SEDALIA—The Gene Haas Foundation has donated $40,000 to State Fair Community College’s Precision Machining program to provide scholarships, update tools and support ongoing national accreditation from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills Inc. (NIMS).
The foundation presented $20,000 to SFCC in fall 2015 and another $20,000 this spring. Thirteen machining students have received scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,500.
SFCC’s relationship with the foundation developed when the college purchased nine CNC machines for its machining program from Haas Automation. The company, founded by Gene Hass in 1983, is now the largest American machine tool manufacturer.
“When we needed to upgrade the college’s equipment to give our students a hands-on learning environment, we decided to purchase Haas CNC machines because they are affordable and are used by most of our local manufacturers,” said Justin Wright, Precision Machining program coordinator. “Haas’s focus on strengthening manufacturing education is demonstrated by its generous contributions to community colleges, and SFCC and our students appreciate that support.”
A Haas scholarship helped Steven Thomas, Sedalia, avoid taking a student loan to cover his college expenses.
“I want to thank the Haas Foundation for my scholarship, which is a huge contribution to my education in machining,” said Thomas. “I have a job and a family to support, so the scholarship lifted a financial burden and allowed me to focus on school work.”
Affordability and access to quality, relevant programs that lead to good careers is a key component of SFCC’s mission to its students and the communities it serves.
“Keeping education affordable while providing innovative and relevant learning experiences for our students is a challenge,” said SFCC President Dr. Joanna Anderson. “We are grateful to the Gene Haas Foundation for its generous contribution to our Precision Machining program and to the success of our students.”
Haas created his foundation, located in Oxnard, California, in 1999 because of a strong social conscience instilled in him by his family. To date, the foundation has made more than 1,200 contributions totaling more than $38 million to organizations and schools.
SFCC’s Precision Machining program offers Skills Certificates in Machinist Level I, Machinist Level II and CNC Operation; a Professional Certificate in Machine Tool Technology; and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Manufacturing Technology with emphasis in Precision Machining Technology. For more information about the program go to www.sfccmo.edu/machinetool or contact Wright at (660) 596-7392 or firstname.lastname@example.org.