Competitors at SkillsUSA Are Honored with Machining Championship Award from the Gene Haas Foundation

The SME Education Foundation and the Gene Haas Foundation proudly offer educational awards to the top machining contestants at the SkillsUSA National Competition
DEARBORN, Mich. - Aug. 26, 2013 - PRLog -- DEARBORN, Mich., OXNARD, Calif. — Young people are not considering careers in skilled trades due to a lack of information about the lucrative opportunities available to those with technology and trade certifications. At the 49th SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC (, there was a showcase of talent from career and technical education students. This challenge provided an opportunity for students, parents, teachers and the general public to discover the many promising futures to be found in trade and technology occupations.

The Gene Haas Foundation ( recognizes the need to inspire and support students who show an interest in advanced manufacturing and technology. Its continued support of manufacturing education is shown in the form of a $27,000 grant to the SME Education Foundation ( for the SkillsUSA Machining Championship Award as an incentive to contest winners at the SkillsUSA competition.

“SkillsUSA is important because it generates the interest and excitement needed to get more young people interested in manufacturing,” says Peter Zierhut, representative, Gene Haas Foundation. “This is where the best students in the country are competing and their involvement proves their capability and commitment to manufacturing. These are the individuals the industry will want in the future and it’s important to offer incentives to allow them to go on to the next level.”

The SkillsUSA Machining Championship Award program is administered by the SME Education Foundation. Winning medalists receive a designated amount each year to support continued learning by submitting their applications and award certificates to the 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 inspire, prepare and support the next generation of manufacturers and technologists for careers in a highly skilled workforce. The Foundation continually invites other manufacturers to join in this effort.

The Gene Haas Foundation Machining Championship Award certificates were presented at the June 28 awards ceremony in Kansas City, Missouri. The 18 national medal winners will receive the following amounts: Gold: $2,000, Silver: $1,500 and Bronze: $1,000.

Recipients from the CNC Milling Category are:
Axel Marohnic of Buffalo, MN  (Alexandria Technical & Community College)
Matthew Gillett of Port Huron, MI (St. Clair TEC)

Craig Hurst of Auburn, WA (Renton Technical College)
Jonathon Ferreira of Swansea, MA (Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School)

Cody Hanson of Twin Falls, ID (College of Southern Idaho)
Jesse Peña of Stratford, CT (Platt Technical  High School)

Recipients from the CNC Turning Category are:
Benjamin Hale of Pasco, WA (Columbia Basin College)
Adam Prante of West Salem, OH (Medina County Career Center)

Mark Lowrey of Hastselle, AL (Wallace State Community College)
Dakota Rostron of Patoka, IN (Princeton Community High School)

Michael Campbell of Collinsville, IL (Southwestern Illinois College)
Kyle Jankowski (Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School)

Recipients from the Precision Machining Technology Category are:
Cody Coffin of Collinsville, IL (Southwestern Illinois College)
Neil Niña of Brownsville, TX (Homer Hanna High School)

Kevin Martin of Jacksboro, TN (Tennessee Technology Center – Jacksboro)
James Wheatley of Hardinsburg, KY (Breckinridge County Area Technology Center)

Joseph Olson of Medina, IA (Des Moines Area Community College)
John Reiter of Ray, MI (Romeo High School)

About SkillsUSA:
SkillsUSA helps students discover and grow their career passions. As a nationwide partnership of students, instructors and industry working together, SkillsUSA works to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It helps every student excel. The nationwide career and technical education (CTE) student organization serves more than 300,000 high school, college and postsecondary students—and their instructors—in technical, skilled and service occupation instructional programs. CTE is learning that works for America. SkillsUSA has the active support of more than 1,100 corporations, trade associations, business and labor unions at the national level.
For more information, 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 nonprofit and charitable community causes. One of its primary goals is providing financial assistance to students interested in manufacturing-based careers. Scholarship programs are available through career centers, technical schools, community colleges and universities.

About the SME Education Foundation:
The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, preparing and supporting the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists in the advancement of manufacturing education. Created by SME in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $33 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations and individual donors. Visit the SME Education Foundation at Also visit for information on advanced manufacturing careers and, our award-winning website for young people.

Media Contacts:
Jennifer Richmond, SME Education Foundation, (313) 425-3306,;
Peter Zierhut, Representative, Gene Haas Foundation, (805) 988-6990,  

Follow us on Twitter @mfgeducation to stay up-to-date with SME Education Foundation news and events. 
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Tags:Skillsusa, Sme-ef, Gene Haas Foundation, Machining, Technology
Industry:Education, Manufacturing
Location:Dearborn - Michigan - United States
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