All posts by Kathy Looman

Kentucky Governor Bevin announces new Gene Haas eKentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute


PAINTSVILLE, Ky. Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, Haas Automation officials and local leaders announced plans for an advanced manufacturing training facility to be named Gene Haas eKentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute (eKAMI) in Paintsville.


The Gene Haas Foundation, Oxnard, California has committed $1.5 million dollars. $1,000,000 for infrastructure and another $500,000 in scholarships.


“The opportunity we present today will positively impact the economy and people of Eastern Kentucky for generations to come,” said Gov. Bevin. “In order for this region to prosper, it must have a highly trained workforce capable of competing in the 21st century. The key building blocks of growing jobs and strengthening Eastern Kentucky’s economy are education and workforce development. If we truly believe this and work together, we will make it happen.”


The initial program is a roughly 16-week advanced course including 15 weeks of technical education and one week of soft skills training.“We have the best workforce in the country,” said Congressman Hal Rogers. “I frequently hear from local business owners about the strong work ethic and dedication of employees in southern and eastern Kentucky, and this program will add the necessary training to help support our growing industries.”


Classes will begin early 2017 in the meantime students from Kentucky will continue to attend classes at Vincennes University in Indiana with scholarships from Gene Haas Foundation.

Randolph Community College Dedicates Gene Haas Computer-Integrated Machining Institute

randolphcoverASHEBORO (October 7, 2016 MFG Day) – Randolph Community College officially renamed its machining program and lab the Gene Haas Computer-Integrated Machining Institute on Friday morning, Oct. 7, during a ceremony in the Continuing Education and Industrial Center on the Asheboro Campus. Peter Zierhut, vice president of Haas Automation, was on hand to present a “big check” representing a $1 million gift to RCC, which will be used to expand the machining program, according to Dr. Robert S. Shackleford, RCC president.


“What a great occasion,” Shackleford remarked to the crowd of around 70 local officials, machining industry representatives, RCC faculty, staff, and students. “It is raining outside, but man is it sunny in here.”
He recognized some of the people attending, including N.C. Representatives Allen McNeill and Pat Hurley, and thanked the community and the local industry for its support. “Machining is one of the most employable skills in this county,” said Shackleford. “Local manufacturers tell us if we could train double the amount of students we have now, they could hire them. And they are hired at great wages.”
Shackleford talked about RCC’s long relationship with Haas Automation, which has deepened through the efforts of Garret Parker, CIM program head at RCC. Shackleford said that 90% of the equipment in the machining lab is Haas equipment purchased through local distributors, and that RCC’s program has been designated a Haas Technical Education Center since 2007.
Peter Zierhut said he was happy to present the check on behalf of Haas Automation and its 1300 employees. “I should have come a lot sooner,” he said. “This is one of the most impressive facilities I’ve seen…the best in North Carolina so far.” He presented Dr. Shackleford and Parker with a Gene Haas Foundation plaque machined from aluminum. “Our efforts around education are really second to what you do here,” he said. “Without what you do, there would be no need for us.”
Dean Sexton, president of the RCC Foundation, also spoke briefly, thanking the Gene Haas Foundation for the donation. “Your gift will be used to help close the skills gap and the interest gap for machining,” he said.

Shackleford unveiled a large free-standing sign that will stay at the front entrance to the machining lab inside the Continuing Education and Industrial Center. He said RCC will also have signage on the outside of the building, the front, both sides and rear entrances, so that “from any direction you approach this building, you will see the Gene Haas Computer-Integrated Machining Institute.”

Gene Haas Center for Manufacturing Innovation


By Nathaniel Cary, – September 21, 2016


Greenville Technical College officially opened its $25 million Gene Haas Center for Manufacturing Innovation on Wednesday in a 100,000 square-foot space filled with classrooms and machines that some called one of the best advanced manufacturing education facilities in the nation.remove



Ribbon Cutting Celebration for Center for Manufacturing Innovation at Greenville Technical College.

The facility, paid for with a $25 million bond issued by Greenville County, is designed to attack the skills gap that exists in the workforce as manufacturers seek skilled technicians and engineers to fill positions at local manufacturers.


