July 2015

  • Gene Haas Foundation Grants $65,000 To Support Young Manufacturing Academies & Arkansas Technical Programs




    Gene Haas Foundation Grants $65,000 To Support Young Manufacturing Academies & Arkansas Technical Programs


    The Gene Haas Foundation has awarded $65,000 in grants to various Arkansas colleges to conduct Young Manufacturing Academies from August 3 to August 7, 2015, according to Kathy Looman, Executive Director of the Gene Haas Foundation.


    In addition to a $15,000 grant awarded to the Associated Industries of Arkansas Foundation to support this year's Young Manufacturing Academies, the Gene Haas Foundation has made additional direct awards totaling $50,000 to: Arkansas Northeastern College in Blytheville, Northwest Technical Institute in Springdale, Southeast Arkansas College in Pine Bluff, North Arkansas College in Harrison, National Park Community College in Hot Springs, and College of the Ouachitas in Malvern.  These funds will provide operational support, supplies and curriculum for these Academies and promote technical learning opportunities for students. 


    “Through the extraordinary support of the Gene Haas Foundation and cooperating colleges, the Associated Industries of Arkansas Foundation will oversee ten Young Manufacturing Academies in 2015 to educate approximately 250, seventh to ninth grade students about the benefits of a STEM-related education and the opportunities within Arkansas’s manufacturing sectors,” says Randy Zook, AIA Foundation President and Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas President & CEO.


    About Mr. Gene Haas & the Gene Haas Foundation


    Gene Haas is the owner Haas Automation, Inc., America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools.  Started in 1983, Mr. Gene Haas has built his company into a billion dollar operation.  His leadership and sector know-how quickly resulted in extraordinary growth – notably, in an era when Americans were told that the United States doesn’t manufacture anything at home anymore.


    According to Mr. Haas, “Misguided perceptions and decisions made in our education system regarding vocational education have led to dire statistics in our manufacturing sectors.  A recent report called The Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing 2015 and Beyond, projects that, ‘Over the next decade, nearly three and a half million manufacturing jobs will likely need to be filled, and the skills gap is expected to result in 2 million of those jobs going unfilled.’” Gene’s commitment to the importance of U.S. manufacturing has motivated him to create and invest in his personal foundation and direct his board to focus on manufacturing education and grants for scholarships for students entering CNC machinist training.  These grants help ensure that important technical programs are able to properly educate students and expand to meet future demand.  Mr. Haas’s business and philanthropic efforts have not diminished his commitment to the community that supports him and his 1 million square foot manufacturing facility.


    To date, more than 1,200 charitable 501(c)(3) organizations and schools have received funds totally over $30 million from the Gene Haas Foundation.


    The Young Manufacturing Academies: A Part of the Dream It. Do It. Network. 


    Young Manufacturers Academies are designed to reach young people from grades 6 through 11 who are interested in technical professional careers in manufacturing. Over 600 young people participated in YMAs in 2014 and we expect an even greater level of participation this summer.


    In addition to those listed above, and with the generous support of Entergy-Arkansas, Albermarle Corporation, and Lockheed Martin Corp., Young Manufacturers Academies will be hosted on the following two-year college campuses: Arkansas State University-Mountain Home, SAU Tech in Camden, South Arkansas College in El Dorado, and UA Community College in Morrilton.  An additional Academy is in development at GoodWill Industries Education Center in Little Rock.


    The 2015 Young Manufactures Academies are the signature program of Dream It. Do It. Arkansas.  Dream It. Do It. Arkansas was developed in partnership with The Manufacturing Institute and the National Association of Manufacturers, and a collaboration between employers, our educational system, our workforce development agencies and economic development organizations to address the critical shortage of qualified workers.  Dream It. Do It. Arkansas will educate students, parents and educators on the importance of career and technical training necessary to pursue high-wage careers in manufacturing in Arkansas.


    For more information on the Young Manufacturers Academies, contact Andrew Parker at aparker@arkansasstatechamber.com or (501) 372-2222.

  • Leadership Arkansas Applications Now Being Accepted

    Leadership Arkansas is a unique program designed to take a comprehensive view of the economic and political challenges that face this State. First introduced in 2005 by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas, our staff, with the guidance of the organizations’ Boards and Executive Committees, recruits highly-motivated individuals to experience first-hand the dynamic interactions between cities, industries, governmental units and the people they serve.

    Applications Now Being Accepted for Leadership Arkansas Class X. To apply click here.