Industry supports Ridgewater Machine Tool program with grant for scholarships
May 17, 2021
HUTCHINSON, MN – Students in Ridgewater College’s Machine Tool Technology program will have increased financial support as they pursue careers in machining and manufacturing thanks to a Gene Haas Foundation grant of $12,500. The funds will provide scholarships and assistance for high-tech program needs.
“Today’s demand for skilled CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machinists is extremely high,” said Tammy Jablonski, one of Ridgewater’s Machine Tool Technology instructors. “It is wonderful to have dollars awarded to us that we can use to enable and assist our talented students as they work to fill the skilled trades gap.”
The Haas name is very familiar to Ridgewater Machine Tool students as it is the brand label on the CNC machines they use every day. These grant funds will be available to students who have completed one or more semesters in the Ridgewater program, have a 3.0 or higher grade point average, and who complete the scholarship application. Since 2016, Ridgewater College has received $49,500 from the Gene Haas Foundation.
At the college level, the Foundation’s primary goal is to build skills in the manufacturing industry by providing scholarships for CNC machine technology students across the country, explained Foundation representative Hope Riska. The Foundation also supports high school manufacturing programs and related student competitions. In 2020, the Foundation provided more than $17 million in grants for manufacturing education and communities.
“These scholarships will help attract the next generation of machinists that are needed to meet the demands of today’s workforce and the industries of tomorrow,” said Matt Feuerborn, Ridgewater dean of technical programs.