The Gene Haas Foundation has made a $400,000 naming rights gift in support of the Advanced Manufacturing programs at Southern Union State Community College. 

The perpetual naming rights award will fund recruitment and marketing activities as well as technology and equipment for the advanced manufacturing programs.  A ceremony to commemorate the naming will be held on Jan.  25 at 11:30 a.m. in the Center for Integrated Manufacturing on Southern Union’s Opelika Campus.

In 2014, the Gene Haas Foundation established a new partnership with dynamic Computer Numerical Control (CNC) training programs around the world to provide the opportunity for qualifying schools to become Gene Haas Centers. Candidate schools are chosen based on a variety of factors including leadership within the technical education community, providing the maximum opportunities to many students and companies in their region and beyond.  Southern Union is honored to be one of only 15 Advanced Manufacturing training programs to be recognized worldwide in 2021 by the Gene Haas Foundation.

The laboratory space will be known as the Gene Haas Advanced Machining Lab and will feature several pieces of Haas equipment to prepare students for high-paying manufacturing jobs. This state-of-the art facility promotes manufacturing occupations and enhancing workforce manufacturing skills to benefit the entire East Central Alabama region.

The Advanced Manufacturing program prepares students for careers in precision manufacturing skills in areas such as maintenance, plastics, welding and electronics, among others. Courses are designed with input from their respective industries and taught by experts, so that students learn the most current techniques using the most modern technology.

Kathy Looman, director of education for the Gene Haas Foundation, Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller and Southern Union President Todd Shackett will offer remarks at the ceremony. Tours of the facility will be offered and speakers will be available for interviews at the conclusion of the formal program.