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Home Donors Gifts At Work $1 million gift means a new machining lab for SAIT

$1 million gift means a new machining lab for SAIT

SAIT has received $1 million US (approx. $1.4 million CAD) from the Gene Haas Foundation to expand and enhance its machining lab in the School of Manufacturing and Automation. The funds will help create a new specialized facility that will house SAIT's CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Machines, equipment that uses computers programed to cut and shape metal. The lab will become a unique education hub specializing in machining education; a state-of-the-art facility for a variety of SAIT students — apprentices, machinist technicians and mechanical engineering technology students.

The Gene Haas Foundation was created by Gene Haas, the founder of Haas Automation, a world leader in designing and manufacturing precision CNC machine tools based in Oxnard, California. The foundation supports metal trades education, as well as a number of charitable groups, across North America. Its contribution to SAIT is the foundation's biggest gift to a Canadian post-secondary institution.

It's fitting the gift to SAIT's machining program comes during the Institute's centennial year as metal trades were among the first classes offered when SAIT (then the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art) opened in 1916. This major investment in SAIT by the Gene Haas Foundation is the latest example of the strong connection SAIT has maintained with corporations and industry groups the last 100 years.

"The long-term partnerships we foster with industry are vital in setting our students up for success," says Dr. David Ross, SAIT President and CEO. "This generous gift from the Gene Haas Foundation inspires industry confidence and is testament to SAIT's global leadership in applied education. The relationship we are building with the foundation will be transformative, enabling cross-industry diversification for our students for years to come."

These major funds will further strengthen SAIT and the Gene Haas Foundation's shared goal of training excellence in manufacturing and automation.

"Gene Haas believes a manufacturing base is fundamental to a strong economy," says Kathy Looman, Gene Haas Foundation administrator. "This passionate view led him to grow his personal foundation and focus on manufacturing education throughout North America. Our foundation now provides millions of dollars in scholarships annually, as well as funds for the growth of selected capital projects, for outstanding programs delivered by respected educational institutions such as SAIT."

The new CNC facility will be named the Gene Haas Foundation CNC Lab. Renovations to the space located in the Thomas Riley Building on SAIT's main campus, are scheduled for early 2017.