News Release

Published on Monday, April 14, 2008

George Smith, chairman of the board for S&S Cycle, presented a check for $100,000 to Western Technical College today. The money will be used for scholarships for students in the college’s Mechanical Design and Machine Tool programs. S&S Cycle, a manufacturer of motorcycle components and engines, regularly hires Western graduates to work for their La Crosse and Viola-based company.

“Fifty years ago when my mom and dad started S&S Cycle, my dad did not have a college degree, but had a technical aptitude in drafting and design concepts. When I took over, I was in the same position,” said Smith. “I have a soft spot for people like my dad and myself, who do not have a degree, but have an interest in mechanical engineering and design. Now that computers have replaced drawing boards and pencils, more advanced training is necessary, and Western has a great program for teaching computer design and machining skills. I hope that this scholarship will help some men and women achieve their goals and dreams.”

The George B. Smith S&S Cycle Scholarship will provide up to $25,000 per year to students enrolled in Mechanical Design or Machine Tool programs who meet eligibility requirements. Beginning with the 2008-2009 school year, scholarships for up to $2,500 per student will be available.

“We are grateful to George Smith for his generosity,” said Lee Rasch, Western Technical College president. “Partnerships like these are important in promoting high-tech manufacturing programs like Mechanical Design and Machine Tool. We hope more people will consider these careers knowing that high-profile businesses like S&S Cycle are looking to Western for employees.”

To learn more about the other Western Technical College programs and services, please call 608.785.9200 or visit the Web site at