Haas Automation, Inc., is the largest tool manufacturer in the United States. Founded by entrepreneur Gene Haas, the company designs and manufactures precision machine tools and specialized accessory tooling, mostly computer numerically controlled (CNC), such as vertical machining centers and horizontal machining centers, lathes/turning centers, and rotary tables and indexers. The Northeast Diversified Manufacturing Lab contains a number of Haas CNC machines.
Productivity Inc. is a supplier of Haas equipment. In presenting the check, the company’s Christian Crosby said the funds are to assist Northeast as it trains the next generation of America’s manufacturing workforce.
“This is part of the Haas Foundation’s mission to help fill the nation’s manufacturing employment skills gap, which is getting bigger and bigger. Mr. Haas understands that and is working with places like Northeast Community College to show students just how good a career in manufacturing can be.”
Diversified Manufacturing Technology Instructor Steve Wagner, who applied for the Haas funding, said it will provide scholarships to manufacturing education students.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity for Northeast to be able to have this injection of funds to help new students who have creative minds and who have a ‘maker’ mentality be able to access a manufacturing education. We are grateful to the Haas Foundation.”
Wagner said Northeast Community College is doing its part to address the increasing need for highly skilled technical careers through its program that focuses on training and providing the skills necessary to students so they can become CNC programmers and operators, machinists, and robotics and quality technicians, among others.
The Northeast Foundation Office awards scholarships to students. For 2017-18 academic year, the office presented 453 scholarship awards in the amount of $350,000, with an average award of $773.
However, Dr. Tracy Kruse, associate vice president of development and external affairs, said the number of scholarships the College has awarded has not kept up with the needs.
“In fact, we continue to receive a number of scholarship applications every year. In 2017-18, for example, our Financial Aid Office received 677 online scholarship applications. These students aspire to attend Northeast Community College, but often, through no fault of their own, they are unable to afford to do so. Scholarship funding from individual donors and organizations, such as the Haas Foundation, are critical to helping our students succeed.”
To learn about Northeast Foundation scholarships, go online to www.northeast.edu/giving or call (402) 844-7056.
Christian Crosby of Productivity, Inc., (fourth from left) presents a $10,000 check on behalf of the Haas Foundation to Dr. Michael Chipps, president of Northeast Community College, faculty, staff and students in the College’s Diversity Manufacturing program. The funds will be used to provide scholarships to students enrolled in the program. Pictured are (left-right) Shanelle Grudzinksi, associate dean of applied technology, Monty Johnson, dean of applied technology, student Riley Gomez, Rosalie, Crosby, student Kyle Larsen, Norfolk, Chipps, student Ben Bassett, Bancroft, Steve Wagner, diversified manufacturing instructor, student Alex Garza, Norfolk, and Tyler Vacha, director of major and planned gifts at Northeast.