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Quinsigamond Community College’s Manufacturing Program Receives $10K Grant

November, 2018
  • Gene Haas Foundation check
    From left: Haas CNC Sales Territory Manager Dan Quinn, QCC student Jason Lemoine, QCC Dean of School of Business, Engineering, and Technology Betty Lauer, QCC Manufacturing Technology Coordinator Lee Duerden, QCC student Samuel Museme and QCC student Said Razzaq.

Quinsigamond Community College recently received a $10,000 Gene Haas Foundation Grant. Developed by Gene Haas, owner of Haas Automation, Inc., the largest machine tool builder in the western world, the Foundation was formed in 1999 to support the charitable needs within its local community of Ventura County, California. As the Foundation grew, so did the need for a stronger manufacturing workforce.  Reports such as “The Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing 2015 and Beyond” projected that, “Over the next decade, nearly three and a half million manufacturing jobs will likely need to be filled,” confirming the need for a skilled manufacturing workforce.

Today the focus and mission of the Gene Haas Foundation is in line with the needs of the educational community, to support manufacturing and help introduce students to careers in machining and related technologies. To date, the Foundation has donated over $52 million to support educators. High schools and colleges are eligible to apply for the funds on an annual cycle.

"There’s a shortage of skilled labor and as more people age out of the industry, there’s a dire need to replace them with well-educated, skilled workers,” said QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja.

Coordinator of QCC’s Manufacturing Technology Program, Lee Duerden, said the Haas Foundation Grant will be used for manufacturing scholarships that will be awarded in the spring.

Mr. Duerden said the hope is to use the funds to support further education in the field of computer numerical control (CNC) and could possibly be opened up to graduating vocational high school students and veterans. This is the first time the college has applied for the grant.

“I had found out about the award through my network and our relationship with Haas Technical Education Center (HTEC). QCC manufacturing is a HTEC approved member,” Mr. Duerden said. “I am applying again for next year so hopefully this could become an annual award. We are hoping to promote CNC as a skill and for this we need to provide opportunities for further education. This can be from K-12 to community college, or from community college to a four-year institute. These funds will hopefully help encourage students by breaking down some financial boundaries and providing them the opportunity to advance their education in this field.”

“The Haas commitment to education is visible in many ways; the Gene Haas Foundation is a significant portion of how we support educators to grow their pipeline and engage students to prepare them for amazing careers in advanced manufacturing.  We are pleased to work with Quinsigamond Community College to build the future workforce in their region,” said Toni Neary, Director of Education, for Trident Machine Tools (a Haas Factory Outlet, in Windsor, Ct.).