The nation’s top machine tool builder has stepped forward to financially help students at College of Western Idaho (CWI). The Gene Haas Foundation has awarded a $17,500 grant to the CWI Foundation. The funding will be used to provide scholarships for students in the College’s Machine Tool Technology program.
“This scholarship opportunity will help get more students trained for this highly lucrative career,” Pat Neal, CWI’s Assistant Dean of Trades and Technical Programs, said.
Gene Haas originally started his Foundation to help fund local community projects. As his company, Haas Automation, grew into the billion dollar company it now is, his Foundation’s efforts have grown to include millions of dollars in funding to community colleges and vocational schools nationwide. Right now, the Foundation is focused on helping to fill the high number of manufacturing jobs that are going unfilled due to a lack of skilled workers.
“Manufacturing jobs are in high demand,” Neal said. “These positions offer a high wage and good working conditions. We are contacted constantly by local industry looking for employees who have skills to operate a manual or CNC mill or lathe. We are only able to fill a small number of these positions.”
The skills taught in CWI’s Machine Tool program offer opportunities in a diverse field of specialized occupations such as;
- Machine Operator
- Tool and Die work
- Automotive Machinist
- Field Work
- Machine Maintenance Mechanic
- CNC Programmer
- Quality Control
In addition to providing funding for scholarships, the grant also covers a student’s cost of obtaining NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking Skills) accreditation. Scholarships will be awarded to students currently enrolled in, or will be enrolling in, a machining-based training/education program.