Executives from Haas Automation and Haas Factory Outlet Midwest were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, along with representatives from Lincoln Tech. Haas Automation vice president Peter Zierhut spoke about the importance of Lincoln Tech to businesses in Indiana, citing a nationwide manufacturing skills gap requiring 3.5 million workers over the next eight years.
Positions in computer numeric controlled (CNC) machinery are slated to rise by 30 percent by 2024, and the new Gene Haas Center for Advanced Automation will play a significant role in that growth, especially in Indianapolis, where motorsports is a prominent community fixture.
“In the next seven years, almost 50,000 jobs are expected to become available to CNC-certified technicians, including 3,500 in Indiana,” said Scott M. Shaw, president and CEO, Lincoln Tech, citing statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. “CNC manufacturing is one of the 20 fastest-growing career fields in Indiana.”
CNC manufacturing is used in modern factories producing components for everything from the aerospace and automotive industries to the military and construction services, along with healthcare, electronics and many other fields. For more than 30 years, Oxnard, California-based Haas Automation, founded by Gene Haas, has served as a global leader in the production of CNC machines and equipment. The Indianapolis campus is the third Lincoln Tech site to offer CNC training on Haas machinery, following Mahwah, New Jersey and Grand Prairie, Texas.
Lincoln Tech added CNC machining and manufacturing to its program in 2013 to close the skills the gap that exists in the United States. The advanced methods of manufacturing that are a part of the curriculum at Lincoln Tech help fill the growing need for skilled employees currently facing companies.
Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America, plays a critical role at Lincoln Tech with the company providing ongoing support, training and guidance as the school continually develops its curriculum and overall teaching focus.
Presently, the Gene Haas Center for Advanced Automation has 10 Haas CNC machines, including the ultra-modern ST-10 lathe with live tooling and the full 5-axis VF2 machining center with trunnion rotary table.
The new Gene Haas Center for Advanced Automation was made possible in part by a scholarship grant from the Gene Haas Foundation. The non-profit organization was established in 1999 to help fund community humanitarian causes as an official commitment to corporate and social responsibility. The Foundation supports local, state and international communities through grants to charities, non-profit organizations and other philanthropic foundations. Since its inception, the Gene Haas Foundation has awarded in excess of $22 million to nearly 1,000 organizations.