Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Supports SkillsUSA Students as they Demonstrate Career-Ready Skills

Published: February 10, 2021
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Grant Covers Scholarships and General Support

Leesburg, Va. — More than 500 students from across the United States will receive scholarships to attend a national career skills event online thanks to a grant from Harbor Freight Tools for Schools. The $115,000 grant will support SkillsUSA in their general operations and will provide scholarships for students participating in the Connect to My Future and National Leadership and Skills conferences in May and June 2021. The events feature students who have won state competitions in various skills contests and have advanced to the national competition. They will be tested in 106 leadership and hands-on occupational skills. “Our students deserve this opportunity to showcase their skills. Harbor Freight Tools for Schools’ support of America’s future skilled workforce is greatly valued. We could not deliver our mission without this crucial partner support,” said Chelle Travis, executive director of SkillsUSA.  “As a verified talent pipeline and skills gap solution, SkillsUSA graduates 100,000 students each year who complete their technical program and are job-ready day one.’’ This is the third consecutive year that Harbor Freight Tools for schools has provided scholarships for students studying the skilled trades to participate in SkillsUSA’s national conference. The conferences include a large variety of competitions, showcasing skills like carpentry, electrical construction wiring, cybersecurity, automated manufacturing technology, graphic communications, mobile electronics installation, information technology services and medical assisting. The competitions are planned by industry professionals and are set to the standards for entry-level workers. “Every year we are extremely impressed by the passion and hands-on skills demonstrated by students participating in these rigorous competitions, especially during this challenging academic season,’’ said Danny Corwin, executive director of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools. “We are thrilled to support SkillsUSA in their important work in promoting excellent skilled trades education.’’ For more about this year’s virtual National Leadership and Skills Conference and the SkillsUSA Championships, go to: www.skillsusa.org/competitions/skillsusa-championships/.

About SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of education and industry founded in 1965 to strengthen the nation’s skilled workforce. Driven by employer demand, SkillsUSA helps students develop necessary personal and workplace skills along with technical skills grounded in academics. This SkillsUSA Framework empowers every student to succeed at work and in life, while helping to close the skills gap in which millions of positions go unfilled. Through SkillsUSA’s championships program and curricula, employers have ensured schools are teaching relevant technical skills, and with SkillsUSA’s new credentialing process, they can now assess how ready potential employees are for the job. SkillsUSA has more than 372,000 annual members nationwide in high schools, middle schools and colleges, covering over 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, and is recognized by the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor as integral to career and technical education. With the addition of alumni, membership last year was 434,141. SkillsUSA receives in-kind and financial support from more than 650 national partners and has served more than 13.6 million members since 1965. For more information: www.skillsusa.org.

About Harbor Freight Tools for Schools

Harbor Freight Tools for Schools is a program of The Smidt Foundation, established by Harbor Freight Tools Founder Eric Smidt, to support the advancement of skilled trades education in America.  With a deep respect for the dignity of these fields and for the intelligence and creativity of people who work with their hands, this program was created to foster and shine a light on excellence in skilled trades education in public high schools. Believing that access to quality skilled trades education gives high school students pathways to graduation, opportunity, good jobs and a workforce our country needs, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools aims to stimulate greater understanding, support and investment by public entities and others in skilled trades education. Harbor Freight Tools is a major supporter of the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools program. For more information, visit: harborfreighttoolsforschools.org.

SkillsUSA Contacts

Jane Short or Karen Kitzel, SkillsUSA 703-777-8810 jshort@skillsusa.org or kkitzel@skillsusa.org

Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Contact

Lee Condon 424-299-2320 or 323-383-2535 LCondon@hftforschools.org

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Media Contacts

For more information about SkillsUSA, contact:

Jane A. DeShong Short

Senior Manager, Public Relations/Communications

Karen Kitzel

Associate Director, Communications

Helpful Links

SkillsUSA Advocacy Site

The SkillsUSA Advocacy Site is a free service for SkillsUSA members to reach the news media or contact policymakers with your message.

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Mike Rowe for SkillsUSA

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