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Air Products Applauds President Obama’s Expansion of the “Skills for America’s Future Program”

Joe Pietrantonio, SkillsUSA board member and vice president, Global Operations for Air Products and I were front and center for an announcement by President Obama on June 8 at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, Va. of the expansion of the “Skills for America’s Future Program.”

Obama Announces Skills for America's Future Program

The partnership between Air Products and SkillsUSA is specifically referenced in the White House Press Release among six public-private partnerships to bolster the nation’s manufacturing workforce. Thanks to YDF member and former assistant secretary of labor, Emily DeRocco of the Manufacturing Institute, for her help in making the event a reality.

Tim Lawrence said he particularly appreciated the president’s statement that in America we have an “honorable tradition of folks working with their hands, creating value. That’s part of what built the American dream.” It’s also what builds the middle class. The president also spoke of a student who told him that the automotive training program he’d taken in community college was “the spark I needed to get my career started” and the president said we need to do much more to “light those sparks.” Along similar lines, the president said it was important for high school students to see the relevance of what they’re learning to their future careers.

President Obama commended SkillsUSA and the work it’s doing when he spoke with Tim after the speech.

President Obama shaking hands with the crowd

The speech by President Obama is available at

The White House announcement is available at

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