Wednesday, September 18, 2019
This past July, for the 10th year in a row, Haas Automation and NIMS (the manufacturing industry’s standards and certification body) hosted the three CNC machining contests at the SkillsUSA Championships in Louisville, KY. This year, 144 State Gold Medal winners competed in these contests, representing 83 high schools and 61 colleges across 43 states.
The good news is that we’re seeing a steady increase in participation each year. This year, more than 6500 top-notch CTE students – all state contest winners – competed hands-on in various contests for trade, technical, and leadership fields. In order to qualify for the Championships, students first had to compete in State and Regional competitions. Participants who excelled at the Regional and State levels were able to compete at the National level.
For the National competition, Haas Automation supplied 60 Haas CNC Simulators, along with a Haas CNC machining center and a Haas CNC turning center. Sandvik, another primary sponsor of the event, supplied the necessary cutting tools to machine the parts generated in the competition. The machining contests are designed to evaluate each contestants’ preparation for employment in either CNC Milling, CNC Turning, or both CNC Milling and CNC Turning. They assess the students’ ability to write CNC programs, interpret prints (including GDT), and measure/gage parts. Participants must also demonstrate theoretical knowledge of CNC machine configuration, setup, and operations. In addition, all SkillsUSA competitions recognize outstanding students for excellence and professionalism.
Haas Automation – in partnership with the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) – also hosted a booth at the TECHSPO trade show located adjacent to the Manufacturing Sector contest area.
As an incentive to attract students to the CNC competitions, the Gene Haas Foundation provides $250,000 in scholarships to the gold, silver, and bronze-level winners in each CNC contest, representing some of the nation’s top young talent in precision machining and metalworking from high schools and community colleges.
SkillsUSA is a partnership of career and technical education (CTE) students and teachers working together with industry to continuously build and grow America’s skilled workforce. Each year, more than 15,000 of the nation’s top CTE leaders come together at the National Leadership and Skills Conference. The SkillsUSA Championships are part of the weeklong event.
If you are interested in learning more, contact the Skills State Director (in your state) for the latest state competition information, and details on how to get started in a competition today.