Manufacturing new career paths: Gene Haas bootcamps offer hands-on training for youth

January 25, 2023

Starting next month, Winnipeg youths with an interest in 3D printing, manufacturing and robotics will have the opportunity to hone their skills and learn about new technologies through one-day bootcamps at RRC Polytech.

The Gene Haas Manufacturing Bootcamps are open to students in Grades 7 and 8 (ages 12 to 14), along with their parents or guardians. Participants will learn how to create things using industry-standard equipment and technology, while exploring some of the many career options in Manitoba’s rapidly growing manufacturing sector.

“RRC Polytech is excited to partner with the Gene Haas Foundation on these camps because we know there is incredible potential for young Winnipeggers in the manufacturing field,” says Mark Blackner, Chair of Electrical, Mechanical and Manufacturing at RRC Polytech.

“It was important for us to include parents and guardians in these camps because often trades and technologies are seen as a dead-end job or back-up plan, which is not the case. Careers in trades and technologies allow people to create things every day, are high-paying and help our communities function and grow.”

Bootcamps run once a month, on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4p.m. They’ll provide participants with training in:

• 3D printing
• Computer aided design (CAD)
• Computer numerical control (CNC) machining
• Industrial robotics

Along with the Gene Haas Foundation and Thomas Skinner (Western Canada’s Haas Automation representative), the College has partnered with Career Trek and Skills Canada Manitoba to bring these bootcamps to life.

“When students have the opportunity to learn about careers through hands-on, experiential learning, we get really excited,” says Rhonda Taylor, CEO of Career Trek.

“Opportunities such as the Gene Haas Manufacturing Bootcamps will provide youths with a first-hand look at the future of work and the possibilities that exist, giving them — and their families — the experiences they need to make informed decisions.”

Each camp will include guest mentors from local manufacturing companies, and a lunch-and-learn hosted by Career Trek for partners/guardians about education savings and systems navigation.

Experiential (hands-on) learning-based programs have been a part of RRC Polytech for its more than 80-year history, giving learners the technical and practical skills they need before stepping into their first jobs. Each year, many students are encouraged to compete in the annual Skills Canada Manitoba competition to further refine their techniques.

“RRC Polytech and Skills Canada Manitoba are longtime partners and have a unified commitment in providing skills training opportunities for young learners,” says Maria Pacella, Executive Director of Skills Canada Manitoba.

“The Gene Haas Manufacturing Bootcamps are a really great way to introduce technology skills to young people and their parents, who might not realize that there are viable career options that use a different type of thinking or creative energy than what is traditionally taught in K-12 schools.

The camps will take place in RRC Polytech’s Haas Innovation Lab, which is housed in the Skilled Trades and Technology Centre at the Notre Dame Campus. Outfitted with the most current and cutting-edge equipment from Haas Automation, the space is used by students in the Manufacturing CAD, CNC Machinist Technician, and CNC Machining and Advanced Technology programs.

“The Gene Haas Foundation, Thomas Skinner and RRC Polytech have had a fantastic partnership for more than 20 years,” says Tracy Bowman, Territory Manager at Thomas Skinner.

“Together we have created opportunities for students to succeed — through scholarships and bursaries, and through access to equipment, software and mentorship. We are pleased to extend similar opportunities to youth and their parents/guardians through the Gene Haas Manufacturing Bootcamps.”

Registration is currently open for the first camp, which will take place on Sat., Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To register, please fill out the Student and Parent or Guardian Information forms at this site.

RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

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