Haas Funds Scholarships in Machining Technology

Students pursuing careers in machining technology can access scholarships available through the SME Education Foundation, thanks to funding from the Gene Haas Foundation.

The Gene Haas Foundation presented the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation with a $150,000 grant to help qualified students interested in machine operation and maintenance coursework take advantage of SME’s Haas Machining Technology Scholarship.

The Gene Haas Foundation was established by Haas Automation Inc. founder Gene Haas in 1999 to fund community and charitable programs, including children’s charities and organizations that feed the poor, especially in Ventura County, Calif. In addition, the Foundation provides scholarship funds to Community Colleges and Vocational Schools for students entering technical training programs, especially machinist-based certificate and degree programs.

SME Education Foundation scholarship programs, including the Haas Machining Technology Scholarship, are available to students studying at career centers, technical schools, community colleges and universities.

Bart A. Aslin, director of the 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. Applications will be accepted beginning on September 1, 2010. The application and scholarship information are available from the SME Education Foundation.

SME cited the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to report that 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,” it detailed. It added that because of the sophistication of modern production techniques, employers prefer machinists and other workers who have a wide range of skills and can carry out most standard machine shop tasks.

Peter Zierhut, Haas Automation Inc. director of public relations, said the rate of innovation and technology advancement means there is a rising demand for high-skill, multi-talented machinists. “Haas Automation considers this scholarship to be a smart investment in the future of manufacturing,” according to Zierhut. “We are making sure students have access to funds which allow them to take advantage of high quality training programs.”

The SME scholarships will complement work done through the Haas Technical Education Center (HTEC) network of high schools, vocational schools and career centers, community colleges, colleges, and university across North America. This network leverages the technologies and capabilities of Haas Automation and partners with industry, schools and professional societies to ensure qualified learning institutes receive support for providing the highest quality manufacturing education.

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