Lowe’s Donates Tools to Ocean County Vocational Technical School as part of National Tough Tools for Cool Schools Program
Jean Sullivian, May 21, 2009
|OCVTS Instructor Ray Gudzak (second from right) is presented with the Tough Tools for Cool Schools toolkit, displayed on table. Presenting the toolkit are Lowe’s associates, from left to right: Commercial Sales Specialist James Intrella, Sales Manager Steve Darabos and Commercial Sales Specialist Robert McGee.
WARETOWN, NEW JERSEY- Lowe’s and Kobalt Tools in partnership with SkillsUSA are helping the next generation of skilled trade professionals at Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS) through their new Tough Tools for Cool Schools program. Lowe’s donated approximately $600 worth of Kobalt tools to the school as part of the new national program, which will total $300,000 to more than 500 SkillsUSA building trades and renovation programs across the nation for use in their classrooms.
OCVTS Instructor Raymond Gudzak, long-time supporter of SkillsUSA, was selected to receive the tool kit for the local Construction Trades program at Ocean County Vocational Technical School “This is a wonderful example of how industry works to partner with education, for the betterment of the technical program and to help ensure the success of my students,” said Mr. Gudzak. “SkillsUSA has played a part in the development of my students because it provides valuable skills and leadership training. Lowe’s support just reinforces what we are teaching in the classroom and shows the value of education-industry partnerships.”
The national program kicked off in March at Lovejoy High School in Georgia, when the first tools were personally delivered by three-time reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson. He made the visit to the school just prior to the March 8 Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Johnson’s No. 48 Impala SS will also showcase a Tough Tools for Cool Schools paint scheme when he races on April 5 at the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
“Lowe’s is proud to work with Kobalt Tools and SkillsUSA to continue to prepare America’s future skilled work force and help students excel in their chosen career paths,” said Larry D. Stone, Lowe’s president and chairman of Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. “With Kobalt tools in their toolbox, and the education and knowledge from SkillsUSA and their schools, we believe students will be ready to succeed when they enter the work force.”
SkillsUSA Executive Director Timothy Lawrence agreed. “The donation of Kobalt Tools to SkillsUSA’s building trades labs nationwide will help prepare the next generation of workers and leaders for the challenging and competitive construction workforce of the 21st century. The youth who will benefit from this generous donation will build and maintain our homes, schools and commercial structures in the future,” Lawrence said. “Through the Tough Tools for Cool Schools program, SkillsUSA, Lowe’s and our technical training schools are building something together that will truly make a lasting impact.”
ABOUT SKILLSUSA SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization of students, teachers and industry, working together to ensure America has a skilled work force. SkillsUSA helps high school and college students enrolled in career and technical education programs to excel by teaching employability skills in conjunction with their trade, technical and service occupations skills. The association’s annual membership exceeds 300,000 students and instructors in more than 3,700 schools and colleges in every state, three territories and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit: www.skillsusa.org.
ABOUT LOWE’S Lowe’s is a proud supporter of Habitat for Humanity International, American Red Cross, United Way of America, and the Home Safety Council, in addition to numerous nonprofit organizations and programs that help communities across the country. In 2008, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation together contributed more than $25 million to support community and education projects in the United States and Canada. Lowe’s also encourages volunteerism through the Lowe’s Heroes program, a company-wide employee volunteer initiative. Lowe’s is a FORTUNE® 50 company with fiscal year 2008 sales of $48.2 billion and has more than 1,650 stores in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit: Lowes.com/community.
ABOUT OCEAN COUNTY VOCATIONAL TECHNICAL SCHOOL The mission of the Ocean County Vocational Technical School system is to prepare students for job placement or further education leading to successful employment. Founded in 1959, OCVTS now offers over 30 career training programs at six locations throughout Ocean County for high school students as well as adults. OCVTS develops partnerships with affiliated schools, parents, business, industry and community agencies to create and deliver opportunities for students to participate in quality occupational programs and support services.