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, ncary@greenvillenews.com – 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.


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.


Gene Haas Foundation awards Randolph Community College $1 Million for new Gene Haas Computer-Integrated Machining Institute.

Randolph1webThe Gene Haas Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant to Randolph Community College to name the machining program, classrooms, and lab the Gene Haas Computer-Integrated Machining Institute.

The $1 million gift will be used to expand the program, according to Dr. Robert Shackleford, RCC president. “The funds will help us close both the skills gap and the interest gap in Computer-Integrated Machining,” said Shackleford. “We’ll close the skills gap by continuing to provide the very best in machining education, and by producing more qualified workers; and we’ll close the interest gap by using some of the funds to expose high school students to the career possibilities in advanced manufacturing.”

RCC’s Computer-Integrated Machining program has been designated a Haas Technical Education Center by Haas Automation since July 2007. To qualify, a school must meet quality standards established by Haas Automation and the HTEC Council. The program is also accredited by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS).

Haas has funded numerous student scholarships for RCC’s CIM students. Providing funds to community colleges and vocational schools for students entering CNC machinist-based certificate and degree programs is of particular interest to the Gene Haas Foundation. Haas Automation is the largest and most modern machine tool builder in North America.

Randolphhaas_machine_lineup“There are 318,000 manufacturing jobs going unfilled due to a lack of skilled workers,” said Kathy Looman, administrator, Gene Haas Foundation. “That number is growing, as so many people employed in this industry are baby boomers who are retiring. Manufacturing is a very promising industry that is vital to the U.S. and global economies. It offers high-paying, clean-technology careers. Growing a local, qualified workforce is a win-win effort, both for young people seeking career paths, and for local manufacturers who need qualified workers.”

RCC has doubled the space for its Computer-Integrated Machining program; yet, local manufacturers still say they need more qualified machinists.

A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony and unveiling of the new signage will take place Friday, Oct. 7, just before the fall NASCAR race in Charlotte.

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


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

COMS SW Outside View
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

The Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining is open!

Ribbon Cutting at Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining
Ribbon Cutting at Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining


From left, Karl Stauber, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Gene Haas, Betty Jo Foster, Former Sen. Charles Hawkins, Rep. Danny Marshall, and Mayor Sherman Saunders
From left, Karl Stauber, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Gene Haas, Betty Jo Foster, Former Sen. Charles Hawkins, Rep. Danny Marshall, and Mayor Sherman Saunders
We have to have the best workforce if we’re going to recruit those businesses to our communities. Workforce development and advanced manufacturing are the two pillars of building that 21st century economy,” McAuliffe said.


Gene Haas thanks teachers: "The investments of money don't compare to the teachers & people who invest their time with students."
Gene Haas thanks teachers: “The investments of money don’t compare to the teachers & people who invest their time with students. About manufacturing he continues…“It’s a great profession. There’s a huge demand for manufacturing in this country and there’s a lot of job openings. And most of the jobs are very high paying. Typical jobs are $30-100,000 a year. It’s not uncommon for someone as a machinist to make over $50-60,000 a year. They’re very local jobs. They don’t necessarily require that you have to move to a different part of the state or city. They can be done here,” Haas explained. He was impressed to hear the transformation weathered by the Dan River Region and the state at large, losing tobacco, textile and furniture industries one after the other. “Going from an agricultural community to a manufacturing environment is really a quantum leap but on an acre of land you can get so much for a crop. If you’re growing corn, you may get a few dollars a bushel but if you take that same piece of land and you start manufacturing things, now you’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said.


With a $1 million Gene Haas Foundation endowment, a $1.9 million Danville Regional Foundation grant , the center is state-of-the-art facility.
“This is exactly the type of partnership we need in Virginia. ‪@GovernorVA at Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining”
“This is exactly the type of partnership we need in Virginia. ‪@GovernorVA at Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining”
"What is in that building is truly a game-changer for Virginia." ‪@GovernorVA at the Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining
“What is in that building is truly a game-changer for Virginia.” ‪@GovernorVA at the Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining
“I know Southern Virginia has the talent to build the advanced products of the future of the 21st century and the new Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining will provide the training to turn that talent into a highly skilled workforce that every CEO demands,”
Danville 10
In Virginia more than 930,000 workers will retire in the next 10 years with an additional 500,000 jobs needing to be filled, McAuliffe stated. About half of those will be specialized, technical, skilled jobs that are accessible only with licenses, apprenticeships, credentials or other types of certificates.



This center truly helps us go leaps and bounds above others." ‪@GovernorVA at the Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining
This center truly helps us go leaps and bounds above others.” ‪@GovernorVA at the Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining

Danville 9


Students ready to roll
Future Students
Future Students
Gene Haas with Governor of Virginia the honorable Terence R. McAuliffe
Gene Haas with Governor of Virginia the honorable Terence R. McAuliffe
Haas Automation 41 car bore announced at the grant at the Richmond Race and proceeded to win the race!!


NIMS and Gene Haas Foundation Announce Second Year of Scholarships for Schools

The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), the precision manufacturing industry’s premier standards and certification body, and the Gene Haas Foundation (GHF), which provides scholarships to schools for students entering technical training programs, announced that they will partner again this year to help schools prepare more students for success in precision manufacturing careers.

The 2015 GHF-NIMS Credentialing Scholarship Program will provide eligible secondary and post-secondary institutions with grants to build high-quality technical programs that provide students with foundational skills and industry-recognized credentials that have immediate value in the job market. The grants will cover up to 100% of the costs of testing and credentialing services for all students seeking NIMS certifications. The program will launch this year with a $100,000 investment from GHF.

