Ross McDonald, VP sales Thomas Skinner, left, presents the Gene Haas Foundation US $50,000 donation cheque to Shaun Thorson, CEO of Skills CanadaClick image to enlarge

Dan Ferko, right, presents a donation of US $30,000 to awards and scholarships for students from Georgian College’s Mechanical Technician – Precision Skills program. Accepting the cheque from left to right are professor Gary Harris, student Tyler Magri, Dean of Technology and Visual Arts Kevin Weaver and VP External Relations Lisa Banks.Click image to enlarge

The Gene Haas Foundation is donating more than US $80,000 to support skills training in Canada. In Western Canada, the Gene Haas Foundation has donated US $50,000 in scholarship funding to Skills Canada and in Ontario, it has donated US $30,000 ($36,000 CDN) for scholarship funding for students enrolled in Georgian College's Mechanical Technician-Precision Skills program. Earlier this year, the Foundation donated US $50,000 to Ontario Skills for scholarships in CNC technology. To date, just in this year alone, the Gene Haas Foundation has granted $150,000 to three Skills Canada competitions and to scholarships.

Haas’ Canadian distributors, Thomas Skinner & Son Ltd., a Haas Factory Outlet for Western Canada, and Sirco Machinery, a Haas Factory Outlet for Eastern Canada, presented the scholarship funding.

Gene Haas Foundation, Thomas Skinner in Western Canada

In Western Canada, the $50,000 in scholarship funding will be distributed to the winners of this year's Skills Canada National Competition, held May 27-30 in Saskatoon, SK. Thomas Skinner, with the support of Haas Automation, provided the machining centres (two ST-20 CNC two axis lathes, two VF-2 CNC VMCs) and a Mini Mill used for a Try-a-Trade stationat the competition.

A competitor in the CNC Machining competition works on a Haas VF-2 VMCClick image to enlarge

“We are very proud of our sponsorship role with Skills Canada, and are excited to be a part of moulding the next generation of skilled trade workers in the metalworking industry” says Paul Krainer, owner and president of Thomas Skinner. The machines were equipped with tooling supplied by Sandvik Coromant and students were provided with precision measuring tools from Mitutoyo. Sandvik Coromant and Mitutoyo are supplier partners of Thomas Skinner.

A competitor in the CNC Machining competition works on a Haas ST-20 two axis latheClick image to enlarge

Thomas Skinner also provided the manual lathes & mills (Advance and First) used in the Precision Machining competitions. In addition to our sponsorship of the Skills Canada National Competition, Thomas Skinner is also a supplier of both the BC Skills and Alberta Skills Competitions held earlier this year.

“As the shortage of skilled workers continues to rise, we believe it is the responsibility of the business community to get involved and promote education of trade and technology. We take that commitment very seriously and are proud to support this great event. We would like to congratulate all of the competitors in this years competition and look forward to being a proud sponsor of the Skills Canada National Competition for many years to come” says Krainer.

Gene Haas Foundation, Sirco Machinery in Eastern Canada

in Eastern Canada, the Gene Haas Foundation scholarship funding for $36,000 was presented by Haas Factory Outlet distributor, Sirco Machinery.

Georgian College student Tyler Magri, right, presents Dan Ferko, Ppesident, Sirco Machinery Company Ltd., with a custom engraved Gene Haas Foundation logo. Ferko announced a $36,000 donation to awards and scholarships for Georgian students on behalf of the foundation. Magri milled the aluminum plaque on a Haas CNC machine.Click image to enlarge

“Every day, we hear many of our customers lament the fact that they simply cannot find skilled personnel to operate their new CNC machine tools. We want to help change the incorrect perception that skilled trades are undesirable jobs. We’re proud to partner with Georgian College to support the next generation of advanced manufacturing professionals,” says Ferko, on behalf of the Gene Haas Foundation.

This is the second consecutive year the foundation has contributed to this scholarship fund, for a total of more than $80,000. Last year, 51 Georgian students who met the academic criteria received a scholarship.

One of them was Tyler Magri, who will be representing Canada at the World Skills Competition in Brazil this summer. After qualifying at the Skills Ontario and Skills Canada competitions, he will be the sole Canadian representative in the CNC milling category.

“The scholarship from the Gene Haas Foundation has really helped me out. I haven’t had much time for a part-time job since I’ve been training for the World Skills Competition. It’s helped me pay my tuition,” says Magri, who has been training up to 16 hours a week.

Magri’s favourite part of the program is the creativity he can apply.

“Every project has multiple paths to get to the finished product,” he says.

Kevin Weaver, dean for Technology and Visual Arts, says partners such as Haas help strengthen Georgian’s program and attract top students like Magri.

“We are very grateful to the Gene Haas Foundation for helping us offer one of the best and largest manufacturing programs in the Ontario college system,” says Weaver.

The Gene Haas Foundation was formed in 1999 to fund the needs of the local community and other deserving charities, at the discretion of its founder, Mr. Gene Haas. High on the list of priorities of the Gene Haas Foundation is supporting manufacturing education, which encompasses many types of programs that inspire and educate young people about careers in manufacturing. In addition, the Gene Haas Foundation provides scholarship funding for students to attend colleges that teach machining-based skills.

The Foundation has donated funding to skills training in Canada for many years, but in previous years, it distributed scholarships and Skills Canada awards through SME, says Kathy Looman, Foundation administrator.

"Last year through SME we earmarked $100,000 to Canadian programs which included NAIT, Georgian College and other Canadian schools and to Skills Canada. In 2008 we granted $250,000 to NAIT when they built their new labs. This comes to half a million dollars not counting the funds distributed through SME to Skills Canada and scholarships between 2007 and 2013 ($904,000 total to SME) A conservative estimate would be 10% of those funds designated for Canadian schools annually around $90K. So it would be conservative to say over over half a million in the past 8 years."

In addition to funding, Haas, has donated machines to schools across Canada. To date, the number of Haas CNC machines in schools across Canada (not counting any donated by industry or purchased used) is 288.

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