INA, Ill. (Feb. 26, 2020) — Rend Lake College machining students will have new equipment to work with thanks to a generous donation from an area business.

Bennett Metal Products, Inc., located in Mt. Vernon, recently contributed an Okuma CNC LB15 Lathe along with a monetary donation to purchase toolboxes for RLC’s Machining program.

BennettDonationWeb(From left) Rend Lake College President Terry Wilkerson, Dean of Applied Science and Technology Gabriele Farner, Associate Vice President of CTE and Student Support Kim Wilkerson, Vice President of Instruction and Student Affairs Lori Ragland, Machining instructor Ken Lund, and the owners of Bennett Metal Products, Inc. Robin Stowers, Jim Stowers and Jonathan Stowers.

Jim and Robin Stowers, owners of Bennett Metal Products, were on the Ina Campus Tuesday to present the new equipment in the college’s machine shop. Jim Stowers said the lathe machine will give students a chance to gain experience with equipment they may encounter in their future profession.

“It’s great for the students. It gives them more opportunities to come into the workforce prepared,” Stowers said.

Machining instructor Ken Lund agreed, saying the new equipment will give students greater chances to expand their work skills while studying at Rend Lake College.

The Stowers are steadfast supporters of Rend Lake College and local education with Robin serving on the Rend Lake College Foundation Board of Directors.

“Jim and Robin Stowers have been very supportive of Rend Lake College and we appreciate their generous investment in our Machining Program. Their investment in machining equipment and technology assists RLC in ensuring our students are adequately trained and ready to enter the industry upon completion of the program,” said Kay Zibby-Damron, CEO of the RLC Foundation.

To learn more about RLC’s Machining program, or the vast number of degrees and certificates offered at Rend Lake College, visit

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