“When the state started to come out of the recession in 2010-2011, manufacturers stepped forward and started to describe the situation as critical,” said Greenville Tech President Keith Miller. “Critical that they could not find enough skilled workers.”


Greenville Tech taught many of the programs of study for advanced manufacturing skills, but it did so in smaller shops located at its Brashier Campus in Simpsonville and its Barton campus on Pleasantburg Drive in Greenville.

Ribbon Cutting Celebration for Center for Manufacturing Innovation at Greenville Technical College.

What the college sought, and manufacturers said they needed, was a space that could attract students, educate them on the differences between manufacturing jobs of the past and present, and train them to jump on or off the education wheel with the training they desire to obtain the technical jobs now needed to allow manufacturers to continue to innovate in the United States, Miller said. With the CMI now open, they believe they’ve found that space, he said.


Pete Selleck, chairman and president of Michelin North America, called the CMI an innovation in workforce education at a time when manufacturing executives say the country’s lack of skilled workers impact their ability to meet demand.

“We understand how important this project is to our company’s future success,” Selleck said. “This groundbreaking new education center represents a critical part of what higher education must continue to offer a growing segment of students today.”


The center, Selleck said, makes Michelin’s decision look “even better” when it located in Greenville 45 years ago. Other technical schools across the country will look at the CMI for inspiration, he said.


The future of manufacturing will only prosper if we see more schools such as Greenville Tech work together with the manufacturing community to create advanced manufacturing education centers,” Selleck said.


The center unveiled its new name Wednesday after two separate $1 million gifts from the Gene Haas Foundation, the private family foundation of the founder of Haas Automation and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing.


One of the Haas gifts will establish a $1 million scholarship fund in perpetuity for advanced manufacturing students and the second will fund repairs and replacement of equipment (other than Haas Machines) in coming years, said Les Gardner, director of development with the Greenville Tech Foundation.


More facilities like it are needed across the country, even in Haas Automation’s hometown of Oxnard, California, if manufacturers are to close the underemployment gaps they’re seeing now, he said.

“Government leaders are beginning to understand the magnitude of the problem of underemployment in this industry in manufacturing,” Zierhut said.

The U.S. House voted to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 on Sept. 13, which provides $1.1 billion per year to career and technical education for grades 7-12 and in higher education though fiscal year 2022. The Senate still has to vote on the reauthorization.

“This really is the beginning of a renaissance in career technical education,” Zierhut said.


Ribbon Cutting Celebration for Center for Manufacturing Innovation at Greenville Technical College.

Students operating CNC machines, robotic arms and troubleshooting manufacturing lines on the ground floor of the sparkling open-concept center already understand the benefits.

The ground floor is filled with $7 million in equipment that includes a manual machine lab with lathes and grinders as well as a CNC manufacturing lab with three-axis and five-axis machining centers.


The machine labs are visible through large banks of windows immediately upon entering the building. That is by design, said David Clayton, CMI executive director, because part of educating potential students about advanced manufacturing is showing them it’s not like the manufacturing jobs of the past that parents of grandparents may have held in an old shop.



“The big challenge for manufacturing is getting people interested in the career,” Clayton said. “When they walk in, you want it to kind of hit them in the face ‘Wow, this is really cool. This is not what I expected.’”

To help change the view for future generations toward manufacturing, General Electric gave $500,000 to build a Bridge to Learning, which is still under design and will be an interactive tool that will allow students and visitors to use a touchscreen to see how tools in the manufacturing labs are used to make products.

Greenville Tech will teach mechatronics, CNC machining, metrology and robotics at the CMI as well as additive manufacturing through a partnership with engineering and technology company Renishaw, a first for a technical college. The facility will also house a first-of-its-kind Manufacturing Honors College, which will allow GTC and Clemson University students to work on teams to solve real-world manufacturing challenges.

The honors college partnership brings together 200 engineering graduate students at the nearby Clemson University-International Center for Automotive Research with GTC students who may be training as technicians or pursuing an associate’s degree before transferring to Clemson or other programs to pursue engineering.

Clemson will have space in the building for faculty and students to work on integrating curriculum between those training as technicians at GTC and those on an engineering path at Clemson, said Randy Collins, the executive director of academic initiatives in Clemson’s college of engineering.

