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Oct. 25, 2023

Northwest to celebrate McKemy Center renovation with Nov. 8 ribbon cutting

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Northwest Missouri State University is celebrating the completion of a renovation to accommodate its new systems management for manufacturing and agribusiness program.

The Northwest community is invited to the ribbon-cutting ceremony from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, at the McKemy Center for Lifelong Learning, located on the University campus at North College Drive and Centennial Drive.

The renovation, which was completed during the summer, provided laboratory space, safety and infrastructure upgrades and welding booths. The facility now features Power Wave C300 portable multi-process wire feeder welders with high-end functionality capable of Stick, DC TIG, MIG, Pulsed MIG and Flux-Cored welding. It also is equipped with a VRTEX virtual reality welding training simulator that promotes the transfer of welding skills and body positioning while reducing waste associated with traditional welding training.

The University is developing coursework in the areas of welding, precision measuring, electronics and electricity, mechatronics, personal protective equipment and safety, robotics and other industry-standard certifications. Additionally, Northwest plans to implement a Systems Management Academy for high school students and teachers.

Core agricultural mechanics competencies have been taught at Northwest for decades, but the recent renovations at the McKemy Center are helping the University and its School of Agricultural Sciences focus on systems management while addressing labor needs in the agriculture and manufacturing industries.

By offering comprehensive systems management training and skill development, as well as certifying those skills with industry-recognized stackable credentials, Northwest will help increase the labor force for manufacturing and agribusiness industry clusters.

Northwest received grant funding for the project from the Missouri Department of Economic Development in addition to support from the CHS Foundation, the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, Don and Jody Athen, and Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corporation.

To make a gift to support Northwest and its programs, contact the Northwest Foundation at 660.562.1248 or visit


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215