All-New Machining Championship Awards to Debut at SkillsUSA 2012

Gene Haas Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Haas Automation, Inc., has invested in the development of a new SkillsUSA Machining Championship Award Program

Shortage of skilled workers? The Gene Haas Foundation, Oxnard, Calif. is taking a long-term view, investing in its future, and supporting students with a $27,000 grant to the SME Education Foundation for the development of a new SkillsUSA Machining Championship Award Program.

Peter Zierhut, representative, Gene Haas Foundation says, “We are looking for employees with specific skill sets, and very often a rare combination of skill sets. Students competing at the SkillsUSA Championship this summer will be using our advanced manufacturing equipment, be monitored and judged by engineers, learn from their peers, and meet future employers. The industry needs to spend more time directing young people while they’re still in school where we can make a difference.”

The 48th SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC), including the SkillsUSA Championships, a showcase of career and technical education students, returns to Kansas City, Mo., June 23-27, 2012. The opening ceremony will be held on Monday evening, June 25 at Kemper Arena; the SkillsUSA Championship on Monday-Tuesday, June 25-26 at Bartle Hall in downtown Kansas City, and the Awards Ceremony at Kemper Arena on Wednesday evening June 27.

Winners from SkillsUSA state competitions – high school and post-secondary, will compete against each other and the clock in creating manufacturing parts using these skills: manual turning, manual lathe, CNC programming – turning, and CNC Programming – milling.

Haas Automation, a technical and hardware sponsor and the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) are sponsoring the Precision Machining Technology, CNC Milling and CNC Turning Contests. Thirty-six Haas CNC Simulators will be used for the three CNC contests, along with a Haas TM 1P Toolroom Mill and Haas TL 1 Toolroom Lathe.

The Gene Haas SkillsUSA Machining Championship Award certificates will be presented to 18 national medal winners at the Awards Ceremony on June 27 in the following amounts: Gold: $2,000, Silver: $1,500.; and Bronze: $1,000.

The 2012 SkillsUSA Machining Championship Award program will be administered by the SME Education Foundation. Winning medalists will receive a designated amount each year to support continued learning by submitting their application and award certificate to the SME Education Foundation. The Foundation will then send designated award funding directly to the medalists’ respective schools.

The award program builds on the efforts of the SME Education Foundation to align education and training to the needs of employers and job-seekers, and help manufacturers to differentiate themselves through innovation and a highly skilled workforce.

Bart A. Aslin, CEO, SME Education Foundation sees their partnership with the Gene Haas Foundation and their mutual involvement in SkillsUSA as reflective of a shared vision for workforce development. “Each of the award winners represents a community network which includes their school, a local business that perhaps employed them as an intern, and a local manufacturer anxious to hire. The metalworking industry defines manufacturing. And, as this industry reignites, we are pleased to have the Gene Haas Foundation working with us.”

About SkillsUSA:

SkillsUSA is a national partnership of students, teachers and industry, working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA chapters help students preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations to excel. SkillsUSA has more than 307,000 members in 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia. SkillsUSA is an applied method of instruction and it provides quality education experiences for students. Its national SkillsUSA Championships is an industry-driven competition to improve education. Over 1,100 corporations, trade associations, businesses, and unions are partners at the national level. Visit

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. (HaasCNC), the largest machine tool manufacturer in the United States. Created to help fund community humanitarian causes, it has provided more than $10 million to more than 900 non-profit and charitable community causes. One of its primary goals is providing financial assistance for students interested in manufacturing-based careers. Scholarship programs are available through career centers, technical schools, community colleges and universities. Visit

About the SME Education Foundation:

The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, supporting and preparing the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists for the advancement of manufacturing education. Created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $31 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations, and individual donors. Visit Also visit for information on advanced manufacturing careers, and, our award-winning website for young people.

Media Contacts:

Bart A. Aslin, CEO, SME Education Foundation, (313) 425-3302,; Peter Zierhut, Representative, Gene Haas Foundation, (805) 988-6990,;