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ECC secures $20,000 grant for growing Mechatronics Program

Article by: Michael Farrell

BUFFALO—SUNY Erie Community College accepted a $20,000 education grant for its Mechatronics Certificate Program from the California-based Gene Haas Foundation when representatives from both entities gathered within the College’s monthly board meeting at City Campus on Thursday, June 29.

“Mechatronics, robotics and advanced manufacturing are now vital parts of our growing Western New York economy,” said ECC President Jack Quinn. “We need to be able to recruit and train students in these fields, all while promoting the benefits of our one-year certificate program in this concentration. This generous grant from the Gene Haas Foundation will certainly help us do that.” 

The grant—secured as part of education-based funding from Haas—will eventually enable ECC to award nationally recognized FANUC robotics certification to its instructors, as well as assist promotion, training, enrollment, and scholarships within the College’s new Mechatronics career tract. 

The goal of the one-year certificate program is to prepare students for employment as production technicians in manufacturing locations throughout the Buffalo-Niagara region. It is a two-semester program comprising of 32 credit hours of training and development in electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic motors, controls, and actuators; mechanical drives and controls; blueprint and schematic interpretation; robotics; and other competencies necessary for employment in the field of advanced manufacturing. This certificate program also leads to additional pathways for achieving two- and four-year degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and industrial technology. 

The Gene Haas Foundation—in conjunction with Haas Automation, Inc.—formed in 1999 to aid the employment training needs of local communities. As America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools, Haas Automation, Inc. is committed to the proliferation of manufacturing training and education in the U.S., and bridging a skills gap that threatens to leave up to two million American manufacturing jobs unfilled in the coming years. To date, more than 4000 charitable (501 C 3) organizations and schools have received funds totaling over 50 million dollars from the Gene Haas Foundation.

For additional questions about ECC’s Mechatronics Program, visit or contact Project Director James Miller at or (716) 270-4684.

Since 1946, Erie Community College has met the needs of a diverse student body while contributing to the economic vitality of Western New York. As a member of the state’s SUNY system, the three-campus college provides flexible, affordable and accessible educational programs in an accommodating academic environment. Equipped with the knowledge of these programs, ECC’s faculty, staff and students strive to enrich their host communities through skill, service and partnership. For more information, visit or call (716) 851-1ECC.