FIRST and The Gene Haas Foundation Cooperate to Make Manufacturing Education and Hands-On STEM Skill-Building Opportunities More Widely Accessible to Young People

The Gene Haas Foundation Expands its 8-Year Support of the Global Nonprofit, and Haas Automation, Inc., Revs Up to Further the FIRST Mission


MANCHESTER, N.H., March 30, 2022 — FIRST®, a robotics community that prepares young people for the future, today announced The Gene Haas Foundation as a FIRST Strategic Partner. The Gene Haas Foundation was established in 1999, by Gene Haas, founder and owner of Haas Automation, Inc., to support manufacturing education and the community through grants, manufacturing, and training programs. Haas Automation is the largest machine tool builder in the western world, and all its products are manufactured in its Oxnard, California facility, which is the largest, most modern machine tool manufacturing operation in the United States.

“Manufacturing is an exciting and dynamic industry – and it is important to us that our industry continues to grow and prosper,” said Haas, founder and sole owner of Haas Automation. “Haas has been committed to ensuring resources and hands-on training are accessible for students pursuing careers in manufacturing since the early ’90s. There are more than 5,500 schools around the world utilizing Haas equipment for hands-on training, lessening the barrier to entry in the industry. Choosing a career that enables you to do something you are passionate about can change the trajectory of your life. We are excited to be changing lives by partnering with FIRST.”

The Gene Haas Foundation joins more than 20 other organizations (including one federal agency) that have achieved the top-tier recognition for sponsorship of FIRST through their generous and impactful support. Together, these strategic partners provide significant funding, mentorship, volunteerism, equipment, and more to enhance the reach and overall impact of FIRST.

“We are proud to announce The Gene Haas Foundation as a FIRST Strategic Partner,” said Chris Moore, CEO, FIRST. “Haas Automation is an industry leader that understands the critical need for skilled workers in the sprawling and quickly evolving landscape of manufacturing. Over the last 8 years, The Gene Haas Foundation has provided millions of dollars to support FIRST teams and events throughout North America. We’re looking forward to working with Haas Automation and The Gene Haas Foundation to make real-world STEM learning experiences accessible to even more young people, supporting a diverse workforce talent pipeline.”

In addition to the expanded support of The Gene Haas Foundation, Haas Automation has independently committed to support FIRST through its worldwide network of more than 170 localized Haas Factory Outlet distributors.

For more information about FIRST programs and sponsorship opportunities, please contact

About FIRST®

FIRST® is a robotics community that prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18 (PreK-12) that can be facilitated in school or in structured afterschool programs. Boosted by a global support system of volunteers, educators, and sponsors that include over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies, teams operate under a signature set of FIRST Core Values to conduct research, fundraise, design, build, and showcase their achievements during annual challenges. An international not-for-profit organization founded by accomplished inventor Dean Kamen in 1989, FIRST has a proven impact on STEM learning, interest, and skill-building well beyond high school. Alumni of FIRST programs gain access to exclusive scholarships, internships, and other opportunities that create connections and open pathways to a wide variety of careers. Learn more at

Haas Automation, Inc. – America’s leading machine tool builder – manufactures a full line of CNC vertical machining centers, CNC horizontal machining centers, CNC lathes, 5-axis machining centers, and rotary products, as well as a wide selection of fully integrated automation solutions, including automatic parts loaders, pallet-pool systems, and 6-axis robot systems. All Haas products are built in the company’s 1.1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Southern California, and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets (HFOs) that provide the industry’s best sales, service, and support. Haas’ commitment to education is unsurpassed in the industry, with equipment in more than 5,500 schools world-wide.

The Gene 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 to local charities. Seeing a growing need for skilled manufacturing employees worldwide, the Foundation expanded its mission. By providing scholarship grants, sponsoring individual and team CNC competitions, and partnering with the very best CNC training programs in the world, the Foundation helps expand the availability of high-quality manufacturing technology training worldwide. The Gene Haas Foundation donates millions of dollars every year to manufacturing education and the community. In 2021, the Gene Haas Foundation provided more than $22 million in grants, bringing the total since inception to more than to $125 million.