The SME Education Foundation has grant-funded $50,000 from the Gene Haas Machining Scholarship Fund to the Focus: HOPE Machinist Training Institute (MTI)

DEARBORN, Mich., February 22, 2011 — Success breeds success. And at

Focus: HOPE, the momentum is building for young men and women pursuing careers in the machinist trades. The SME Education Foundation has provided $50,000 from the Gene Haas Machining Technology Scholarship Fund to Focus: HOPE for its Machinist Training Institute (MTI) – repeating last year's investment in a program that provides training and education in machining technology.

"This additional funding of the Haas Machining Technology Scholarship at Focus: HOPE will allow students to attend our newly-updated machinist training program and train for careers in a wide range of industries," said William F. Jones, Jr., CEO, Focus: HOPE. "Employers seek out our students because of our emphasis on the latest machining skills as well as our high standards for developing superior work habits. Many students find the economic challenges in today's economy make it very difficult to enroll without scholarship assistance. Through the generosity of the Haas Foundation, talented men and women can enroll in our program and get on the path to a new career."

Since opening in 1981, the Machinist Training Institute (MTI) has graduated more than 2,500 advanced manufacturing/precision machining students. In the 1980s the program contributed to the diversification in the machinist trades. Many early graduates became the first African Americans or female machinists hired into these firms.

MTI offers state-licensed courses in precision machining and metalworking. Its renovated 59,000-square-foot shop is equipped with close to 100 conventional and computer-controlled machine tools, and three 24-station computer-aided design (CAD) laboratories. Students can earn a machinist certificate and pursue careers as: Automotive technicians, Machine programmers, Tool and die machinists, CNC programmers, Computer machine technicians and Utility and set-up operators.

"There is a perfect synergy between Focus: HOPE, the Gene Haas Machining Scholarship Fund and the SME Education Foundation," says Bart A. Aslin, chief operating officer, SME Education Foundation. "Our rhythm of cooperation serves the community, benefits students and their families, and in the long-term, supports our mutual goal for building a well-educated, technically skilled workforce. It's a win-win situation all around."

Since 1981, Focus: HOPE has helped more than 8,000 individuals establish successful careers through their career preparation programs. In addition to the Machinist Training Institute, their Centers of Opportunity also include the Center for Advanced Technologies (CAT), and the Information Technologies Center (ITC).

The Focus: HOPE Scholarship Committee regularly reviews student applications for financial support. Scholarship awards are based upon a number of factors. Among the items considered are need, academic achievement and a demonstrated commitment to advanced machining which is supported by letters of recommendation from faculty. The SME Education Foundation and others may make additional and/or endowment gifts to the fund. Upon request gifts may remain anonymous.

The Gene Haas Foundation was established in 1999 by Gene Haas, founder and president of Haas Automation, Inc., the largest machine tool manufacturer in the United States. One of the primary goals of the Gene Haas Foundation is to provide financial assistance for students interested in manufacturing-based careers. Scholarship programs are available through career centers, technical schools, community colleges and universities. Visit Focus: HOPE is a nationally recognized civil and human rights organization in Detroit founded in 1968 after the Detroit riots. Throughout the years, Focus: HOPE developed numerous programs in its efforts to overcome racism, poverty and injustice, including career training programs. Through Focus: HOPE, thousands of individuals — especially women and minorities — have become financially independent. Visit The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, supporting and preparing the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists in the advancement of manufacturing education. Created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $31 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations, and individual donors. Visit For information on advanced manufacturing careers visit And, our award-winning website for young people, Kathy Moran, manager, Communications, Focus: HOPE, 313.494.4423,

Note to Editors: M.T.I. jpeg photo available. Questions or comments may be directed to the SME Education Foundation by phone 313.425.3300, or email at