2010 Champion of the Year
On April 13, I was honored to participate in a special press conference at the corporate headquarters of Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. in Allentown, Pa. Local dignitaries attending included representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, the Lehigh Valley SkillsUSA Industry Council and a select group of Air Products employees. I was honored to introduce two students from the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute, Brittany Kistler, a Small Engines student and Smanatha Cancro, a Culinary Arts student. Brittany and Samantha spoke to the group and talked about the positive difference SkillsUSA had made in their lives. Laurie Gostly- Hackett and Youth Development Foundation member Lynn Scheitrum were key in organizing the event.
At the press conference, I announced that SkillsUSA has chosen John E. McGlade, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Air Products, to be the recipient of the inaugural SkillsUSA CEO Champion of the Year award. The CEO Champion award will be given each year to recognize the leadership of the chief executive of an organization doing exemplary work in the creation and support of America’s highly skilled workforce. The award will also recognize CEOs for their corporation’s involvement in promoting and supporting career and technical education.
Under McGlade’s leadership, Air Products has integrated support for SkillsUSA in a number of ways with employees from around the country serving on technical committees for the SkillsUSA Championships, and on task forces and boards of state and local SkillsUSA chapters in California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Texas. Air Products’ employees are active in judging local, state and national student competitions, and with the SkillsUSA Youth Development Foundation. The company provides financial support for SkillsUSA initiatives such as the Professional Development Program, and is helping SkillsUSA build its national network through support of the Alumni & Friends Association. Yet another form of support from Air Products has been a best practice guidebook developed by employees to help the organization better forge business/education partnerships with career and technical schools around the country.
Two television stations covered the press conference and you can see a sample of the TV coverage of the event here: www.wfmz.com/news/23141916/detail.html
SkillsUSA issued a press release regarding the award and it can be accessed here: www.skillsusa.org/downloads/PDF/newsroom/AirProductsChampionoftheYear.pdf
To see a video of the entire press conference, see below:
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