LEBANON, IN – Vincennes University’s all-new Gene Haas Training and Education Center, in the city of Lebanon, IN was dedicated with much fanfare Wednesday, December 9th. Local government officials and business leaders joined with representatives of Haas Automation and the Gene Haas Foundation to praise the new learning center as a catalyst for manufacturing in Central Indiana.
“This day has been three years in the making and is the result of government, education and the private sector coming together for a common goal,” shared City of Lebanon Mayor, Huck Lewis. “The partnership is really unbelievable, with Vincennes University, I’ve known about its tool & die work for years and years and years. And then to have Haas step in and especially to give us a grant for $1.5 million, is just unbelievable. We see this as an economic development tool for the city and the region to attract high paying jobs that come with manufacturing.”
To help fund construction of the all-new facility, the Gene Haas Foundation provided the City of Lebanon with a $1.5 million dollar grant in 2013. As if that was not enough, an additional donation valued at $382,400 was presented during the ribbon cutting ceremony, by Kathy Looman, Gene Haas Foundation Administrator, to provide scholarships for future students seeking an education at the center.
“I remember meeting Mayor Lewis two years ago. I was so impressed with his knowledge of manufacturing and thought if every politician had his knowledge of manufacturing, our country would be in an entirely different place now,” Looman commented during the dedication.
According to David Tucker, Vice President for Workforce Development and Community Services and Vincennes University, ground was broken on July 26, 2014 for the new 24,000 sq. ft. education facility. Today the facility houses seven flexible labs for CAD, manufacturing, materials testing, logistics training, and robotics instruction. The facility also includes 14 smart classrooms, a lecture hall to accommodate 120 people, a project room for high-tech collaboration equipment, offices, and conference room.
Hands-on experience will be provided to students through the installation of the following modern CNC machine tools; 5 Haas VF-2 vertical machining centers, 7 Haas ST-10 turning centers and 1 Haas TL-1 CNC tool room lathe. A metrology lab is also included in the facility and features 2 Mitutoyo coordinate measuring machines, as well as a full assortment of precision measuring instruments. And finally, for manual work, there is a standard engine lathe, surface grinder and Bridgeport Series 1 knee mill all installed within the facility.
Among the instruction to be provided at the Center will be Computer Numerical Control machinist training programs using the latest, state-of-the-art CNC machine tools from Haas Automation, and industry-standard certification from NIMS, the National Institute of Metalworking Skills. A 16-week intensive training program will also be offered for veterans, doubling Vincennes University’s current capacity for veteran training in the field.
“Vincennes University takes great pride in working with stakeholders and partners to make this day possible,” said VU President Chuck Johnson. “We look forward to many exciting developments coming out of this Center. We think it is just the start for many great things for Boone County and the region.”
Co-located within the facility is HFO Chicago’s all-new Indiana Technical Center. Here, customers from throughout the state can see the latest state-of-the-art CNC machine tools, which are manufactured in Southern California. Operators can also attend monthly programing courses as well as advanced training programs for writing macros on the Haas control.
For more information about Vincennes University, visit www.vinu.edu, for information about Haas Automation, visit www.haascnc.com, for more information about the Gene Haas Foundation, visit www.ghaasfoundation.org and for HFO Midwest, visit www.hfochicago.com .