PITTSBURG, KS - The wood technology program at Pittsburg State received a significant upgrade this semester thanks to the support from two major wood technology companies.

Veneer Trade Boosts Pittsburg State Wood Technology ProgramThe wood technology program at Pittsburg State received a significant upgrade this semester thanks to the support from two major wood technology companies.

Veneer Services, based in Indianapolis, donated to the university a double-knife guillotine, veneer splicer and glue clamp table, three state-of-the-art pieces of equipment that are used regularly in today’s wood tech industry. The overall value of the equipment is more than $210,000.

“It’s hard to put into words just how much this equipment means to us,” said Doug Hague, assistant professor of wood technology. “This is the equipment that our graduates will see when they leave here and enter the workforce, but being able to afford it on our own would be nearly impossible. For (Veneer Services owner) Dane Floyd to step up and offer this equipment for our program is a major, major step forward for the wood tech program at Pitt State and our students.”

Floyd said he’s excited to support the wood tech program at PSU, as he knows working with this new equipment will better prepare the students for the workforce.

“I like the program you have there at Pitt State, and I’m happy to support it because I want those students to have the skills that are necessary in today’s industry,” he said. “It’s imperative in today’s world for students to train and learn on the equipment that they are going to use once they graduate and begin their careers.”

The other industry partner that had a hand in this donation was Houston-based Brochsteins. Last fall, Brochsteins donated to PSU approximately one million square feet of high-quality veneer, which the students used in their wood tech lab activities.

A portion of that veneer was given to Veneer Services in exchange for the new equipment.

“It’s really a win-win-win for all of us involved,” Hague said. “We were thrilled and grateful to be given all of that veneer from Brochsteins, but it would have taken us years, if not decades, to use it all. By trading a portion of it for this new equipment, we now have high-quality veneer and the necessary machines to use it on.”

Steven Hecht, president of Brochsteins, said he fully supports the university’s use of the veneer.

“We donated that veneer to Pitt State because we saw an opportunity to make a positive impact on the wood tech program,” he said. “We know, however, that it would take them a very long time to use all of it.

“So for PSU to exchange the veneer for this new equipment is absolutely fine with us, because that veneer is still making a significant, positive impact on the program,” he said. “I firmly believe this exchange was a smart use of the veneer.”

Plus, Hecht said, if the PSU wood tech department ever needs more veneer, they know where to turn.

“We still haven’t shipped all of the veneer we promised to Pitt State,” Hecht said. “There is still a truckload here, and we’re just waiting on the call to ship it. We’re going to make sure Pitt State has what it needs.”

Hague said it’s situations like this that exhibit the importance of industry partnerships and generous donors to the program.

“Because of our budget, there is no way we could have ever purchased that quality of veneer or the new equipment that was just donated to us,” he said, “but our industry partners have stepped up in huge ways to help us out and give our students the educational experience they need and deserve.

“We could not be more grateful their ongoing generosity,” he said. “They don’t have to do this. They don’t have to give us anything. They do because they care about our students and they care about the wood tech industry, and we’re grateful beyond words.”

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