Government, industry and education officials joined Central Maine Community College (CMCC) students and employees at a recent dedication ceremony for the official opening of the Gene Haas Precision Machining Technology Center at the college in Auburn, ME. CMCC began its relationship with Haas and its local Haas Factory Outlet five years ago. At that point, the college had just started expanding its CNC program. Over the last five years, CMCC has acquired 16 Haas CNC machine tools, bringing its total of CNC machines to 30, along with 40 manual machines. “The Precision Machining Program is over 40 years old and is the largest program, with the greatest investment in technology,” said Dr. Scott Knapp, President of CMCC. “It is also considered the keystone of our reputation in the community and throughout the state of Maine.” The college began work on the Gene Haas Precision Machining Technology Center expansion in the spring of 2017. The first phase involved an interior renovation of more than 5,000 sq. ft., including the relocation of the quality control room, offices, computer class and locker room to update and improve overall functionality. Phase two was the construction of a 3,600 sq. ft. Addition to the machine lab to accommodate equipment acquisitions, improvements to existing electrical power distribution, lighting systems and the mechanical ventilation system. State-of-the-art CNC machines available to students attending CMCC include a Haas UMC 750 5-axis universal machining center and a VM-2 Moldmaking VMC. Turning centers on the floor of the lab include several Y-axis Haas CNC lathes, as well as several standard 2-axis lathes and CNC tool-room lathes. “You cannot put students on old Equipment,” Knapp said. “The machinery that we have in the program is stateof- the-art, and that is really important when we are working with our local employers. One of the things that our local Haas Factory Outlet (Trident Machine Tools) has helped us with is staying current on that equipment, and in making sure that we are at least where our business and industry is. There are a number of areas that we are actually ahead of our employers in being able to teach students on the latest equipment.” The Gene Haas Foundation awarded the college a grant of $1 million toward the expansion of the Precision Machining Center. In addition, the college secured a grant of $1.6 million from the U. S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). Officials from the EDA have noted that not only do many companies use the machining lab at CMCC for employee training and access to specialized equipment, but that the expansion is a timely one, given that area employers expect to need an additional 900 precision machinists in the next five years. The college also received a grant of $250,000 from the Northern Border Regional Commission as part of $2 million in funding it has provided to upgrade infrastructure and provide job-training skills across the state. For more information contact: Haas Factory Outlet, a Div. of Trident Machine Tools 651 Day Hill Road Windsor, CT 06095 860-687-2466 www.hfotrident.com
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