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.


Scholarship Recipients

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MTT Haas Scholarship Recipients 2015
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Haas Students

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


$204,000.00 in scholarships for SkillsUSA medalists

Skills1Fairfax, Virginia – 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, are partnering to provide scholarship funds directly to the near-future workforce. The scholarships will be given to select SkillsUSA students, who represent some of the nation’s top young talent in precision machining and metalworking.

The 2015 GHF-NIMS SkillsUSA Scholarship Program will award over $200,000 in scholarship funds to students competing in three manufacturing events at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) in Louisville, Kentucky June 22-26, 2015. Competitors include high school and college students from all 50 states who have won their state-level competitions in CNC technician, CNC milling specialist and CNC turning specialist. Upon their arrival at NLSC, they will receive a $1,000 scholarship award recognizing their success. Medalists at each of the three competitions at each level will receive awards in the following amounts: Gold: $4,000; Silver: $3,000; and Bronze: $2,000.

“Attracting and preparing a high-quality workforce is vital to our nation’s manufacturing economy,” said Peter Zierhut, vice president, Haas Automation. “We must recognize and tap into the talents of the young people who will drive the future of our businesses.”

“These students are the face of our industry,” said Jim Wall, executive director, NIMS. “We are not only proud to support their success, but believe their skills and talents will transform our industry as we continue to innovate and compete in the global marketplace.


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

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

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, the team’s website at,

Gene Haas Foundation Provides $10,000 for Randolph Community College Scholarships

ASHEBORO (April 2, 2015)

The Gene Haas Foundation has provided $10,000 in scholarship money to the Randolph Community College Foundation for scholarships for students in RCC’s Computer-Integrated Machining program.

The scholarship money was divided into three $2,000 scholarships and four $1,000 scholarships for students with unmet financial need.

The 2014-2015 recipients are Elton East, Brandon Payne, and Benjamin Pugh, all of Asheboro; Ben Cotner of Climax; Jonathan Kimble of Mt. Gilead; Mike Church of Ramseur; and
Miguel Salinas of Siler City.

The Gene Haas Foundation was established in 1999 by Gene Haas, founder and president of Haas Automation, the largest machine tool manufacturer in the United States. One of the primary goals of the Gene Haas Foundation is to provide financial assistance for students interested in manufacturing-based careers.

RCC’s Computer-Integrated Machining curriculum prepares students with the analytical, creative and innovative skills necessary to take a production idea from an initial concept through design, development and production, resulting in a finished product. For more information on the program, which offers the choice of an associate degree, diploma, and three certificates, visit the website at

Contact Information

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The Gene Haas Foundation naming rights grants program for CNC Centers has been suspended until 2019 in order to complete the projects that are in process at this time.

In the fall of 2018, we will post the instructions to submit a proposal package for a project. These grants will be up to $250,000 for naming of a the CNC machining lab or Center.