeast’s presence in Red Wing is a critical element in the community’s economic vitality,” said Dan Massett, board chair, Jones Family Foundation. “Along with other key community stakeholders in Red Wing, we have been meeting with college leadership over the past few years to discuss how we could partner to assist the college in finding ways to grow the Red Wing campus through innovative programming that not only attracts students from the region, but beyond.”
“The Red Wing Area Fund of the Saint Paul Foundation is committed to the growth of MSC Southeast here in Red Wing and glad to again be able to help fund a new program,” commented Suzanne Blue, Board Chair, Red Wing Area Fund. “This bicycle curriculum is a very good fit into our community’s long interest and investment in our bike trails.”
Launched in 2019, the Bicycle Design and Fabrication program at MSC Southeast's Red Wing campus offers a two-year associate of applied science degree with coursework in welding, prototyping, CAD (computer aided drawing/design), and CAM (computer aided manufacturing/machining) as applied specifically for bicycle fabrication. The first cohort of students graduated in 2021.
The grant funding will be dedicated to improving the student experience in the lab. Students will now have the opportunity to work on industry-standard advanced manufacturing equipment in the Red Wing facility.
“The current CNC lathe and machining center equipment is functional, but these new investments will provide expanded opportunities to work on the machines,” said Heather Conley, MSC Southeast dean of Academic Innovation. “Plans underway call for purchasing and installing a coordinated suite of new equipment, such as new CNC lathes, mills with full enclosure machining centers, and an industrial laser cutter.”
Most of the students who have enrolled in the program are ardent bicycle enthusiasts who want to take their love of cycling to the next level by gaining skills that will help them begin a career in the field. The skills mastered in the degree can be applied to any industry involving fabrication, manufacturing, and engineering technology.
“We believe the Bicycle Design and Fabrication program has the potential to draw students from all over the world, similar to that of the college’s musical instrument repair and building programs,” Massett said. “The Jones Family Foundation board members believe partnerships such as this are important to the economic success of Red Wing.”