The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and the Gene Haas Foundation have announced the opening of the new Gene Haas Manufacturing Lab.
Made possible by a $1 million CAD donation from the Gene Haas Foundation, this training facility is a complete modernization and expansion of the Machinist Workshop at the BCIT Burnaby Campus. It will enhance the applied learning experience of BCIT Machinist students, equipping them with leading-edge skills for careers in machining while meeting the growing need for a skilled workforce in British Columbia’s vital manufacturing sector.
The new Gene Haas Manufacturing Lab reflects the technological advancements and professional settings of the manufacturing sector. Featuring an optimized floor plan and workflow, a new designated CNC Machinist training area, and the integration of new equipment enabling collaborative and interdisciplinary training with Mechanical Engineering students, the lab will enhance partnerships with industry and other post-secondary institutions.
“As the largest trades training provider in Western Canada, BCIT partners with industry to develop a resilient and future-focused workforce. The new Gene Haas Manufacturing Lab is an excellent example of the power of industry-education collaboration, and will enable BCIT to continue to train highly skilled workers that meet the demands of the manufacturing sector in BC,” said Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, President, BCIT.
With an estimated 85,000 new trades jobs expected over the next 10 years in BC, the Gene Haas Manufacturing Lab will help alleviate waitlists by increasing learning opportunities in the machining field. As the only provider of Machinist Apprenticeship training in BC, BCIT will welcome an additional 45 students per year as a result of the new expanded training facility.
BCIT has a longstanding partnership with the Gene Haas Foundation. As advocates of skills building and education in Canada, the organization has generously supported Machinist programs at the BCIT School of Energy since the 1980s.
The Gene Haas Foundation was established by Gene Haas in 1999. Gene Haas is the owner of Haas Automation, Inc. Gene initially formed the Foundation to fund the needs of the local community where his manufacturing facility is located. Seeing a growing need for skilled manufacturing employees industry wide, the Foundation expanded its mission to include support for manufacturing training programs throughout North America and beyond. The Foundation provides scholarship funds to secondary and post-secondary schools for students looking to enter technical training programs, as well to youth programs that inspire young people to consider manufacturing careers. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $175 million (as of 2022) to deserving charities and educational institutions.