Together with representatives from the Gene Haas Foundation and Thomas Skinner & Son, Red River College (RRC) proudly opened its new Gene Haas Innovation Lab on May 8, 2019. Outfitted with the most current and cutting-edge equipment from HAAS Automation, the new space will be used by students in programs like Manufacturing CAD, Manufacturing Technology and Precision Metal Manufacturing. It is an integral part of the College’s new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre, which will help train up to an additional 1,000 students every year.
“Today is about more than opening a lab. Thanks to the generous support from the Gene Haas Foundation – with strong advocacy on behalf of Red River from Paul Krainer (President and CEO, Thomas Skinner & Son) and a great relationship with Kathy Looman (Administrator, Gene Haas Foundation) – our students will graduate with the knowledge and training they need to enter their careers as leaders,” said Paul Vogt, President and CEO of RRC.
The lab was made possible through a $500,000 donation from the Gene Haas Foundation in the early stages of planning for the STTC. The gift was integral in moving the project forward. Close to 100 guests from the manufacturing industry and Red River community attended the event and took part in a tour and demonstration of the new state-of-the-art space.
“The Gene Haas Innovation Lab stands on its own as an excellent example of an opportunity for industry to work with education to further develop manufacturing in Manitoba,” said Krainer.
“This lab is the culmination of more than 20 years of Red River College, Thomas Skinner and Haas Automation working together to provide the means to produce skilled workers that fit the needs of precision part manufacturing today. Gene Haas himself and his company have proven what can be done in manufacturing in the United States or Canada.”
The lab’s equipment includes everything from the VF-2 model, with 3 axis of travel, to the UMC 750 with 5 axis simultaneous machining capability and 3+2 machining. Training on this equipment is critical for students who will be entering an industry that continues to evolve every year.
Jessica Burzminski, a recent graduate from the College’s Manufacturing Technician program, and a three-time recipient of Gene Haas Foundation Student Awards, was on hand to speak about how her experience with hands-on training at the College helped her enter her career with confidence.
“The College having partnerships with industry organizations is so important. Being able to offer scholarships, mentorships and the right equipment to learn with is what makes Red River College the best place to study for all students. It’s important because students get the opportunity to try new things and see what they find fascinating and what they want to pursue in the career goals,” she said.
Thank you again to the Gene Haas Foundation and Thomas Skinner & Son for your generous support of student success at Red River College.