Continuing their 16-year relationship to provide opportunity and support for budding students interested in such technological careers as automotive technician, Snap-on Tools Co. L.L.C. and SkillsUSA recently held the 2005 SkillsUSA national technology competition in Kansas City.
The championships, held June 19 to 24, showcased the finest career and technical students in the nation, SkillsUSA and Snap-on said, and were the culmination of local and state competitions. This year's conference gathered more than 4,650 contestants in 80 separate hands-on skill and leadership categories in an area greater than 11 football fields.
Winners were honored on the final day of competition during an Olympic-style ceremony. Snap-on co-sponsored eight competition categories and, as part of that sponsorship, presented each winner with a professional starter tool set customized to each winner's chosen career field.
Technology categories included automotive service; aviation maintenance; collision repair; diesel equipment; marine service; mechatronics; motorcycle service; and power equipment.
``All the students at this year's event have great futures ahead of them,'' said Chris Pfaus, vice president of product management and marketing for Snap-on, a subsidiary of Kenosha-based Snap-on Inc. It is a $2 billion-plus, S&P 500 company that develops, manufactures and markets tools and equipment.
``Our partnership with SkillsUSA brings together three essential tools of success in any career-competition, education and experience,'' he continued. ``Snap-on is honored to be associated with such an important organization and event.''
SkillsUSA is a partnership of high school and college students, teachers and industry representatives who work together to ensure the country has a skilled workforce, while helping each student to excel. The national organization prepares students for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations, including health care. It has a membership of more than 280,000 and is organized into more than 14,700 sections and 54 state and territorial associations.
The organization formerly was known as VICA (the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America). Supporters include more than 1,000 business, industry and labor sponsors that participate in SkillsUSA through financial aid, in-kind contributions and involvement of their people in the group's activities.
Mr. Pfaus said the students supported by his company and SkillsUSA ``are learning more than a career. They also increase their self-confidence, work attitude and communication skills. It's these lessons that help promote life-long learning and superior achievement.''