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Manufacturing center gets $2M and new name

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Greenville Technical College today announced the official opening of the Gene Haas Center for Manufacturing Innovation and a $2 million gift from the Gene Haas Foundation for scholarships and equipment.

Speaking at the event were Keith Miller, president of Greenville Technical College, Pete Selleck, chairman and president of Michelin North America, Randy Collins, executive director of academic initiatives in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences at Clemson University, and Peter Zierhut, vice president of Haas Automation.

From left, Les Gardner, director of development for the Greenville Tech Foundation; Kathy Looman, Gene Haas Foundation administrator; Keith Miller, president, Greenville Tech, and Peter Zierhut, vice president, Haas Automation. (Photo by Teresa Cutlip)

“Using traditional methods to increase the pipeline of qualified workers for advanced manufacturing just won’t work,” Miller said in a Greenville Tech news release. “In Greenville County, we are taking a new approach with the Center for Manufacturing Innovation, breaking traditions and innovating to close the skills gap. I am grateful to see this strong and concerted effort by educators, employers, government and other leaders. I know that the Upstate and South Carolina will benefit.”

According to the release, the number one goal for the center is to increase the number of skilled workers for manufacturing in order to close the skills gap that has hampered the progress of many Upstate employers.

In addition to the monetary support from the Gene Haas Foundation, earlier this year the center received a $1 million gift from Dollie and Melvin Younts to create two entrances to the facility, expected to be complete in November. GE Power donated $500,000 to create a bridge to learning, coming later this fall to the main entrance of the center.

Additional donors include 3M Greenville, Bank of America, Bosch Rexroth and the Bosch Community Fund, Duke Energy Foundation, The Graham Foundation, Hubbell Lighting, John I. Smith Charities, Jennie Johnson, Master Gage & Tool, Meyer Tool, Michelin, Piedmont Natural Gas, ProfilGate, Cliff Rosen, ScanSource, Dick Stofan, T&S Brass & Bronze, and Wells Fargo.

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