Gene Haas Foundation presents $500,000 donation to TCTC Foundation in support of CNC program

February 29, 2024

The Gene Haas Foundation presented a $500,000 donation to Tri-County Technical College’s (TCTC) Foundation to support and enhance the College’s Computer Numerical Controls (CNC) Programming and Operations program and its CNC Advanced Manufacturing Lab at the Industrial Technology Center (ITC).

The CNC lab is now named the Gene Haas Advanced Manufacturing Lab.

The Haas Foundation was established in 1999 by Gene Haas, founder and owner of Haas Automation, Inc., to support the needs of the local community through grants. Seeing a growing need for skilled manufacturing employees industry-wide, the Haas Foundation expanded its mission to include support for manufacturing training programs throughout North America and beyond.

The Haas Foundation is a longtime supporter of TCTC’s manufacturing programs, and this is the company’s most generous gift to date. Since 2015, they have donated $465,000 in support of CNC student scholarships and certifications, bringing their giving total to nearly $1 million.

In recognition of their generosity, the TCTC Foundation presented the Haas Foundation with the 2024 Philanthropist of the Year award. This award is presented annually to an individual, foundation, company, trust, organization, or other entity that has made significant financial contributions to the College.

Currently, there are 53 students enrolled in day and evening classes at the ITC.

TCTC’s CNC Programming and Operations program prepares individuals for entry-level to advanced machining and prototyping jobs, said Paul Phelps, dean of TCTC’s Engineering and Industrial Technology Division. “Graduates are needed by every manufacturer you can name in the tri-county area, ranging from a small shop to a major manufacturer. Machining is crucial to all manufacturing processes, from maintenance to product development to manufacturing in general. For every plastic part made, a mold must be made by a CNC machine and a machinist at the controls. You’ll find everything from your cell phone case to silverware on your table was touched by a machinist,” said Phelps.

TCTC’s CNC Programming and Operations associate degree was designed with employer guidance to prepare students for positions as highly skilled technicians. Students learn not only how to write CNC programs but also how to use CAD/CAM design and analysis applications, create precision set-ups, select tooling, and operate a variety of CNC milling and turning centers. Graduates are highly sought-after candidates for local manufacturing companies and precision machine shops.

“Machining is always advancing. We strive to teach students the fundamentals and then build from there. Students should have the confidence to go to any shop and begin working, and continue to learn for the rest of their career,” said Daniel Harbin, program director for CNC Programming and Operations at TCTC.


About Tri-County Technical College

Tri-County Technical College, a public two-year community and technical college serving Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties in South Carolina, enrolls more than 9,000 students annually and offers more than 70 major fields of study, including computer technology, business administration, mechatronics, nursing, and university transfer programs. Tri-County boasts the highest student success rate among two-year colleges in the state and ranks in the top one percent nationally for successful student transfers to four-year colleges and universities. To learn more, visit