Construction to a new entrance to the building from Millennium Boulevard should be finished in November, Miller said. The CMI was designed by LS3P Associates and built by Rodgers Builders.

The center opened for fall classes in August and has about 100 students in the associate’s programs, another 50-60 training for quick jobs in certificate programs and another 20-30 each week taking manufacturing training through corporate programs at the building, Clayton said.

It could house double the amount of students or more, Clayton said. And eventually, Greenville Tech may expand the facility and build others like it as needed, Miller said.

Another first for Greenville Tech is a 10,000-foot business incubator built at the facility that will house small businesses, likely from program graduates, who can rely on Greenville Tech instructors and CMI equipment to help launch their business, Miller said.


Central Maine Community College, the future site of Gene Haas Precision Machining Technology Center hosts the 10th Annual HTEC conference


On July 18 with an audience of HTEC instructors and industry partners Central Maine Community College was presented with a BIG check from the Gene Haas Foundation for $1,000,000 toward the new Gene Haas Precision Machining , coming soon. The check was presented by Peter Zierhut, removeCMCCcheckgoodVice President, Motorsports of Haas Automation, Inc. (right) and Kathy Looman, Gene Haas Foundation (center) to President of Central Maine CC, Scott E. Knapp (left).

The group was all at Central Maine Community College for this year’s Annual Manufacturing Educator Conference this past month and what an exciting event! Educators from across the US and Canada assembled for a 4-day Conference, filled with Workshops, Breakout Sessions, Motivational Speakers and fun activities for all! There were 190 attendees, including 137 Educators, 53 Educational Partners and an additional 41 spouses that attended various spouse events and dinners.


New this year was a Sunday night Networking Cocktail Hour at the Hilton Garden Riverwatch Inn in Auburn, ME. Around 30-40 attendees came to a relaxed social evening, offering a chance to meet someone new or catch up with people you haven’t seen for a while.

HTECearly arrivers
HTECearly arrivers
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Monday workshops included presentations from CMCC, Autodesk, Carl Zeiss, Cognisco Technologies, Immerse2Learn, Mastercam, NIMS, Sandvik, Tooling U and Verisurf, followed by a Monday evening Opening Networking Reception.


Tuesday morning began with an inspirational story by Keynote Titan Gilroy, Titan American Built, who is an ex-con who turned his life around and is trying to re-ignite the excitement in America about Manufacturing Careers.

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Wednesday morning started with a thought-provoking presentation by Keynote Jeremy Bout, EdgeFactor/eduFactor, including a fantastic new video (coming soon) with a “tour” of STEM careers at Haas Automation

The conference also included Breakout Sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, plus a boat ride on Casco Bay Lines to Peaks Island for a Lobster Bake, with Maine humorist Gary Crocker.

LighthousePeak's Island on Casco Bay
Peak Island Harbor

The National HTEC Conference is held annually, hosted by a different school with support of their local HFO (Haas Factory Outlet/Dealer), giving the host school an opportunity to showcase their programs and gives educators an opportunity to not only learn through breakout sessions and speakers, but to learn from each other multiple ways to improve or grow their own programs. The conference is a great opportunity to network with peers and industry representatives in a professional, yet low-key setting, re-energizing and motivating instructors to go back to class this fall with new ideas and excitement!

CMCC lighthouse

Click for Project Gallery

Schools had an opportunity to submit student projects through the “Best CNC Learning Projects” Contest, with an opportunity to earn a FREE Haas CNC Control Simulator. Projects this year included a Mini CNC by University of Massachusetts Lowell, Die (dice – lean manufacturing project) by Allen Hancock College (CA), a Gear Guitar by Central Piedmont Community College (NC), Snowman Salt & Pepper Shakers by Washtenaw Community College (MI), a prosthetic foot assembly made for Biodapt submitted by Braham High School (MN), a Keytag by Georgian College (Ontario, Canada), CNC Parts by Diman Regional Vocational Tech High School (MA) and a Sterling Engine by Nashua Community College (NH).

Thanks to organizers Diane Dostie, Devin Watson and the entire Central Maine CC team that worked long and hard to put together the conference, as well as local HFO (Haas Factory Outlet) Trident, who helped host the event.

