Workshops for Warriors Attends HaasTec 2015
Representatives and students from Workshops for Warriors attended Haas Automation’s biennial HaasTec open house, last week, to tour the facility, and present commemorative plaques to the leadership of the Gene Haas Foundation. Workshops for Warriors is a nonprofit school that trains veterans and wounded warriors for advanced manufacturing careers; Haas Automation and the Gene Haas Foundation have generously supported the school for the past several years.
The HaasTec open house provided visitors an opportunity to view Haas Automation’s leading CNC technology up close and in great detail in the company’s state-of-the-art headquarters and manufacturing facility. This year’s event drew nearly 3300 attendees from 48 countries.
Workshops for Warriors’ San Diego-based leadership team, along with a handful of students and graduates of the school, made the trip to Oxnard to attend HaasTec and see the manufacturing giant’s facility first-hand. Retired USN Master Chief Derek Beecher, a Workshops for Warriors graduate, said: “I was in complete awe of the factory. When we toured the facility and walked in on a catwalk overlooking the floor, my jaw dropped.” Current Workshops for Warriors student John McMurrin echoed the statement, “It was so impressive. I had never been to a manufacturing facility of that scale.”
The effort to provide students with the opportunity to attend HaasTec is one of many by Workshops for Warriors to provide its machining and welding students with exposure to potential jobs and careers in manufacturing. “Haas Automation understands the need for qualified manufacturing professionals in this country,” said Haas Automation’s Vice President of Special Projects, Peter Zierhut. “Haas is extremely proud to support Workshops for Warriors, and we were honored to meet some of Workshops for Warriors’ veteran students and graduates. They served this country, and we are thrilled to support and serve them in their quest for civilian careers in manufacturing.”
“The Haas staff gave us a full-access tour, and had lunch with us,” said McMurrin, “As a Workshops for Warriors student, I go to class each day in a small facility in San Diego. Seeing Haas’ facility first-hand, and knowing a company of that size is taking care of us veterans, makes me feel very supported. I can’t thank them enough.”
Workshops for Warriors took advantage of its visit to present Haas Automation’s leadership team with commemorative plaques as a token of the organization’s gratitude. Founder and President, Hernán Luis y Prado, along with members of Workshops’ leadership team and the group of students and graduates, presented plaques to Haas Automation Founder Gene Haas, Vice President of Special Projects Peter Zierhut, and Gene Haas Foundation Administrator Kathy Looman.
“It is important to us that our supporters know how very grateful we are,” said Luis y Prado. “Our mission is to place veterans and wounded warriors into advanced manufacturing careers by providing them with industry-leading training, nationally recognized credentials, work experience, and job placement. We are rebuilding America’s manufacturing workforce, one veteran at a time. And we couldn’t do it without the support we receive from Haas Automation and the Gene Haas Foundation.”
Haas Automation has already pledged its continued support for Workshops for Warriors, as the organization embarks on its first-ever capital campaign. The nonprofit school will be building a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing training facility for veterans and wounded warriors. The new facility will accommodate the ever-growing list of veterans seeking to enroll in the successful school, which boasts a 100% job placement rate for its graduates.
Workshops for Warriors has trained, certified, and placed 171 military veterans and wounded warriors into advanced manufacturing careers, helping to rebuild the workforce that companies like Haas Automation need. The school is located in San Diego, and is accredited by the American Welding Society (AWS) and the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS).
Workshops for Warriors’ courses are offered to veterans completely free of charge, and are funded by cash and equipment donations from private and corporate supporters. Haas Automation has contributed millions of dollars’ worth of equipment and funds to the school, enabling it to teach veterans and wounded warriors on the latest and best CNC mills, lathes, and CNC simulators. “Nobody in the world does what Gene Haas does for veterans and for schools,” said Luis y Prado. “They don’t even come close,” he continued, “Both through Haas Automation and through the [philanthropic] Gene Haas Foundation, Gene Haas has donated tens of millions of dollars toward educational opportunities that advance manufacturing and STEM careers—skillsets that America badly needs. Support from Haas Automation is making it possible for our nation’s veterans to rebuild their lives, and rebuild American manufacturing.”