Gene Haas Foundation, SME Education Foundation align funding for machinist training

November 21, 2011

Gene Haas Foundation, Oxnard, Calif., the philanthropic arm of Haas Automation Inc., has provided a $150,000 grant to the SME Education Foundation to align machinist training with the needs of job seekers and employers in high-unemployment communities. This grant is part of a $700,000 total that the Gene Haas Foundation has given to the SME Education Foundation in less than five years.

Gene Haas Foundation representative Peter Zierhut said, "Technical skills learned through high quality, hands-on training add value to the individual, the company, state, and country. The demand for skilled workers today is strong and it will continue to increase. Educating young people on the fundamentals of high-technology manufacturing is an imperative."

In Tennessee, for example, with an unemployment rate of 9.7 percent, the SME Education Foundation has funded the integration of CIM courses at 10 high schools and provided students with access to SME Chapters and eight colleges and universities. In parallel, the Gene Haas Foundation has provided 19 students with Haas Machining Technology scholarships.

Last year in metro Detroit, with an unemployment rate of 11.2 percent, the Gene Haas Foundation’s $50,000 grant to the SME Education Foundation was directed to the Gene Haas Machining Technology scholarship at Focus: HOPE, a Detroit-based nonprofit, where its Machinist Training Institute (MTI) offers students state-licensed courses in precision machining and metalworking.

For more information about the scholarships and how to apply, visit