Gene Haas Foundation awards scholarships to Skills/Compétences Canada medalists


The Skills Canada National Competition was held in Moncton, New Brunswick June 5 – 8 for the first time, and proved to be very successful for both the event and the province. Over 500 youth from across Canada competed for medal recognition in over 40 skilled trade and technology areas.


The Gene Haas Foundation was on board as an Official Sponsor for the second consecutive year, donating $60,000 (USD) in funding, a portion of which was dispersed to medalists in CNC Machining and Precision Machining towards their continued education in the manufacturing sector.

CanadaSkillsOn behalf of the Gene Haas Foundation, Skills/Compétences Canada is pleased to congratulate the medalists in CNC Machining and Precision Machining at SCNC 2016! In recognition, the medalists will receive a financial award towards their continued education in the field of manufacturing. Congrats to Jaclyn Bérubé, Sam Esson, Kacper Lasecki, David Garrett, Jérémi Labarre, Chase Seale, Jonathan Adair, Silas Meeches, Asheeshpal Jagdeo!“


This year’s support and machinery was provided by Haas Factory Outlet – Sirco Machinery, Eastern Canada’s Haas distributor. We’re very proud of our sponsorship role with Skills Canada, and are excited to be a part of moulding the next generation of skilled trade workers in the metalworking industry


The machines were equipped with tooling supplied by Sandvik and competitors were provided with precision measuring tools provided by Mitutoyo and Sowa.CAIMG_5146

“As the shortage of skilled workers continues to rise, we believe it is the responsibility of the business community to get involved and promote education of trade and technology. We take that commitment very seriously and are proud to support this great event. We would like to congratulate all of the competitors in this year’s competition and look forward to being a proud sponsor of the Skills Canada National Competition for many years to come.


The Skills Canada National Competition not only provides a platform for young Canadians to showcase their skills but it also provides an opportunity for visiting students and school groups to take part in a variety of different Try-A-Trade® and Technology activities

CAJonathan Adair 2


June 20-24, 2016, SkillsUSA 52nd annual National Leadership and Skills Conference was held in Louisville, Kentucky

Skills stage

On June 20-24, 2016 in Louisville, KY the 52nd annual National Leadership and Skills Conference was held. SkillsUSA is the “olympics” of career and technical education students. More than 16,000 people — including students, teachers and business partners participated in the weeklong event.


Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin visited Skills and spent time at the CNC competition.


Mike Rowe was the keynote speaker at the Opening Ceremony and had lunch with a  group of Competitors and their instructors.SkillsMikeRowe

The 2016 GHF-NIMS SkillsUSA Scholarship Program awarded over $200,000 in scholarship funds

to students competing in three manufacturing events.

skills checkThe students were high school and college students from all 50 states who had won their state-level competitions in CNC Technician, CNC Milling Specialist and CNC Turning Specialist. Upon their arrival at NLSC received a $1,000 scholarship award recognizing their success. Medalists at each of the three competitions at each level received awards in the following amounts: Gold: $4,000; Silver: $3,000; and Bronze: $2,000.SkillsMedalists2016

CNC Milling Specialist, Post-Secondary

Gold Medal- Ryan Iverson, North Dakota College of Science (ND)

Silver Medal- Matthew Bean, Penn College of Technology (PA)

Bronze Medal- David All, Lincoln College of Technology (IN)

CNC Milling Specialist, Secondary

Gold Medal- Jacob Hissock, St. Clair Technical Education Center (MI)

Silver Medal- Quentin Roberts, Pullman High School (WA)

Bronze Medal- Caleb West, Earnest Pruett Center of Technology (AL)

CNC Technician, Post-Secondary

Gold Medal- Lev Burgess, Catawba Valley Community College (NC)

Silver Medal- Casey Warner, St. Cloud Technical and Community College (MN)

Bronze Medal- Derek Rutrough, Danville Community College (VA)

CNC Technician, Secondary

Gold Medal- Matthew Pringle, St. Clair Technical Education Center (MI)

Silver Medal- Nathan Voelkers, Pioneer Technology Center (OK)

Bronze Medal- Noah Seth Lehmann, South Adams High School (IN)

CNC Turning Specialist, Post-Secondary

Gold Medal- Dyan Hardy, Danville Community College (VA)

