For a fifth year, the Gene Haas Foundation in investing in Patrick & Henry Community College’s students. This year, that foundation increased its award to P&HCC providing the school with $14,000 to go towards student scholarships. These funds specifically go to support students pursuing a variety of engineering and machinist-based programs, including P&HCC’s popular motorsports program and the college’s newest manufacturing-based program – precision machining program.
Kathy Looman, director of Education for the foundation, said that supporting P&HCC aligns with the foundation’s mission “to expose students to careers in manufacturing and to provide scholarships to the students who choose a career in CNC machining and/or manufacturing engineering.”
According to Looman, support for this demographic is crucial because “53 percent of high school students don’t believe they will have an opportunity to have a good job.”
The Gene Haas Foundation believes that scholarships for manufacturing programs specifically are particularly important. Nationally, these jobs are in high demand. And, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that demand is likely going to continue growing.
According to P&HCC officials, the support is also critical because scholarships often play a pivotal role in a student’s decision and ability to pursue a field of interest.
“Many of our students would not be able to complete their training without these scholarships,” says Tiffani Underwood, executive director of the P&HCC Foundation. “We are so grateful for the continued support from the Gene Haas Foundation. Their commitment to student development in these high-demand career fields ensures our community has the highly skilled employees needed to be successful.”
The Gene Haas Foundation was founded in 1999 by the owner of Haas Automation, Inc., America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools, to promote American manufacturing and manufacturing education. The Haas Foundation has donated more than $120 million to more than 4,500 charitable organizations and schools.