Manufacturing A Bright Future
Missouri Manufacturing And Technology Sector Expanding
The Missouri manufacturing and technology sector is expanding, and Gateway Bronco is in the thick of it. We are building custom classic Broncos for the masses.
In 2020, June Kummer and her late husband Fred supercharged the future of this sector with an historic $300 million donation to Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in Rolla. The money established the Kummer Institute for Student Success, Research and Economic Development and is leading the way for the Kummer initiative. The goal was to spur economic development and manufacturing in the state, along with STEM education for the state’s future workforce.
“The Kummer family is helping to increase the manufacturing footprint in Missouri through the largest gift in the state’s history for this type of educational initiative,” said Seth Burgett, founder, and CEO of Gateway Bronco. “The program will help build a manufacturing corridor along Interstate 44 between Rolla and Springfield with enterprises like the Missouri Protoplex, a new manufacturing center that will be the largest of its kind in the Midwest. This initiative is dedicated to nurturing a manufacturing culture with an emphasis on prototyping and innovation.”
As part of the ongoing rollout of the Kummar initiative, the Chancellor of Missouri S&T, Mohammad Dehghani, visited Gateway Bronco in March. He and his team were given a shop-floor tour of Gateway Bronco’s Hamel, IL, factory.
“We toured the facility and showed them the custom Ford Bronco manufacturing operations,” explained Burgett, who received an honorary professional degree from Missouri S&T in 2015, becoming the youngest ever at that time to receive an honorary professional degree from the university. “We showed Chancellor Dehghani that everything is inside a single facility based on a Kanban manufacturing workflow that I learned at my alma mater, Missouri S&T. While we are building what many consider a modern powertrain vehicle in a vintage body, we introduced the team to our electric vehicles and the electric program. The Chancellor was excited to see the electric program and how it came to life.”
Gateway Bronco is well positioned for a leadership role in the revival of Missouri’s manufacturing base. Besides its vertically integrated, 60,000 square foot manufacturing facility, last year Gateway Bronco introduced the Innovators Scholarship that recognizes and rewards aspiring automotive restoration and repair students. The company also began producing EV restomod custom Broncos and expanded its auto tech internship program to include an EV focus.
“I was very impressed by the Gateway Bronco facility and with the work happening there,” Dehghani said. “Seth’s vision is truly inspiring and remarkable, and we look forward to future partnerships to advance manufacturing in our state and beyond.”
“We were quite honored to have the Chancellor and his team visit our facility,” Burgett commented. “He was surprised to learn about the sophistication of manufacturing involved at Gateway Bronco.”
The Kummer Institute at Missouri S&T is still in its initial stages, but advances are coming fast. The ongoing revival of manufacturing and technical innovation in the American Midwest is a welcome development and one that finds Gateway Bronco in the vanguard.
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