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Foundation's $1m Gift

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The Gene Haas Foundation has donated $1 million to the SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers) Education Foundation for Machining and Manufacturing Scholarships...

Funds will help students in the USA, Canada, Mexico, as well as Europe and South Africa...

The scholarships will benefit as many as 1,000 students in North America and Europe....

The foundation’s Chair Bob Murray has presented the gift to Kathy Burnham of the SME Education Foundation, which will administer the scholarship fund...

Whilst manufacturing is a vital part of any developed economy many countries have experienced a decline in recent decades including the USA and the UK.

Despite employers reporting employment opportunities in engineering there is a skills gap with in many cases employers demanding higher levels of technical know how...

“We are very proud to help build a qualified workforce, especially as so many people are in need of good-paying jobs.

"In the US alone, more than 600,000 jobs go unfilled due to a lack of skilled workers..." says Murray.

It is often argued in the UK that there was a sustained and repeated emphasis in recent decades on devaluing vocational training and skills, despite its high importance both to the wider economy and in terms of providing job opportunities to people...

The Haas Foundation scholarships will range from $1,000 to $2,500 depending on the cost of the applicant's programme, says the foundation.

The funds will be sent directly to the recipient's school or college...

The application process opens on September 1, 2013. The SME Education Foundation expects to award 950 to 1,000 scholarships through 2013, which will see the $1 million grant used up.

The foundation was set up by Gene Haas in 1999, founder of Haas Automation, and has subsequently donated around $8.5 million in grants and gifts to social and humanitarian causes, benefiting hundreds of non-profit and charity orgs...

Other beneficiaries of the foundation have included the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Alzheimer’s Association, Kids to Kids, The American Red Cross, the YMCA and many smaller charity organisations...


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