Groundbreaking and $1.5 Million Grant Presentation for the New Gene Haas Training Center at Vincennes University’s Lebanon, Indiana, Campus
On Saturday, July 26, at 2 pm, officials from the City of Lebanon, machine tool builder Haas Automation, and Vincennes University will hold a groundbreaking ceremony and check presentation for the new Gene Haas Training Center, a 20,000-square-foot facility at 321 N. Mt. Zion Road in Lebanon. Representatives from the Gene Haas Foundation will present a check for $1.5 million as a grant to help build the new facility.
In attendance will be the Honorable Mayor Huck Lewis, Mr. Gene Haas, and Vincennes University President Dick Helton, as well as officials from the City of Lebanon, Haas Automation, Haas Factory Outlet Indiana, and Vincennes University.
Vincennes University will operate the new Gene Haas Training Center, offering CNC machinist training programs using the latest state-of the-art Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine tools from Haas Automation, and industry-standard certification from NIMS, the National Institute of Metalworking Skills. A 16-week intensive training program will also be offered for veterans, doubling Vincennes’ current capacity for veteran training.
“The Gene Haas Training Center is part of my vision for Lebanon,” said Lebanon Mayor Huck Lewis. “It will be a local training and education resource for Lebanon businesses and residents, and it will serve as a catalyst for economic growth.”
Gene Haas, Founder and President of American machine tool builder Haas Automation, stated: “The goal of our collaboration with the City of Lebanon and Vincennes University is part of our commitment over the past decade to help train better qualified workers, especially CNC machinists, which in turn supports manufacturing in the USA. The relationship between Haas Automation, Haas Factory Outlet Indiana, and Vincennes University has been long and productive. We look forward to many more years working together.”
“The Gene Haas Training Center will double VU’s (Vincennes University’s) CNC training capacity,” said VU President Dick Helton. “Our Haas Technical Education Center, located at the Indiana Center for Applied Technology on VU’s Vincennes campus, has been a huge success. We look forward to bringing those training programs to central Indiana.”
According to Doug Bowman, director of VU’s Haas Technical Education Center, “Indiana alone will need 7,000 new machinists over the next five years. Providing this high-quality training on state-of-the-art equipment will help bridge the advanced manufacturing ‘skills gap.’ These manufacturing training and credentialing programs will require a public/private partnership.”
In addition to the reality of a severe shortage of skilled workers in the precision machining and advanced manufacturing industry, there is a high rate of unemployment among veterans. While the national unemployment rate in the United States is 7 percent, the rate for military veterans is 10 percent. In Indiana, those numbers are worse, with the post 9/11 unemployment rate for veterans being more than double the state’s current unemployment rate of 7.3 percent.
The construction of the new Gene Haas Training Center is scheduled to commence in Fall 2014, with the completion in time for the beginning of the 2015-16 school year.
About Haas Automation
Haas Automation, Inc., is America’s leading manufacturer of CNC (computer numerically controlled) machine tools. All Haas products are manufactured at the company’s world-class, 1-million-square-foot facility in Southern California, and distributed through a worldwide network of more than 170 Haas Factory Outlets (HFOs). CNC machine tools are high-precision, computer-controlled devices that are used for cutting and shaping metal, wood, plastic, ceramics and other materials. They play a key role in every sector of industry, and impact every facet of every life, every day. From automobiles, to cell phones, to computers, to detergent bottles – all things depend on machine tools in some way.
About The Gene Haas Foundation
The Gene Haas Foundation, Oxnard, California, was created in 1999 by Gene Haas, founder and president of Haas Automation, Inc. (the largest machine tool manufacturer in the United States. Created to help fund community/humanitarian causes, it has provided more than $21 million to more than 1200 nonprofit and charitable community causes. One of its primary goals is providing financial assistance to students interested in manufacturing-based careers. Scholarship programs are available through career centers, technical schools, community colleges, and universities.
About Vincennes University
Vincennes University is state-supported with campuses in Vincennes and Jasper and additional sites such as Indianapolis and the Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics. VU also offers instruction at military sites throughout the nation. VU enrolls students from throughout Indiana, 28 other states, and 30 countries. Tuition and fees are the lowest among Indiana campuses with residence halls. VU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.