Industry supports Ridgewater Machine Tool students with $18,000 grant
December 1, 2022
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 $18,000. 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 Greg Ryder, one of Ridgewater’s Machine Tool Technology instructors. “It is why we expanded our program to the Willmar campus this year. It is great that machining students on both campuses can apply for these scholarships provided by the Gene Haas Foundation to support their educational investment and help us fill the skilled trades gap.”
Ridgewater’s Machine Tool program offers training for CNC precision manufacturing and machining. From 2020-2030, projected job growth for machinists is 7.7% in Minnesota. This is considered to be very high demand, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The majority of openings are to replace anticipated retiring workers.
Machine Tool students use Haas CNC machines daily. Scholarships are given to students who apply and are enrolled in the Machine tool program at Ridgewater with a GPA of 2.0 or higher.
Since 2016, Ridgewater College has received $81,500 from the Gene Haas Foundation which supports both college and high school manufacturing efforts.
To help keep the pipeline of manufacturing going with graduates from the program, Ridgewater College parnters with local manufacturing companies, including Midwest Industrial Tool Grinding Inc. (MITGI), 3D CNC, 3M, Resonetics, RD Machine, and Hutchinson Manufacturing Inc.