Our region is a mid-sized player in the composites industry, but an unusual cluster of composites companies in the Winona area specializes in everything from violin bows to canoes. Forward-thinking manufacturers in the Upper Mississippi River Valley have aligned themselves with the innovation and advantages of composite materials to create high-quality products. As an internationally known source of progressive composite production, our region continues to contribute new advancements toward the development of the industry. This industry cluster joins together highly skilled, innovative manufacturers of sustainable goods.
Winona State University
Providing Our Composites Workforce
When the concentration of composite companies hit critical mass for needing specialized composite materials engineers, with the support of Minnesota, Winona State University created what remains the nation’s only undergraduate composite materials engineering degree. Because of WSU’s high standards, graduating students typically have multiple job offers and have gone on to work for companies including 3M, Trek, Boeing, John Deere, Ford, and with 25% staying to work at local companies such as RTP Company, CPI Binani and PlastiComp.
Providing Our Research
The Composite Materials Technology Center (COMTEC) uses the facilities, equipment and expertise of the Composites Materials Engineering Department to provide design and analysis, materials, characterization, testing and prototype manufacturing for composite companies.
Winona Area Composite Consortium (WACC)
The consortium is a cluster of more than 12 composite manufacturers whose mission is to promote continued development of the composites industry in Winona. Winona State University supports the cluster by creating the only undergraduate degree in the country in composites engineering. The Consortium is a valuable resource and contributor to the composite cluster in the region. Sharing is part of the Composite Consortium’s roots. After all, most of them spun off of each other a few decades ago. That’s why it’s not unusual for one company to turn to another when they need help.
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