Helena College to be first institution in state to offer Haas-certified credentials

Posted at 5:06 PM, Feb 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-17 10:50:49-05

HELENA — A new Haas certification test at Helena College will allow employees, small business owners, and hobbyists from throughout the state the opportunity to increase their knowledge and credentials here in the Queen City of the Rockies.

“Well, there’s a lot of manufacturing in Montana, a lot of small business manufacturing, and Haas is the most prominent machine tool in the state. So, a lot of companies looking to hire people to work in their shops, it’ll benefit all these people,” says CNC machining instructor at Helena College, Paul Nicholson.

CNC (Computerized Numerical Control) machines help make the world as we know it go around. They create everything from aerospace to fishing rod parts. They take pieces of metal and through computerized programming create specific pieces that the user inputs.

Helena College’s two-year CNC machining program works to give students the hands-on experience they need in order to take these skills out into a multitude of possible career paths. Many of the computerized machines that exist in the state are from HAAS Automation Inc. And now, separate from the two-year program, and made available through Haas, Helena College will be the only institution in the state to offer Haas-certified credentials.

“Industry and manufacturing is pretty hard up for people that can actually run this equipment. So, it'll be very helpful to the industry,” says Nicholson.

Helena’s central location allows business owners and employees to gain more knowledge and credentials to benefit the industry and the state’s economy.

“These companies can send their people to get them familiarized with these machines so that they can operate them safely. So, it's a lot less involved, but it's still a super important resource for the communities,” says the Haas representative for Montana, Danny Farr.