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Meridian Community College Opens Gene Haas Advanced Manufacturing Center

At a check presentation in the new Gene Haas Advanced Manufacturing Center at MCC are Thomas Huebner, MCC President; Lori Smith, MCC Dean of Workforce Education; Hugh Sims, Account Manager with Haas Factory Outlet, a division of Trident Southeast; Joseph Knight, MCC Vice President for Workforce Solutions; Brian Warren, MCC Precision Manufacturing and Machining Program Coordinator, Instructor and Division Chair; Leia Hill, MCC Vice President of Advancement and Executive Director of the MCC Foundation; and Lucy Lamberth, MCC Director of Workforce Grants and Development

The Gene Haas Foundation has awarded a $250,000 grant to Meridian Community College (MCC) in Meridian, MS. The grant will complete the funding of the all-new CNC learning lab for its Precision Machining Program, to be named the Gene Haas Advanced Manufacturing Center, and will be a catalyst to offering training and industry growth throughout the region. A ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Gene Haas Advanced Manufacturing Center is tentatively scheduled to take place in August.

The new lab will feature nine Haas CNC machine tools and 14 Haas CNC simulators. The centerpieces for the lab include a 5-axis Haas UMC-500SS and Multitasking Haas ST-30Y turning center with Y-axis and live tooling. Four additional Haas mills, two additional Haas CNC lathes, a Tsugami B205 Swiss turn lathe, Zeiss CMM and numerous manual lathes, mills, drill presses and band saws round out the new lab.

"We are extremely grateful to the Gene Haas Foundation for this generous gift," said Brian S. Warren, Division Chair of Industrial Technology at Meridian Community College. "This validates our program is having a positive impact on filling the skills gap and will help fund efforts to expand our program to include advanced courses such as 5-axis milling and multitasking with Y-axis turning centers."

According to Warren, the Precision Machining Program at MCC boasts a long track record of producing quality graduates who go on to have successful careers as CNC operators and programmers. Since 2015, MCC students have won all CNC SkillsUSA competitions at the state level, with one student earning a Silver Medal at the 2019 SkillsUSA Nationals. With high-tech jobs in strong demand throughout the region, nearly all students enrolled are offered positions prior to graduation and begin their career immediately after.

"The Gene Haas Foundation selects the best programs in the country to apply for naming rights gifts. This award and honor shows that Meridian Community College is an outstanding program, not just in Mississippi, but in the country," said Toni Neary, Director of Education at Morris Group, Inc.'s Haas Tower. "Brian is a fantastic partner to us and an active member in the HTEC network. He has continuously demonstrated this through his outstanding relationship with industry, high quality of graduates, and of course their performance at SkillsUSA in the CNC competitions. Trident Southeast is proud to work with Meridian Community College and look forward to highlighting amazing careers available right here in Mississippi."

MCC offers one-year or two-year programs with three levels of completion including an Associates of Applied Science Degree. In a typical year, the Precision Machining Program educates 20 full-time technical certificate and degree credit students, as well as 10 part-time evening non-credit students involved in workforce training.

High-tech jobs in Mississippi and neighboring Alabama come from a diverse range of industries, including aerospace, automotive, medical and material handling (such as forklifts). Manufacturing hubs in the region fall within 100 miles of MCC, making it the ideal location for students and manufacturers.

Thomas M. Huebner Jr., Ph.D , President of Meridian Community College, said, "This support from the HAAS Foundation is a gamechanger for MCC and our precision machining/advanced manufacturing program. They have invested in scholarship dollars for our students for years, but for them to put these resources into our program is truly exciting. These resources, along with our new facility, excellent faculty and employment opportunities for our graduates, further sets us apart as a premier program, and I could not be more excited about our future."

For more information contact:

Meridian Community College

910 Highway 19 North

Meridian, MS 39307


Haas Automation, Inc.

2800 Sturgis Road

Oxnard, CA 93030


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