JCJC & Haas Factory Outlet’s partnership brings potential for big economic & educational bonus to Mississippi

Written By: Teresa McCreery
Email Address: teresa.mccreery@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2017-11-18 19:59:10

ELLISVILLE – The future of manufacturing and machining in Mississippi has virtually changed with the cutting of a ribbon to officially announce the partnership between Jones County Junior College’s Precision Machining and Manufacturing program and Hass Factory Outlet (HFO), which is one of North America’s largest designers and manufacturers of CNC machine tools and a machine tool distributor.  While the two-year college located in Ellisville, Mississippi, will greatly benefit as the home of the new Mississippi Haas Factory Outlet Showroom, students will be prime candidates for jobs as businesses see them using the newest Haas CNC machines and equipment.
“Great things are happening in Jones County because of partnerships like this. If you don’t think we can build it you need to come see this place,” said JCJC President, Dr. Jesse Smith. “We (JCJC) want to be a benefit to our community and certainly to corporations that are willing to come in and invest in Jones and in this part of the country.”
Preparing for Mississippi’s only HFO Showroom meant remodeling the current machine lab at JCJC.  Haas Factory Outlet Service Manager, Clayton Phillips and JCJC Precision Manufacturing and Machining instructor Chase Elmore spent the summer cleaning, painting, rewiring and moving old machines. Over three weeks last summer, HFO invested more than $50,000 in remodeling the 6,500 square-foot machining lab and then installed an air compressor to run three Haas consigned machines, with an estimated value of $300,000, including a DT-1 drill/tap center, ST-30Y CNC Lathe with bar-feeder, and a VF-3-YT/50 taper vertical machining center.
“We’ll always make sure we have the machines with the latest, high-end, cutting-edge technology because this is a showroom for us,” said Haas Factory Outlet General Manager, Patrick Kane. He added, “We’re going to bring customers in and show them the machines and at the same time they’re going to evaluate some students.  It’s a win-win for us all.”
Additionally, Haas has committed to providing free technical support from certified Haas technicians and JCJC is now part of the HTEC or Haas Technical Education Center. This network of industry leaders and educators was formed to allow for interacting and sharing information about the industry’s current and future needs.
“We want to help promote the program. The more students we put out here and the more students we put to work in Mississippi, the more products your companies can put out and the more products your customers can take home. We’re really here to bridge that gap between education and industry,” said Haas Factory Outlet-Morris Group Director of Education, Toni Neary.
This partnership has the potential to literally change the face of manufacturing and machining in Mississippi and Louisiana as HFO has already begun plans to expand its presence in the region. Combining Elmore’s vision for the machining program at JCJC with Haas’ commitment to education and the possibilities are endless for students and industry.
“I want to put JCJC on the map as the leading producer of machining students. I want to make it to where Jones is known for this program and that’s my goal. I’m going to keep working until I get there,” said Elmore.   
That’s great news for JCJC alumnus and advisory committee member for Elmore’s program, Tony Guinn. As the Production Supervisor for JPM of Mississippi, Guinn is anxious to see growth.
“We can add machines but it’s hard to find people to come to work. High school students don’t know about machining. People don’t understand there is a high demand for people to fill all these jobs in machining and in industrial related jobs but there is nobody to fill them,” said Guinn.
Haas is optimistic their area customers like, Praxair (formerly GE Aviation), Laurel Machine and Foundry and JPM of Mississippi in Hattiesburg will greatly benefit from this partnership as Haas helps JCJC train students to become “work-ready” as CNC machinists, programmers, and engineers for the current and future employers. Elmore explained employers save time and money if their employees come to work trained.
“Students have their hands on the newest equipment that a lot of these companies use and JCJC graduates will have NIMS or National Institute for Metalworking Skills certifications or national industry standards, proving their abilities,” said Elmore. “(Because of this partnership), we’ll have a larger number of students and more importantly we’re going to be able to put more students out in industry.  My goal is to have companies knocking the door down.”
Because of Haas’ commitment to providing educational opportunities, the economic outlook looks very bright for both students and industry.  For students, the Haas Factory Outlet Showroom is providing the best machines to hone their machining skills and for industry employees, Haas will host free control classes to their customer base. Graduates of JCJC’s machining program also have the potential to benefit financially with wages ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 based on skill level and experience.
For more information about the JCJC Precision Manufacturing and Machining program contact Chase Elmore at 601-477-4201 or chase.elmore@jcjc.edu or on social media at Facebook JCJC precision manufacturing and machining or Instagram, Instagram JCJC Precision Machine Shop.


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