A University of Northern Iowa program that teaches folks how to spray paint equipment more efficiently may get another round of federal funding. The defense appropriations bill in the U-S Senate includes a million dollars for UNI’s “Spray Technique Analysis and Research” or STAR program. Research technician Rick Klein says getting the paint just right saves money and material, and reduces pollution. Klein says military instructors are being taught how to improve their techniques, and how to teach others. Klein says getting the right coating on military planes is very precise work. Klein says the STAR program began at the UNI-based Iowa Waste Reduction Center in 1994, and the Defense Department got involved in 2000. Klein says some people in the military heard about UNI’s program and asked them to do some training. Then, word of mouth spread about the training and now U-N-I’s program is getting a line-item appropriation in a defense budget bill. UNI’s program trains painters at about 40 of the nation’s 350 military bases.
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