EU Haas Technical Education Center Program Continues Unabated
Spring 2016 has proven to be a busy time for the Haas Technical Education Center (HTEC) program in Europe, where a total of seven new HTEC facilities have opened since the beginning of the year. This is in addition to the staging of a successful HTEC Conference and an HTEC Skills Challenge. With a number of additional openings and events planned before 2017 arrives, there is no let-up in the number of educational establishments looking to use the technologies and services of Haas to build better links between technical education and industry.
Three HTECs have opened in Poland this year, at Legnica, Lublin, and Bialystok, taking to 19 the total number of HTEC facilities in the country – the most of any nation in Europe. This remarkable feat has been presided over by Haas Factory Outlet–Poland (a Division of Abplanalp), a Haas distributor with more than 15 years’ experience selling and supporting the U.S. company’s CNC products. Indeed, HFO–Poland is planning to open 10 additional HTEC schools by 2020, and another three every year thereafter, taking care to ensure HTEC coverage across the country.
Other European HTEC facilities that opened in the first half of this year include those in Lithuania (Vilnius), Belarus (Mogilev), and Russia (Nizhny Novgorod), as well as one in Germany.
Around 40 delegates with a passion for CNC education came together at the Yrkesakademin i Österbotten in Vaasa, Finland, for the country’s first HTEC conference.
The goal of the conference was to promote collaboration between teachers, and allow them to network, and share best practices in CNC education.
Another initiative this year was the 2nd HTEC Skills Challenge, which took place in Coimbra, Portugal, during May. CNC student Tiago Duarte da Conceição, from IEFP Agueda, won the competition – his machined component was commended by the judges for its fine finishes and tight tolerances. At the end of the event, Gene Haas, founder and owner of Haas Automation, congratulated the participants on their dedication and their technical skills via conference call.
“Looking ahead to the remainder of 2016, further HTEC openings are planned in Spain, Belgium, Norway, and several in Portugal,” explains Simon Vanmaekelbergh, HTEC & Educational Partnership Coordinator at Haas Automation Europe. “Furthermore, there is the possibility that Ukraine and Poland could see additional HTECs open before year end.”
Other HTEC activities planned for the coming months include national conferences in Sweden (17-18 August), Portugal (24-25 October), and Benelux (14-15 December), as well as Belarus. An international HTEC conference will also take place in Nantes, France, on 18-19 October.
Ultimately, the goal of the HTEC programme is to provide students with a relevant, high-tech, and hands-on educational experience, and to graduate work-ready CNC machinists, programmers, and engineers for today’s industrial employers. With the high level of HTEC activity in Europe, it’s clear that the motivation remains to help young people and the long-term unemployed train for and find exciting, well-paid jobs in precision manufacturing companies, locally, regionally, and even internationally.