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Training lab unveiled at Western Tech

Drew Kelly

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A $400,000 donation from Ashley
Furniture helped make it happen 

Western Technical College and a local business have teamed up to create a training lab.

The Ashley Furniture Industrial Automation Lab was opened Friday. It features six Yakasawa robots and three simulator units that students will use for training.

Along with the equipment, Ashley is also paying for educators at Western to be certified to teach classes. The total donation is over $400,000.

It’s all equipment similar to what many companies use, including Ashley.

Ron Wanek of Ashley says Robotics skills are critical if America will stay competitive with the rest of the world in manufacturing.

Western president Roger Stanford said the college is grateful for the donation and says it proves how much they value public-private partnerships.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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