Silver Medal- Matthew Drost, Southwestern Illinois College (IL)

Bronze Medal- Laura Gilmore, College of Western Idaho (ID)

CNC Turning Specialist, Secondary

Gold Medal- Kyle Mueller, St. Clair Technical Education Center (MI)

Silver Medal- Cody Kirkland, Madison County Career Technical Center (AL)

 Bronze Medal- Zachary Seiler, Carbon Career and Technical Institute (PA)

A special congratulations to our first female medalist, Laura Gilmore from College of Western Idaho.femalemedalist

Thank you to the NIMS team and all the industry partners.

Amatrol, Inc.

AMT-The Association for Manufacturing Technology

Boston Centerless

Calculated Industries

CGTech/Vericut, INC.

The Gene Haas Foundation

Haas Automation Inc.

Haas HTEC Network

Immersive Engineering, Inc.

Industrial Press

National Institute of Metalworking Skills, Inc. (NIMS)

Modern Industries, Inc.

Oberg Industries, Inc.

Precision Metalforming Association Educational Foundation

Robbins Enterprises

Sandvik Coromant

The L.S. Starrett Company

TCI Precision Metals

Vincennes University


We would also like to acknowledge one of last year’s competitor Samantha, who was invited to the White House to be recognized as a Presidential CTE Scholar. These young people show us the future is in good hands.


California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo Dedicates New Gene Haas Labs

On January 25, 2016 College President Jeffrey Armstrong, Dean Debra Larson,  Dr. Jose Macedo, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Chair, many engineering department instructors and staff, students and guests from Haas Automation, the Gene Haas Foundation gathered for the dedication of the new Gene Haas Advanced Manufacturing Lab and Gene Haas Net Shapes LabHaas-Dedication-18 copy

Jeffrey Armstrong spoke of the relationship between Haas and the college. Gene Haas’ commitment to Cal Poly can be seen in all corners of our College of Engineering. From your generous in-kind gifts, to your sponsorship of student scholarships, laboratory spaces, events and more, the foundation has influenced the minds and careers of countless students and faculty who have a passion for manufacturing. Your valued leadership has helped foster an environment where enterprising students are encouraged to face new challenges, develop solutions and grow into the innovative global leaders the engineering industry needs for the 21st century.

Thank you for sharing in our Learn by Doing vision, and for your partnership. You have inspired generations of graduates who are igniting a renaissance in U.S. manufacturing.


As an established Cal Poly partner, the Gene Haas Foundation has demonstrated outstanding leadership through its philanthropy, which empowers our students to seek out enterprising experiences that prepare them for future success as engineers. These investments have a broad impact on our students, the university’s hands-on learning approach, and the industry itself through the development of talented, Day One-ready engineers.

Cal Poly is grateful to Haas and its employees for generously giving their time and energy to serve as role models, educators and mentors to our students.

“I would be hard-pressed to determine the state of my department without the unique generosity of this organization or without Gene Haas in particular. We owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude. The Gene Haas Foundation has been a model for how industrial partners can collaborate with educational institutions.” – Dr Jose Macedo

Indiana State Leaders praise new Gene Haas Training and Education Center dedicated in Lebanon


LEBANON, Ind. – State leaders praised the new Gene Haas Training and Education Center as part of the new Center’s dedication on Dec. 9 in Lebanon.


“All over Indiana, people should celebrate this great facility and what it means to Hoosiers – the opportunity to get a high-quality job,” said Jim Schellinger, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.  He said the Center will address the number one economic threat facing the state, talent attraction and retainment, and that Vincennes University is a good partner to address the problem.


“When I’m talking to prospective clients, I tell them that the number one advanced manufacturing university in the United States is right here, Vincennes University,” Schellinger said.  VU is the chosen educational provider at the new Center, a partnership between the City of Lebanon and the Gene Haas Foundation.

Ground was broken on July 26, 2014, for the Gene Haas Training and Education Center, a 24,000 sq. ft. facility with seven flexible labs for CAD, manufacturing, materials testing, logistics training, and robotics instruction.  The facility also includes 14 smart classrooms, lecture hall for 120 people, project room for high-tech collaboration equipment, offices, and conference room.


