SME Education Foundation - Gene Haas Scholarship Fund Opens Door for Focus: HOPE Machining Students

A collaborative initiative of the SME Education Foundation, Focus: HOPE and the Gene Haas Foundation is providing a new scholarship opportunity for students to attend a machinist training program and prepare them for a wide range of industries.
By: Bart Aslin
July 7, 2009 - PRLog -- DEARBORN, Mich., – Doors close or never open – and hard-working young men and women are sometimes denied opportunity to realize their dreams or potential.  The Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation (SME-EF) opened a door with a leadership gift of $50,000 to establish the SME Education Foundation — Gene Haas Scholarship Fund designed to attract and support Focus: HOPE students.  The new scholarship offers access to training and education programs in machining technology giving students a chance to change their lives and have a rewarding career.
“This new scholarship will provide the opportunity for men and women to attend our newly-updated machinist training program and train for careers in a wide range of industries,” said William F. Jones, Jr., CEO, Focus: HOPE.  “Employers seek out our students because of our emphasis on manual and computer numerical skills as well as our high standards for developing superior work habits.  But the economic challenges in today’s economy make it difficult for students to attend without scholarship assistance.  This support from the SME Education Foundation will enable talented students to train for careers that ultimately will enable them to provide for the families and become contributing members of society.”

The Focus: HOPE Scholarship Committee regularly reviews student applications for financial support.  Scholarship awards are based upon a number of factors.  Among the items considered are need, academic achievement and a demonstrated commitment to advanced machining which is supported by letters of recommendation from faculty.  The SME Education Foundation and others may make additional and/or endowment gifts to the fund.  Upon request gifts may remain anonymous.

“We think talented students deserve more than we are able to provide, and encourage others to join us in providing critical funding,” says Bart Aslin, director, SME Education Foundation. “We were able to create this new scholarship because of the generosity of the Gene Haas Foundation.”

Since 1981, Focus: HOPE has helped more than 8,000 individuals establish successful careers through their career preparation programs. Their Centers of Opportunity include:

Machinist Training Institute (MTI): The Machinist Training Institute opened in 1981 as Focus: HOPE's first education program. The curriculum was based on the training needs of area machine shop owners. Retired machinists frequently taught the classes, teaching students how to operate lathes, mills, and grinders. Students developed their hands-on skills while producing a set of tools they could take with them as they entered the job market. In recent years, the MTI curriculum was expanded to include more Computer Numerical Control (CNC) training.  With changes to manufacturing in southeast Michigan, Focus: HOPE is again updating its curriculum to meet needs for skilled workers in various areas of manufacturing.

Center for Advanced Technologies (CAT):  The Center for Advanced Technologies was started in 1993 with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in a unique collaboration of industry and university partners to educate renaissance engineers.  Focus: HOPE students can earn associates and bachelor’s degrees in various areas of engineering.
Information Technologies Center (ITC): The Information Technologies Center provides training through industry certifications with programs including PC Technology, Network Administration and Desktop and Server Administration.  More than 1,000 students have graduated since the ITC opened in 1999.

About The Gene Haas Foundation:
The Gene Haas Foundation was established in 1999 by Gene Haas, founder and president of Haas Automation, Inc., the largest machine tool manufacturer in the United States.  One of the primary goals of the Gene Haas Foundation is to provide financial assistance for students interested in manufacturing-based careers.  Scholarship programs are available through career centers, technical schools, community colleges and universities.

Gene Haas recognizes the future of manufacturing in the United States is directly dependent on the availability of skilled workers.  That future hinges on recruiting more students and developing quality training programs across the country.  The Gene Haas Foundation funding goes directly to those training programs to attract prospective students.  Visit

About Focus: HOPE:
Focus: HOPE is a nationally recognized civil and human rights organization in Detroit founded in 1968 after the Detroit riots.  Throughout the years, Focus: HOPE developed numerous programs in its efforts to overcome racism, poverty and injustice.  It offers a food program, which assists 42,000 seniors, mothers and children each month; career training programs in machining, engineering and information technology; a child care center, a community arts program targeted to high school students, and neighborhood revitalization initiatives.  Through Focus: HOPE, thousands of individuals – especially women and minorities – have become financially independent.  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 in the advancement of manufacturing education.  Created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $29 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations, and individual donors.  Visit the SME Education Foundation at and award-winning website, Manufacturing is Cool!
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Tags:Education, Scholarships, Manufacturing, Engineering, Machining, Philanthropy
Industry:Automotive, Education, Manufacturing
Location:Dearborn - Michigan - United States
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