The Gene Haas Foundation recently made a gift of $1 million for scholarships in manufacturing and machining training and education to benefit as many as 1,000 students in North America and Europe. In a ceremony next to the Haas Technical Education Center on the Glendale (Calif.) Community College campus, Gene Haas Foundation Board Chair Bob Murray presented a check to Kathy Burnham of the SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers) Education Foundation, which will administer the scholarship fund.
The Gene Haas Foundation was created by Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation. According to Murray, workforce development is a key way to improve the lives of many while helping build a stronger economy for all. “The SME Education Foundation will ensure these scholarships help many communities and support many students,” he said. Scholarships range from $1,000 to $2,500 depending on the cost of the applicant's program.
The funds are sent directly to the recipient's school according to Bart A. Aslin, CEO, SME Education Foundation. "As we work to dispel the myth that people with four-year degrees automatically make more money than those without, we recognize the importance of creating educational pathways that allow all students the chance to earn a good living but also to fill the manufacturing gaps that exist; funding for programs like the Gene Haas Machining Technology Scholarship allows us to do just that," Aslin noted.
The application process is online and opened on September 1, 2013. The SME Education Foundation expects to award 950 to 1,000 scholarships this year, exhausting the $1,000,000 grant.
To be eligible, applicants must be pursuing an associate's degree or technology certificate and have a high school diploma or GED certificate. Displaced workers or people training for a second career are also eligible.
A scholarship committee reviews the applications as they are submitted to ensure the minimum eligibility requirements are met. All applicants meeting the requirements will be awarded a scholarship, as long as funding is available.