SouthWestern Association (SWA) announced today that it has surpassed its goal to raise $150,000 by the end of 2013. The successful fund-raising effort was the result of members’ generous support of the goal to expand and improve facilities at the OSU Institute of Technology (OSU-IT). The official dedication of the new space will be held on Friday, February 28th.

After ten years, the SWA Technician Program at OSU-IT found its facilities becoming cramped and outdated. The move to larger space offers a controlled environment for our students and instructors to facilitate better learning.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the generous outpouring of support from members and industry partners,” says Jeff Flora, CEO of SWA. “Donations to the Excellence Fund have enabled our program to move into a modern educational facility with state-of-the-art industry equipment.”

The expansion has resulted in:

  • 135 percent more square footage in lab space (3,202 sq. ft. to 7,550 sq. ft.);
  • Greater collaboration between students and instructors with faculty offices in the same area as the
  • classroom and lab;
  • More computer lab space as part of the classroom;
  • Improved access to training aids and equipment; and
  • Increased flexibility of training.

Each year, as equipment becomes more technologically advanced, the need for skilled technicians grows. Members are encouraged to contact SWA Regional Manager Tag Webb at 918-232-2830 to learn more about the Technician Program at OSU-IT and to gain assistance with recruiting technicians for their dealerships. SouthWestern Association is still accepting donations to the SWA Excellence Fund. For more information, contact SWA at 800-762-5616. All donations are tax-deductible.

About the SouthWestern Association

Founded in 1889, the SouthWestern Association represents nearly 1,800 farm, construction, industrial and outdoor power equipment dealers, as well as 2,400 hardware retailers. Led by CEO Jeffrey H. Flora, CAE, the association spans eight states –Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The largest regional trade association of its kind in North America, the SouthWestern Association offers members a comprehensive array of dealer-oriented legislative, educational and communications services, ranging from lobbying to legal, accounting and marketing support. Visit for more information.