Gene Haas Foundation Provides Grant to SME

October 18, 2010—

The Gene Haas Foundation has recently provided a $150,000 grant to the SME Education Foundation to help qualified students interested in machine operation and maintenance coursework take advantage of the Haas Machining Technology Scholarship. Bart A. Aslin, foundation director, SME Education Foundation said, "We are proud to support machining technology education. And we are grateful to the Gene Haas Foundation for entrusting us with this generous gift to bring scholarships to deserving and needy students from across the country."

High school seniors, graduates or GED recipients will be eligible for the one-year Haas Machining Technology Scholarship, which will range from $1,000 to $5,000 for each awarded scholarship. The SME Education Foundation began accepting applications on September 1, 2010. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), machinists are becoming more efficient as a result of the expanded use of and improvements in technologies such as CNC machine tools, autoloaders, high-speed machining, and lights-out manufacturing. Technology is not expected to affect the employment of machinists as significantly as that of some other production workers, however, because machinists monitor and maintain many automated systems. Due to modern production techniques, employers prefer workers, such as machinists, who have a wide range of skills and are capable of performing almost any task in a machine shop.

Says Peter Zierhut, director of public relations, Haas Automation, Inc., "As innovation and advanced technologies expand, there is an increasing demand for highly-skilled and multi-talented machinists. Haas Automation considers this scholarship to be a smart investment in the future of manufacturing. We are making sure students have access to funds which allow them to take advantage of high quality training programs."    

The scholarships complement the work being done through the Haas Technical Education Center (HTEC). Its network leverages the technologies and capabilities of Haas Automation and partners with industry, schools and professional societies to ensure qualified learning institutes receive support and are able to provide the highest quality manufacturing education possible. As of April, 2010, the HTEC Network in the United States and Canada includes 986 educational institutions made up of 154 high schools, 187 vocational schools and career centers, 407 community colleges and 238 colleges and universities.