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Gene Haas Foundation Donates $1 Million to the SME Education Foundation

Gene Haas Foundation Board Chair Bob Murray presents a check to Kathy Burnham of the SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers) Education Foundation at the Haas Technical Education Center on the Glendale Community College campus.

The Gene Haas Foundation continued its commitment to education and training by making 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.

“Manufacturing is an industry that is vital to the U.S. and global economy. We are very proud to help build a qualified workforce, especially as so many people are in need of good-paying jobs. In the U.S. alone, more than 600,000 jobs go unfilled due to a lack of skilled workers. These scholarships will ready people for high-paying manufacturing careers, so they can support their families and pursue the American Dream,” said Murray to a crowd of more than 100 business and community leaders.

The Gene Haas Foundation was created by Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation, the largest and most modern machine tool builder in the western world. Approximately 1,200 workers with above-average wages and generous benefits are employed at the company’s Oxnard (Calif.) campus. Gene Haas remains the company’s principal innovator and engineer, working daily on product design and operations. “His vision is a sustainable workforce and creating opportunity for disadvantaged youth, among others,” noted Murray.

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.

Founded by Gene Haas, the foundation has awarded more than $15 million to deserving charities since 1999. For more information, visit www.ghaasfoundation.org.

The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, preparing and supporting the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists in the advancement of manufacturing education. For more information about the SME Education Foundation, visitwww.smeef.org.

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