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Stanion Wholesale Electric partners with Pratt Community College MDSM program

25 November 2019

With the addition of the Modern Distribution Sales Management (MDSM) Program at Pratt Community College in 2018, it has added new opportunities and industry partnerships. One such partnership is with Stanion Wholesale Electric Co., Inc. (Stanion’s) based in Pratt, Kan.
 
Bill Keller, current president and CEO began working at Stanion’s in 1978 at the Lawrence, Kan. location. At that time, the Lawrence branch was the largest of all the Stanion branches. After graduation from law school, Keller practiced law for several years before deciding that a legal practice was not the right career for him. He was offered a job in the company by his wife’s (Cindy’s) family, the owners of the business; and he accepted the offer even though he had no prior knowledge of the industry.
 
“I started out in the warehouse and moved my way up,” said Keller.
 
From the warehouse he moved up to sales, project quotations, customer service, and to assistant branch manager. In 1982, he moved to the companys headquarters in Pratt; and, in 1990, he became the president of the company.
 
Leading up to development of the MDSM program, Keller saw a need for the ability to bring in workers who had a foundation in the knowledge and skillset needed for wholesale distribution and an interest in the industry.  Such a foundation made it much more likely for the development of a workforce that would grow and prosper at Stanion or with other distributors
 
“With the MDSM program at PCC, it will help give visibility of the industry to students”, said Keller.  “Most potential workers entering the job market have very little, if any, knowledge about wholesale distribution.  It is a huge part of the US economy that is not well-known or understood by the general public.”
 
Keller believes that the partnership between Pratt Community College’s MDSM program and Stanion’s will help spread awareness and understanding of what the wholesale industry truly is. This program helps students gain the skills and training that will be valuable in the wholesale industry. Through the MDSM Program, students are able to go to school for one or two years and gain the training and knowledge that they need in order to be successful in the industry.
 
“It gives people that we may want to hire an opportunity to get training and skills that would be beneficial to our industry,” said Keller.

The MDSM program is a one or two year technical program focused on preparing students to successfully enter the distribution industry.  MDSM provides exceptional opportunities for traditional and non-traditional students to network with industry professionals, experience the industry first-hand by learning directly from industry experts in and out of the classroom, and take part in paid internships and potential job placement through the program.

The MDSM program is offered on-campus in Pratt as well as online. Online courses provide remote students the chance to learn from another location. The virtual classes are beneficial to current employees, as they will be able to take courses and refresh their knowledge while continuing to work.

The MDSM Program is designed around a business model with the intention of providing students with the skills to grow within the industry, much like Keller did.
 
“Students need to be motivated to work and have the desire to be in business,” said Keller, “along with a desire to succeed.”
 
To learn more about the MDSM Program at PCC visit prattcc.edu/MDSM or connect with Instructor,
Jenny Egging at .
 
The mission of Pratt Community College is maximum student learning, individual and workforce development, high quality instruction and service, and community enrichment. PCC is proud to be a part of the community in Pratt, Kansas. With more than 80 years of history, PCC remains humbled to serve our community and students who come to build a foundation for their future. PCC is a two-year public, comprehensive community college and an area vocational school. For more information visit prattcc.edu or call us at 620-672-5641.