Danville Community College (IALR) and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) have received a combined total of $60,000 in scholarship awards from the Gene Haas Foundation, which is dedicated to building skills in the machining industry. The funding will be available for eligible students enrolled in related machining programs during the spring and fall of 2019.

“DCC’s continued partnership with the Gene Haas Foundation is making it possible for more students to have access to high paying, in-demand careers in Southern Virginia and beyond. DCC and IALR play a vital role in developing a strong, competent workforce in our region and DCC’s precision machining program is one of the best in the industry,” said DCC President Bruce Scism.

The DCC Education Foundation’s award of $40,000 from the Haas Foundation will fund scholarships for DCC’s Precision Machining Technology (PMT) program. This two-year diploma program equips students to enter occupations such as machine tool operators, CNC (computer numerical control) machinists, mold makers, tool and die makers, manual machinists and quality technicians.

“As we execute our mission to serve as a regional catalyst for economic transformation, partners like the Gene Haas Foundation are vital to the process,” said Mark Gignac, Executive Director of IALR. “We deeply value their contribution to help connect our community with the necessary education to pursue well-paying, high-demand career paths in advanced manufacturing.”

IALR’s award of $20,000 from the Haas Foundation will primarily fund scholarships for the Capstone Integrated Machining Technology program. DCC provides the curriculum, and IALR houses the program in the Charles Hawkins building on its campus. As a third-year component to the DCC PMT program, the Capstone program offers the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree, career studies certificate and up to eight industry-recognized credentials. After graduation, students typically seek employment as machining specialists, engineering technicians, dimensional metrology inspectors and CNC programmers.

“DCC’s and IALR’s partnership with the Gene Haas Foundation is longstanding and has helped us achieve national recognition of our advanced manufacturing education model,” said Troy Simpson, Director of Advanced Manufacturing at IALR. “We are truly grateful for the Haas Foundation’s award and look forward to working alongside them and DCC to continue to grow and elevate our curriculum, which has been lauded as a benchmark model by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and others.”

Students interested in applying for the scholarships should contact the DCC Education Foundation Office at (434) 797-8495. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application and a DCC scholarship application must be completed. Scholarships are awarded based on financial need as well as academic merit.

In 1999, Gene Haas founded the Gene Haas Foundation. Growing up with a strong social conscience instilled by his family, Haas initially formed the foundation to fund the needs of the local community. Haas is the owner of Haas Automation, Inc., America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools, which he started in 1983. Haas Automation is now a billion dollar company and its Foundation is dedicated to filling the skills gap for advanced manufacturing workforce needs. For more information, visit


Photo: Jay Garber of Haas Factory Outlet (right), a division of Phillips Corporation, presented Danville Community College (DCC) and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) scholarship awards from the Gene Haas Foundation for machining-related programs of study. Troy Simpson (left) accepted on behalf of Mark Gignac, Executive Director of IALR.

Photo: Dr. Debra Holley accepted the check on behalf of Dr. Bruce Scism, President of DCC.