State Fair Community College recently received another $20,000 gift from the Gene Haas Foundation for the college’s Precision Machining Technology program.

The Gene Haas Foundation’s primary goal is to build skills in the machining industry by providing scholarships for CNC (computer numerically controlled) machine technology students and NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking Skills) credentials.

SFCC’s relationship with the foundation developed about six years ago when the college purchased nine CNC machines for its machining program from Haas Automation, Inc., headquartered in Oxnard, California. The company, founded by Gene Hass in 1983, is America’s largest CNC machine tool builder and one of the largest builders in the world with 170 Haas Factory Outlets in more than 60 countries. (Source:

“When we needed to upgrade the college’s equipment to give our students a hands-on learning environment, we decided to purchase Haas CNC machines because they are affordable and are used by most of our local manufacturers,” said Justin Wright, SFCC’s Precision Machining program coordinator. “Haas’s focus on strengthening manufacturing education is demonstrated by its generous contributions to community colleges, and SFCC and our students appreciate that support.”

Four Gene Haas Foundation scholarships were awarded in January to Precision Machining students, John Kinkaid, Brett Hockett, Laben Twenter and Shae Childers. The scholarships can be used for tuition, books, student’s personal NIMS account and cost of individual NIMS credentials and small personal tools students are required to purchase for the program. Three students provided comments about why they choose precision machining and how the Gene Haas scholarship helps them.

Hockett, a Smith-Cotton High School graduate from Sedalia, received a $1,000 scholarship. He chose to pursue a machining career because of the many available career opportunities. Hockett said the scholarship will offset what his Missouri A+ scholarship does not cover, which means he will graduate from SFCC debt-free.

Twenter, a graduate of Pilot Grove High School, received a $1,000 scholarship. One of his friends who was in the Precision Machining program told him about the it. Twenter watched several videos about the program and decided it looked good. He will use his scholarship to help pay for books, which is a big expense.

Childers, a Windsor High School graduate, received a $750 scholarship. He enrolled in SFCC’s program because of what he observed in a vo-tech machining class and a friend’s encouragement to try it. His scholarship will provide the extra money he needs to pay for his education.

Haas created his foundation in 1999 because of a strong social conscience instilled in him by his family. The foundation awards grants and scholarships for CNC machinist training to high schools, community colleges and trade schools in the United States and Canada

SFCC’s Precision Machining Technology program offers Skills Certificates in Machinist Level I, a Professional Certificate in Machine Tool Technology, and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Manufacturing Technology with emphasis in Precision Machining Technology. For more information about the program go to or contact Wright at (660) 596-7392 or


In the photo: The Gene Haas Foundation recently donated $20,000 to SFCC’s Precision Machining Technology program and awarded scholarships to three SFCC students. From left, SFCC students Shae Childers, and Laben Twenter, SFCC Precision Machining Technology Program Coordinator Justin Wright, SFCC students John Kinkaid and Bret Hockett. 

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