“With this program, we hope to support more high schools and community colleges as they build high-quality programs that use NIMS standards and credentials in order to deliver the most relevant and innovative training,” said a member of the Gene Haas Foundation Board. “This provides our country’s manufacturers with an excellent workforce.”

“There are an estimated 99,500 projected job openings for machinists, and 117,100 projected job openings for industrial maintenance technicians nationally through 2020,” said Jim Wall, Executive Director, NIMS. “We are proud to be working with the Gene Haas Foundation to help schools prepare more young people with the skills and credentials they need to succeed in these in-demand jobs.”

In 2014, the Scholarship Program provided financial support to more than 1,000 individuals at 22 high schools and colleges in 16 states to pursue NIMS certification. Approximately 3,500 credentials in foundational CNC machining will be earned as a result.

To find out how schools can apply for a GHF-NIMS Credentialing Scholarship, visit www.nimsready.org.

About NIMS

The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) was formed in 1995 by the metalworking trade associations to develop and maintain a globally competitive American workforce. NIMS sets skills standards for the industry, certifies individual skills against the standards, and accredits training programs that meet NIMS quality requirements. Visit nims-skills.org.

Gene Haas Foundation Supports FIRST robotics competition at Ventura College

When the students of Clark Magnet High School’s Team 696 are met with a new challenge from the annual FIRST Robotics Competition, they apply their technical know-how and knowledge of Computer Aided Manufacturing to develop a high-quality robotic vehicle to face opponents in an intense sports-like game. In a period of only six weeks during the months of January and February, students used advanced software to design a full 3D CAD model, program and simulate CAM toolpaths, set up and manufacture hundreds of components, and develop software that coordinates the vehicle’s motions and automated routines. The team’s 2015 robot, named Centurion, is the most advanced the team has built in its 15 year history. The team will be competing with 43 others at the first annual Ventura Regional FIRST Robotics competition, taking place at Ventura College, March 27th through 29th.

Twelfth-grade student Olivia Brandt explained that, “In a span of just six weeks, we programmed and set up over a hundred unique CAM programs for just our one robot.” Setting up tools and running the Haas Mini Mill in the school’s lab is left to tenth-grade rookie team member Claire Garcia. While describing the part-to-production process, Garcia mentioned “a critical step of the set-up process is to interpret a accurate job sheet and verify its accuracy, so I can check tools, offsets, speeds, feeds, and depths before running a program for the first time.” In recent years, the team has seen an increase in girls in the program, now with twelve females as members of the 36-student team. Other girls on the team have taken roles as machinists who have become proficient in saw cutting and manual lathe operations. A driving force behind the increased female participation has been the schools Girls’ Engineering and Robotics (GEARS) club, formed two years ago, which has used the Haas Mini Mill to fabricate components for their custom-built quadcopter.

In the lab where the team works, the Haas Mini Mill, which has been the team’s primary workhorse machine for the past three years, has recently been joined by a Haas Super Mini Mill 2 with several options, including a probing system. When asked about the new machine, program director and instructor David Black said, “The Super Mini Mill 2 is the perfect complement to our program. With a high spindle RPM, increased torque, and a larger work envelope, we will be able to produce larger and more complex parts with shorter cycle times, to speed up class projects and the robot production schedule. As we continue to grow our program over the next two years, the final piece of machinery to complete our lab would be a Haas lathe.”

Last year, the school was one of two in the state that were awarded a Specialized Secondary Programs grant from the California Department of Education to develop a Computer Aided Manufacturing program. The grant provides funding to schools offering highly technical and advanced programs that provide students with industry-relevant skills in areas of high economic growth and need in the state. As part of the program, Clark will be writing model curriculum and producing video-based lessons to share digitally with other schools throughout the state. While computer aided manufacturing in general is not a new process, offering such an advanced program at the high school level is, and will help close the large skills gap in the manufacturing sector. As one of seven Haas Technical Education Centers in Los Angeles County, Clark Magnet has built a robust four-year pathway that begins with technology and engineering courses in the ninth and tenth grades, and progresses to manufacturing methods and the CAM certification class in twelfth grade. Students who are members of the FIRST Robotics Team 696 are able to advance to a second-year Advanced CAM class, which includes toolpath optimization, lathe setup, programming and operation, and more advanced project-based practice. The high school is in the process of articulating its courses with local colleges and universities, so students may earn college credit while still in high school, and begin at a higher level when they enter colleges.

While the school’s own lab is impressive for a high school campus, the students were amazed when they recently visited the Haas Automation factory in Oxnard, California. Students were impressed by the level of automation within the Haas factory. Eleventh-grade student Shay Sackett, who hopes to become either a manufacturing or automation engineer, commented, “I was amazed by the robotic spindle-grinding work cells. It’s neat to see machines making parts for other machines, and the robots can complete the repetitive tasks with a high degree of efficiency.”

To develop and sustain a high school program of this magnitude has been no easy feat. The school’s principal, students, instructors, and volunteer mentors all have contributed to the creation and improvement of the school’s 3,000-square-foot advanced engineering and manufacturing lab. Funding the program has been accomplished in part by the generous contributions of partners such as NASA, JPL, Walt Disney Imagineering, and the Gene Haas Foundation. For more information about Clark Magnet High School or FIRST Robotics Team 696, visit the school’s website at www.clarkmagnet.net, the team’s website at www.team696.org,