Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Penn College’s Electrical Students Benefit From Equipment Donation

Phoenix Contact, with U.S. headquarters in Middletown, delivered approximately $35,500 worth of programmable logic controller components to Penn College recently to benefit students in four majors. From left are Kyle A. Smith, executive director of the Penn College Foundation; Jon W. Hart, instructor of electrical technologies and co-department head of Electrical Technologies and Occupations; David R. Cotner, dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies; Eric Johnson, industrial sales engineer for Phoenix Contact; and Patrick Marty, vice president for college relations.
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. ­– Students in four majors at Pennsylvania College of Technology will benefit from a recent donation by a prominent electrical engineering and automation company.

Phoenix Contact delivered approximately $35,500 worth of programmable logic controller components to be integrated into the college’s soon-to-be renovated PLC labs. Beginning in the fall semester, more than 60 students per academic year will use the components in the hands-on portion of several classes.

Those students will be seeking associate degrees in electrical technology, electromechanical maintenance technology, mechatronics engineering technology and on-site power generation.

“The components are a significant contribution to our program and students’ education,” said Jon W. Hart, instructor of electrical technologies and co-department head of Electrical Technologies & Occupations. “The donation shows that Phoenix Contact is truly devoted to tomorrow’s workforce.”

Founded in Germany in 1923, Phoenix Contact develops and manufactures industrial electrical and electronic technology products that power, connect and automate systems and equipment used in a variety of industries. The company’s U.S. headquarters is in Middletown.

The donation is a result of Penn College’s acceptance into the Phoenix Contact International Education Network Program. The program consists of domestic and international universities and Phoenix Contact locations to promote research and science in the automation and network technology fields.

“Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education is the backbone to creating a more skilled workforce,” said Jack Nehlig, president of Phoenix Contact USA. “Phoenix Contact welcomes Penn College to our EduNet program. Partnerships like this are critical to giving students the hands-on skills and experience they need to succeed in today's competitive job market.”

The donated components will be part of the college’s 16-station basic PLC lab and its 10-station advanced PLC facility. Renovation of the labs is scheduled to be completed by the fall semester.

“We are very grateful for Phoenix Contact’s generosity and interest in our majors dedicated to electrical technology,” said David R. Cotner, dean of Penn College’s School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies. “We certainly share the common goal of equipping students with the most applicable skills and experiences to prepare them for their future careers.”

In addition to its associate degrees related to electrical technology, Penn College offers a bachelor’s degree in building automation technology. For information on the majors offered by the college’s School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520 or visit

Penn College is a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development., email or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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