Among the instruction provided at the Center will be Computer Numerical Control machinist training programs using the latest, state-of-the-art CNC machine tools from Haas Automation, and industry-standard certification from NIMS, the National Institute of Metalworking Skills.  A 16-week intensive training program will also be offered for veterans, doubling Vincennes University’s current capacity for veteran training in the field.

“Vincennes University takes great pride in working with stakeholders and partners to make this day possible,” said VU President Chuck Johnson.  “We look forward to many exciting developments coming out of this Center.  We think it is just the start for many great things for Boone County and the region.”


There is a severe shortage of skilled workers in Indiana’s precision machining and advanced manufacturing industry.  At the same time there is a high rate of unemployment among veterans.  This Center will address both issues as well as provide training for the general public.

Army veteran Stephen Harris, who graduated from VU’s CNC Machinist NOW program and is now its newest instructor, said he is grateful for the opportunity it has provided him.  “Just so you know what the Gene Haas Foundation does – it paid for all of my costs to attend the program.  Thank you very much,” Harris said.  “I’m going to do the best I can for every student who comes through this program, just like my instructors here did for me.”


Speaking on behalf of Indiana’s Lt. Governor, Peggy Welch, director of Indiana Intergovernmental Affairs, said that VU’s commitment to training students is making a difference in the state.  “The Lt. Governor really appreciates the partnerships and the focus VU has for training veterans,” Welch said.

Lebanon Mayor Huck Lewis said the new Center “will be an economic development driver for the region” that will serve high school graduates, veterans, and those who are underemployed or unemployed.  “I hope that we have the educated workforce to bring more manufacturing and machine shops to Lebanon.  That is the ultimate goal to be achieved through education,” Lewis said.

A VU alumnus, Lewis said his experience in the machining business in the aerospace industry for 25 years showed him that VU was the right partner for Lebanon.  “When we hired someone who had gone through VU’s Tool and Die program, we did not have to train them, so I knew what VU has to offer,” Lewis said.  He thanked VU and the Gene Haas Foundation for the partnership and he also singled out the Lebanon City Council and Redevelopment Commission for investing $6.5 million in the facility.

As part of the dedication ceremony, the Gene Haas Foundation donated $500,000 to Vincennes University for construction of the building – the last installment of the company’s $1.5 million pledge – and an additional $382,400 for scholarships.

“We invest in people.  That is what a Gene Haas Training and Education Center is all about,” said Scott Gasich, vice president of Sales for Haas Automation.


Saying that VU’s reputation in advanced manufacturing training has spread internationally, attracting instructors to visit from Europe and Asia, Kathy Looman, administrator of the Gene Haas Foundation, thanked VU “for helping the HTEC program to grow to almost 3,000 schools worldwide.”  She also praised Mayor Lewis’ vision.  “I remember meeting Mayor Lewis two years ago.  I was so impressed with his knowledge of manufacturing and thought if every politician had his knowledge of manufacturing, our country would be in an entirely different place now,” Looman said.


Dr. Robert L. Taylor, superintendent of the Lebanon Community School Corporation, said Mayor Lewis was the driving force for the project.  “Special thanks go to Mayor Lewis.  Without his vision we would not have this outstanding Center,” Taylor said, noting that generations of students will benefit.


Gene Haas FDN grants $1 million dollars to HVCC for new Manufacturing Technology Center

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COMS 2nd Floor
COMS 1st Floor

Hudson Valley Community College is planned to have a new multi-million dollar neighbor by fall 2017 in an effort to expand the advanced manufacturing program. The Gene Haas Technology Center.

Last week, the college submitted a $12 million grant request from the state in effort to build the Gene Haas Technology Center. The college is currently looking to fund the project with money from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) if the Capital Region is granted $500 million from the seven-county competition. Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 10.50.41 AM

“We’re going to try to be the best technology complex in the United States,” said Professor Dave Larkin. The current building cost is currently estimated at $8 million along with an additional $4 million for equipment depending on how much the project costs by 2017. When applying for the URI, the college labeled the project upwards of $14 million. Updated machinery such as more computerized numerical control machines will be replaced in the new building. “This type of equipment is also the same type of equipment that they would use out in the industry,” said Larkin.

