Students in the machining and manufacturing technology program at Allan Hancock College will soon benefit from the generosity of the Gene Haas Foundation. The private foundation that invests in manufacturing education presented a check for $30,000 to the Allan Hancock College Board of Trustees on Tuesday to benefit the industrial technology program.
“The college will put the money to great use,” said Robert Mabry, machining and manufacturing technology professor. “The donation will help pay for instructors, fund scholarships, send students to Skills USA competitions and provide high school students with tours of local manufacturing companies.”
Mabry said Haas joined a list of Santa Barbara County manufacturing companies that have donated to the department in the last few years. Zodiac Aerospace, Helical Products Company, Melfred Borzall, Alan Johnson Performance Engineering and another anonymous business have all donated $30,000 in cash and equipment to the program.
“Our department has an excellent reputation in the industry,” added Mabry. “They see the value of investing in a college with state-of-the-art facilities, quality instructors and talented students.”
According to the California Employment Development Department, the demand for machinists through 2022 will increase by 15 percent statewide, 26 percent in Santa Barbara County and 75 percent in San Luis Obispo County.
Founded in 1983 by Gene Haas, Haas Automation, Inc. manufactures machine tools and accessories in Oxnard. Investing in the only machining technology program from the Bay Area to Ventura was an easy decision for the company.
“Hancock is strategically located on the Central Coast and has consistently produced high-quality and high-skilled students,” said Scott Coventry, sales representative with Haas Automation. “The college has three things we value the most. Hancock has a Board of Trustees with a clear vision, passionate instructors and fantastic facilities.”
The machining and manufacturing technology labs and classrooms are located in the college’s state-of-the-art Industrial Technology Complex. The $18 million facility opened in fall 2014 and features more than 35,000 square feet of classrooms and lab space. The department also includes architectural drafting, auto body technology, automotive technology, electronics technology, engineering technology and welding technology.
The department is offering dozens of classes during the upcoming spring 2016 semester. Classes begin the week of January 25. Registration continues until the day before classes begin. For a list of classes, visit www.hancockcollege.edu, click Class Search and Spring 2016.