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NCC Holds Naming Ceremony for Gene Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing

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Nash Community College held a ceremony on Friday, September 17, 2021 celebrating the naming of the Gene Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing.

The 16,000 square foot facility, which opened in 2018, is used as an academic and training space for students and is home to the Electrical Systems Technology, Computer-Integrated Machining, Electronics Engineering Technology, and Robotics programs of study.

The Gene Haas Foundation has provided a $250,000 naming rights gift that will be used to support the Advanced Manufacturing program. The perpetual naming rights award will fund much-needed classroom technology and supportive information technology.

“Nash Community College is very proud to be a leader in advanced manufacturing training preparing employable students to be successful in local careers,” NCC President Dr. Lew Hunnicutt said. “We are fortunate to have the continued endorsement and support of the Haas Foundation that has strengthened our program for many years. It speaks to the reputation and superior level of instruction we provide.

In 2014 the Gene Haas Foundation established a new partnership with dynamic Computer Numerical Control (CNC) training programs around the world to provide the opportunity for qualifying schools to become Gene Haas Centers. Candidate schools are chosen based on a variety of factors including leadership within the technical education community, providing the maximum opportunities to many students and companies in their region and beyond.

“It has been such a pleasure working with the team at Nash Community College on their new Gene Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing,” Kathy Looman, Director of Education for the Gene Haas Foundation said. “I have held the CNC training program at Nash Community College in very high regard for many years. The instructors are not only highly skilled but they are also willing to share their knowledge and expertise to expand their impact far beyond North Carolina.”

Alex Barnhill, NCC Department Chair of Applied Engineering Technologies, currently serves as the Haas Technical Education Center (HTEC) Network National President, and Professor George Shook serves on the National HTEC Council. Both faculty members are also members of the North Carolina Association of Instructors in Machine Shop (AIMS), one of the oldest and most active manufacturing instructor associations.

Nash Community College is committed to developing a skilled workforce and enhancing the quality of life of the community. The ongoing support of community and industry partners, such as the Gene Haas Foundation, helps to make these programs possible.

The Gene Haas Foundation was founded in 1999 by Gene Haas, owner of Haas Automation, Inc., America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools. Haas Automation, Inc. began in 1983 as a manufacturer of economical and reliable machine tools.

Pictured from left: Katherine Fisher, NCC Board Chair; Alex Barnhill, NCC Department Chair, Applied Engineering Technologies; George Shook, Retired Professor, NCC Computer-Integrated Machining; Kathy Looman, Director, Education and Gene Haas Naming Center Grants; Jason Brannon, Instructor, Computer-Integrated Machining; and Dr. Lew Hunnicutt, NCC President.