Seventeen High Schools Win Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Start-Up Grants for SkillsUSA Chapters

Seventeen High Schools Win Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Start-Up Grants for SkillsUSA Chapters

Leesburg, Va. — Seventeen high schools from across the country will each receive grants of up to $2,500 from Harbor Freight Tools for Schools to strengthen their local SkillsUSA chapters. The grants, totaling $40,000, will support students learning construction trades, transportation and manufacturing.

Designed to strengthen chapters established within the past three years, the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools grants will allow the 17 chapters to grow their programs and support more than 200 students as they develop their skills and explore career and college options. While the activities will vary by chapter, grants will cover uniforms and travel to competitions, career fairs and local industry workplaces.

Chapters applying for grants were evaluated on their ideas for how to enhance their SkillsUSA program, including building new community partnerships, achieving sustainability, and reaching more students. Schools with a student population of at least 75 percent who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches were encouraged to apply. Of the 17 winners, seven met this threshold, and all but three serve student populations that are at least one-third low-income. Grants were awarded based on each chapter’s submitted budget request.

The 17 SkillsUSA chapters of the following schools will receive grants:

  • Advanced Technology Academy, Dearborn, Mich.
  • Baldwyn Career Advancement Center, Baldwyn, Miss.
  • Ben Franklin Career and Technical Center, Dunbar, W.Va.
  • Cherry Creek Innovation Campus, Centennial, Colo.
  • Clark High School, Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Cross High School, Cross, S.C.
  • Floyd County High School, Floyd, Va.
  • Forbush High School, East Bend, N.C.
  • High School for Energy and Technology, New York City
  • Hopkins County Career and Technology Center, Madisonville, Ky.
  • Lake Region Vocational Center, Naples, Maine
  • Lincoln High School, Lincoln, Ala.
  • Norwell High School, Ossian, Ind.
  • Redmond High School, Redmond, Ore.
  • Unity High School, Balsam Lake, Wisc.
  • Webster High School, Webster, Wisc.
  • Wisdom High School, Houston, Texas

The grant is part of Harbor Freight Tools for School’s ongoing commitment to SkillsUSA, building on funding last year of $115,000, which provided funds for 12 chapters and travel scholarships for 37 students to attend SkillsUSA’s National Leadership and Skills Conference.

“We are thrilled to grow our partnership with Harbor Freight Tools for Schools and support chapters across the country in the crucial early years,” said SkillsUSA Executive Director Chelle Travis. “Opportunities like this help us bring high-quality skilled trades education to more schools and more students.”

“We believe skilled trades education provides students the chance to pursue fulfilling and good paying jobs that our country needs,” said Danny Corwin, executive director of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools. “SkillsUSA gives students interested in the trades a sense of belonging, a place to develop their talents and the opportunity to turn them into a lifelong passion.”

About SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of education and industry to strengthen our 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 long 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 365,000 annual members nationwide in high schools, colleges and middle schools, 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. 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 advance excellent skilled trades education in public high schools across America. With a deep respect for the dignity of these fields and for the intelligence and creativity of people who work with their hands, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools aims to drive a greater understanding of and investment in skilled trades education, 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 is a major supporter of the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools program. For more information, visit us at harborfreighttoolsforschools.org and on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.


Swati Pandey
Harbor Freight Tools for Schools

Jane Short or Karen Kitzel
jshort@skillsusa.org or kkitzel@skillsusa.org