NORFOLK, Neb. – Students at Northeast Community College have increased financial support as they pursue manufacturing education and training.

The Gene Haas Foundation has awarded Northeast $10,000 in grants to support student scholarships and machining and manufacturing automation program needs. The funds will be used for the College’s Machining and Manufacturing program.

Since 2018, the program has received annual grants from the Gene Haas Foundation, bringing its total received to $50,000. An oversized check was presented to Instructor Leon Finecy and Shanelle Grudzinski, dean of applied technology, by Hope Riska, Chuck Wiley and Bob Jaster of Productivity Inc., the local Haas factory outlet in Plymouth, Minn. and Omaha.

Through classroom instruction and hands-on lab experiences, students in Northeast’s Machining and Manufacturing Automation program gain valuable knowledge and skills in welding, fabrication, precision measurement, machining, and operation and programming of computerized manufacturing technologies including computer numerical control (CNC) and industrial robotics.

“The Gene Haas Foundation scholarship grant is not just about donating; it’s about making a meaningful difference for students attending Northeast Community College’s Machining and Manufacturing Automation program by affording those students access to education and training,” Grudzinski said. “It’s about supporting the future of the manufacturing industry and economic development by providing access to a skilled labor force, all of which Northeast and its students are humbled to have received over the past four years.”

Students receiving scholarships from the grant this year include Laikon Ames, Hoskins; Layne Forney, Columbus; Conner Frahm, Norfolk; Reydonaldo Garcia, Norfolk; Tiernan Happ, Columbus; Seth Kahny, Sioux Falls, So. Dak.; Ethan Macken, Columbus; Weston Neitzke, Hadar; and Ethan Pinnt, Norfolk.

The Gene Haas Foundation’s primary goal is to build skills in the manufacturing industry by providing scholarships for CNC machine technology students. For high schools, a portion of the funds may also be used to support the school’s participation in student competitions such as FIRST® or VEX Robotics, SkillsUSA® and SAE Supermileage® programs that highlight their manufacturing programs.

The Gene Haas Foundation was established in 1999, by Haas Automation, Inc., Founder and CEO Gene Haas to support the needs of local communities 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 2021-2022, the Gene Haas Foundation provided more than $22 million in grants, bringing the total since inception in 2013 to more than to $150 million.