OSU Institute of Technology was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from the Gene Haas Foundation to provide scholarships to students pursuing a career in the manufacturing industry.
Haas Automation, founded in 1983 by Gene Haas, is the leading builder of CNC machine tools in the United States. CNC, or Computer Numerical Control, machines are automation tools used in manufacturing plants.
The grant from the Gene Haas Foundation will fund scholarships for students in OSUIT’s Manufacturing Technology program. The grant is awarded to institutions that have an emphasis on “learn by doing” and incorporate machining into coursework.
“Gene Haas Foundation has a very high regard for teachers and believes they are in a prime position to recommend which students are most deserving of scholarships. We ask that the instructor be a part of the process of selecting the scholarship recipients,” said Kathy Looman, Gene Haas Foundation administrator.
It takes investment and support from industry partners like Haas Automation to attract potential and marketable students who will then join the workforce.
“Our schools desperately need industry to support their programs, inspire their students and provide employment opportunities,” said Looman.
Mike Pierce, assistant dean of the School of Engineering Technologies, said being awarded the grant means the industry supports OSUIT’s Manufacturing Technology program and that it is meeting an important industry need in preparing the future workforce.
“Industry support of students in this career field is essential to the U.S. economy. It helps promote our local manufacturers, which in turn promotes our local economy,” Pierce said. “It encourages students to gain important industry skills, reach their goals, and move into well-paying jobs.”
Since 1999, more than 1,500 schools and organizations have received funds totaling more than $34 million from the Gene Haas Foundation.
In addition to the foundation, Gene Haas and his company also support the Haas Technical Education Centers, an organization that provides an array of training, networking and resources for instructors in manufacturing programs.
“Technical programs are very expensive to operate and support,” Pierce said. “Without industry partners like Haas we could not operate these types of programs to the level required by industry.”
In a recent report from the Manufacturing Institute, it is projected that over the next decade nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will be vacant, but due to the nation’s skills gap, only 1.5 million will be filled. OSU Institute of Technology is committed to developing educational resources and outcomes-focused learning environments that will address these workforce issues.