WVC machining program receives $10,000 Gene Haas grant

March 9, 2020

Media Contact:
Micky Jennings, WVC machining faculty, 509-682-6424
Libby Siebens, WVC community relations executive director, 509-682-6436 (Mon.-Thurs.)

Machining students posing with tools in front of the Van Tassell Center building on the Wenatchee campusThe Wenatchee Valley College machining program received a $10,000 grant from the Gene Haas Foundation. This is the second time the program has received this grant.

In the past two years, the grant has purchased $18,000 worth of personal tools for 14 students and has provided $2,000 for Skills USA students to attend state and national conferences. 

Students require around a dozen unique tools each year of the program. Over two years, the cost of necessary tools is around $3,000 out of pocket. Thanks to the Gene Haas grant, in 2021, first year machining students received a majority of the tools required for their machining classes. The tools are given directly to students to be used in classes and then taken with them once they leave WVC. WVC administrators and the WVC Foundation presented tools to this year’s machining students in a ceremony on March 3.

WVC machining faculty Micky Jennings said that being gifted high-quality tools removes a financial barrier for students and sets them up for success after college.

“Quality tools are essential for modern manufacturing. The accuracy that the machining industry demands of our students is staggering. Often, machined components have size tolerance less than a human hair. That literally makes the difference between a good part and a bad part, or your car engine failing, your phone not working or an airplane falling out of the sky,” Jennings said. “Our graduates need to depend on their tools from day one in order to help keep our northwest industries producing valuable products in an ever increasingly competitive global market. This year, more than any in recent history, illustrates the importance of a strong domestic manufacturing workforce. The gift from the Gene Haas Foundation gives the students a head start toward being leaders in modern manufacturing.”

The machining program sent students to national Skills USA competitions in 2018 and 2019. The grant helped fund travel and professional attire for students to attend the competitions. Jennings said he has high hopes that he will have more students attend in years to come as travel becomes more feasible.   

The Gene Haas Foundation was founded by Gene Haas in 1999 with the goal of building skills in the machining industry by providing scholarships for CNC machine technology students and NIMS credentials. Learn more at ghaasfoundation.org.


Wenatchee Valley College enriches North Central Washington by serving educational and cultural needs of communities and residents throughout the service area. The college provides high-quality transfer, liberal arts, professional/technical, basic skills and continuing education for students of diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds. Visit our website, wvc.edu.

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