The project has been under discussion at the college over the last four years. According to Larkin, the $1 million grant the program received last month by the Gene Haas Foundation was crucial to the project. “The hardest money to get is the first million. When outside company comes in like that and plunks out $1 million, they show they’re serious,” he said.

President Drew Matonak visited California over the summer to discuss the grant with Gene Haas Foundation administrators. After the visit, the Gene Haas Foundation agreed to support the college with a $1 million grant. “The support from the Gene Haas foundation will ensure the college’s role in preparing more students to meet the grow workforce need in manufacturing,” said Matonak.

“The more space they get, the more CNC equipment they can get in here, the better the graduates will be coming out of the program,” said Rob Honsinger, advanced manufacturing student. With the new space, 40 new spaces in the advanced manufacturing program are expected to open up at Hudson Valley by the fall 2017 semester, nearly doubling the size of the program.

Hudson Valley has had a machining program since its founding 62 years ago, which evolved into the advanced manufacturing program over the last decade. “Machining technology is changing really fast so the new building will give [students] a new opportunity to keep pace and get a relevant education,” said Honsinger

Gene Haas Foundation donated $50,000 (USD) in scholarship funding to Skills Canada.

The Skills Canada National Competition was held May 27 – 30 in Saskatoon, SK. This years competition welcomed more than 500 young competitors from all over Canada and thousands of spectators cheering them on.
SkillsCNaudThe Gene Haas Foundation donated $50,000 (USD) in scholarship funding to Skills, to be distributed to the winners of this year’s competition.ross1

Haas Factory Outlet, A Division of Thomas Skinner is honoured to have contributed to the success of the event. We are very proud of our sponsorship role with Skills Canada, and are excited to be a part of moulding the next generation of skilled trade workers in the metalworking industry” says Paul Krainer, Owner and President of Thomas Skinner. The machines were equipped with tooling supplied by Sandvik and students were provided with precision measuring tools provided by Mitutoyo – both supplier partners of Thomas Skinner.

SkillsCNcompThomas Skinner with the support of Haas Automation provided the machining centres ((2) ST-20s: CNC 2-axis lathes & (2) VF-2s: CNC vertical machining centres) for the competition, as well as the machine used for the Try-A-Trade station (Mini Mill).


The machines were equipped with tooling supplied by Sandvik and students were provided with precision measuring tools provided by Mitutoyo – both supplier partners of Thomas Skinner.


Thomas Skinner also provided the manual lathes & mills (Advance and First) used in the Precision Machining competitions. In addition to our sponsorship of the Skills Canada National Competition, Thomas Skinner is also a proud supplier of both the BC Skills and Alberta Skills Competitions held earlier this year.

“As the shortage of skilled workers continues to rise, we believe it is the responsibility of the business community to get involved and promote education of trade and technology. We take that commitment very seriously and are proud to support this great event. We would like to congratulate all of the competitors in this years competition and look forward to being a proud sponsor of the Skills Canada National Competition for many years to come” says Paul Krainer.

The Skills Canada National Competition not only provides a platform for young Canadians to showcase their skills but it also provides an opportunity for visiting students and school groups to take part in a variety of different Try-A-Trade® and Technology stations. Activities ranged from changing tires on a real NASCAR at the DeWalt booth to using a virtual welder to “weld” a bead across a coupon at the Government of Saskatchewan booth.

As part of the Try-A-Trade® opportunity, a Haas Mini Mill was set-up and anyone attending the event was encouraged to step-up and have a real, hands-on experience running the machine to make a personalized key chain to take home.

Special recognition goes the following competitors for finishing at the top in their events at this year competition:

Precision Machining – Post Secondary  Phillip Beug, SK – GOLD, Patrick Unruh, MB – SILVER, Cory Mailman, NS – BRONZE

Precision Machining – Secondary  Catherine Gagnon – Côté, QC – GOLD, Jorn Peeters, AB – SILVER, Johannes Kister, MB – BRONZE

CNC Machining – Post Secondary Jake Langley, NS – GOLD, Evan Sherren, PE – SILVER, Alexandar Bozinovski, ON – BRONZE

For a complete list of the results, please visit the Skills Canada website