Gene Haas Advanced Manufacturing Lab Opens At Ventura College

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October 18, 2021
The Gene Haas Advanced Manufacturing Lab had its grand opening Thursday, October 7 at the Applied Science Center at Ventura College. More than 100 guests attended the celebration, including Ventura Unified School District high school students, dignitaries and strategic community partners.
 
In December 2019, the Gene Haas Foundation made a $250,000 grant to the Ventura College Foundation to support the Advanced Manufacturing program at Ventura College. The funds were used to relocate the current manufacturing lab to the college's Applied Science Center and to renovate the new location into a modern manufacturing facility designed to promote manufacturing occupations and enhance student workforce manufacturing skills.

"The primary mission of the Gene Haas Foundation is to partner with schools to introduce students to career opportunities in manufacturing and to provide scholarships to students who choose training in CNC (Computer Numerical Control) technology," says Kathy Looman, director of education and Gene Haas Centers naming rights. "Careers in manufacturing are rewarding, good-paying, and with limitless opportunities to climb the corporate ladder or become an entrepreneur. This new lab is an excellent opportunity to engage more students in our industry, and the Gene Haas Foundation is thrilled to see it become a reality."

The Advanced Manufacturing program is a combination of lecture and laboratory. Students use state-of-the-art Haas CNC machines as part of their hands-on learning experience to prepare themselves for entry into the workforce. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 26,000 manufacturing jobs in Ventura County. There could be more. Over 800 manufacturers are based in Ventura County, many with unfilled openings.
"The Gene Haas Advanced Manufacturing Lab will be the hub of manufacturing training in Ventura County," says John Clark, lead faculty with Ventura College's Manufacturing Technology Department. "Students will learn in-demand skills that will directly translate to local living wage jobs."

“One of the highlights from the Gene Haas Advanced Manufacturing Lab Grand Opening was seeing the 60 Ventura Unified School District high school students on the Ventura College campus to explore the manufacturing, welding and drafting programs. The Advanced Manufacturing Program’s hands-on learning will prepare these students to enter high-wage jobs in our county. The program also helps meet our growing manufacturing workforce needs,” said Ventura County Community College District Chancellor Greg Gillespie.
 
An undergraduate curriculum is available for students interested in completing an associate's degree in Advanced Manufacturing. Students can also take transferable classes within the program for university credit or take courses for returning students looking for skills improvement.
 
The Ventura College Foundation facilitated and distributed the Gene Haas Foundation grant money to pay for the cost of the lab relocation and building upgrades.
 
 "Our foundation has had a strong relationship with the Gene Haas Foundation for over 14 years. We are grateful for its continued support of Ventura College students," says Anne Paul King, Ventura College Foundation executive director. "Besides its generous donation to the advanced manufacturing lab, the Gene Haas Foundation funds an endowment that provides scholarships to students interested in manufacturing careers. Since 2005, the amount totals nearly $900,000."
 
For information about the program, go to https://www.venturacollege.edu/departments/academic/manufacturing-technology. For more on the Ventura College Foundation, go to www.VenturaCollegeFoundation.org or call 805-289-6461.

Ventura College Foundation
Established in 1983, the Ventura College Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and operates financially independent from Ventura College. It transforms students’ lives through education by providing innovative and vital resources and financial support. The Foundation collaborates with Ventura College to enhance human potential, civic engagement, careers and academic success of students enabling their effective impact and legacy on the college, local workforce, and our community. The Foundation also hosts the Ventura College Foundation Marketplace; an outdoor shopping experience held every weekend on the Ventura College campus. For more information, contact Julie Harvey at (805) 289-6502 or jharvey@vcccd.edu or visit www.VenturaCollegeFoundation.org.
 
The Gene Haas Foundation
The Gene Haas Foundation was established in 1999, by Haas Automation, Inc., Founder and CEO Gene Haas, to support the needs of the local community, through grants to such local charities as the Boys and Girls Clubs, Food Share, Rescue Mission, and others. 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. By providing scholarship grants, sponsoring individual and team CNC competitions, and partnering with the very best CNC training programs in the world, the Foundation helps expand the availability of high-quality manufacturing technology training worldwide.

The Gene Haas Foundation donates millions of dollars every year to manufacturing education and the community. In 2020, the Gene Haas Foundation provided more than $17 million in grants, bringing the total since inception to more than $100 million. For more information visit
https://ghaasfoundation.org/.
Contact:
Anne King, Executive Director
aking@vcccd.edu, (805) 289-6461