ABINGDON, Va. — A $15,000 grant will go directly to the 24 students enrolled in the precision machining program at Virginia Highlands Community College in Abingdon, according to a news release.

Each student will receive a $500 stipend. The grant is from the Gene Haas Foundation, which is based in Oxnard, California. It was founded in 1999 and provides grants to training facilities for machinists and scholarships for students studying to become machinists, the release states.

“The Haas Foundation has supported VHCC’s machining students for several years through grants and consultation,” Johnnie Keene, an assistant professor of machine technology at the college, said in the release. “We use Haas machines in our shop to make sure students become expert machinists who are familiar with some of the best equipment in the industry.”

VHCC’s precision machining program can be completed in two semesters. Students learn blueprint reading, manual machining skills and basic CNC processes. An optional third semester provides advanced training in CNC machining techniques. Plans are in the works for an associate of CNC machine operations degree program to begin in the fall of 2020.

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