The continued shortage of skilled labor is an ongoing problem facing the manufacturing industry. As part of its commitment to training machinists, Haas Automation has opened a network of Haas Technical Centers (HTCs) throughout North America. These HTCs provide an environment where students can take theory out of the classroom and apply it in a modern manufacturing environment. Students learn machining and metalworking skills through a hands-on approach. They use the types of CNC machine tools they will encounter when they enter the workforce. More than 25 HTCs have been established over the past three years in the United States and Canada.
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“The Haas Technical Centers are a self-fulfilling prophecy,” says Peter Hall, director of HTCs. “By providing training for students, we are guaranteeing a labor pool for the future, and continued growth for the manufacturing industry.”
To oversee the growing network of HTCs, Haas has established the Haas Technical Education Council (HTEC), a group that consists of instructors and administrators from the different learning institutions housing the HTCs. The mission of the HTEC is to promote and advance manufacturing productivity through excellence in manufacturing education. The vision of the council is to develop, deliver and disseminate the best educational methods and techniques for advanced manufacturing education and research in the world.
“The council is great, because it brings together a diverse group of world class educators, all with a common goal-to serve our students and the CNC machining community,” says Chris Brown, chairman of the HTEC and the Saint-Gobain professor of mechanical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. “We want to work together to meet a wide variety of industry needs relating to CNC machining. There has never been a group like this before, and now Haas has put one together.”
Through this unique alliance, Haas Automation and the national network of Haas Factory Outlets are able to partner with industry, learning institutions and professional societies to provide students with the tools they need to succeed. “Together we can speed the evolution of CNC machining education to promote healthy, sustainable industrial growth,” said Brown, who directs the Manufacturing Engineering program at WPI.