To fund its machining technology scholarship program, the Gene Haas Foundation has provided a $200,000 grant to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation. Ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 each, the one-year scholarships are awarded through the latter foundation to qualified high school seniors, graduates and GED recipients interested in machine operation and maintenance coursework.
The scholarships complement work performed at the Haas Technical Education Center (HTEC). Through the center, the machine tool builder partners with industry, schools and professional societies to ensure that qualified learning institutes receive sufficient support to provide high-quality manufacturing education. As of June 2008, the HTEC network included 724 schools, colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.
Scholarship recipients will be drawn from The SME Education Foundation’s national network of students participating in its Gateway Academy pre-engineering programs, which are offered at more than 3,000 middle and high schools. Its curriculum is the result of a partnership with Project Lead The Way, a nonprofit organization that offers math, engineering, science and technology curriculum.
“Manufacturers and job shops nationwide have struggled for years to find well-trained machinists, especially those with CNC skills,” says Peter Zierhut, director of public relations at Haas Automation. “We believe it is the responsibility of businesses like Haas to ensure that students have the funds to attend quality training programs.”
For more information from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation, visit www.smeef.org.