CMCC Earns Million Dollar Haas Foundation Grant

August 31, 2016

The Gene Haas Foundation has awarded a grant of one million dollars to Central Maine Community College (CMCC) to help fund the renovation and expansion of the College’s Precision Machining Technology (PMT) lab on its Auburn campus. The facility will be named the “Gene Haas Precision Machining Technology Center.”

The College expects to begin work on the project in 2017. The first phase will involve an interior renovation of over 5,000 square feet, including the relocation of the quality control room, offices, computer class, and locker room to update and improve overall functionality. Phase Two will be the construction of a 3,600 square foot addition to accommodate recent equipment acquisitions, and improvements to existing electrical power distribution, lighting systems, and the mechanical ventilation system.

Founded in 1999 by Haas Automation founder and Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas, the Haas Foundation has granted more than $12 million to institutions that champion advanced manufacturing education. The Haas Foundation has been a generous supporter of the PMT program and machinist-based continuing education at CMCC for many years.

The formal presentation of the award was made at the Annual Manufacturing Educators Conference held at CMCC on July 18-21. In collaboration with the Haas Technical Education Center (HTEC), the college hosted this international event for almost 200 CNC (computer numeric control) precision machining instructors from across the United States, Canada, and South Africa. Best CNC education practices, program building and innovation, attracting students, and developing employment opportunities were among the topics for workshops and breakout sessions.

According to Bob Skodzinsky, manager of the HTEC Network, machining programs in more than 1,800 schools utilize Haas equipment. The conference enabled instructors to network and to learn the latest trends in precision manufacturing. CMCC was considered an excellent site for the event in part because of the size and reputation of its PMT program. The HTEC Network has also named CMCC the Northeast training center for CNC teachers.

Photo caption: Kathy Looman, center, administrator for the Gene Haas Foundation, and Peter Zierhut, center, vice president with Haas Automation, present a check for one million dollars to Scott Knapp, president of CMCC.