LEESBURG, Va. — Nicholas T. Pinchuk, chairman and CEO of tool maker Snap-on Inc., was honored Sept. 19 as the SkillsUSA Champion of the Year before an audience of more than 300 corporate executives, national education leaders and career and technical education students and teachers, during a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
“We hold with the dignity of work,” Mr. Pinchuk said in his acceptance remarks. “Society advances through the hands, minds and hearts of its workers. The success of America depends both on the brilliance of the few, and on the efforts of the many.”
Mr. Pinchuk added that, “despite the unemployment rate, thousands of good jobs go unfilled because of a shortage in technical capabilities. Through its training programs with secondary and post-secondary students, SkillsUSA helps fill that gap. We, as a nation, need to make skilled workforce training a national priority, and to make skilled careers a national calling.”
He concluded his remarks by recognizing the students in the audience, calling them “America's future, the young men and women of SkillsUSA.”
The SkillsUSA program—a career and technical education student organization—helps students “discover and grow their career passions.” It is a nationwide partnership of students, instructors and industry working together to ensure the country has a skilled workforce. The organization said it annually serves more than 320,000 high school, college and postsecondary students—and their instructors—in technical, skilled and service occupation instructional programs.
“We in career and technical education, government and industry need to work together to build a highly enabled and motivated workforce,” said Tim Lawrence, executive director of SkillsUSA. “This organization works at the national level with 1,100 corporations, trade associations, businesses and unions. Since 1977, Snap-on has been a corporate partner that keeps students and their instructional programs up-to-date so they can meet and exceed employer expectations. There is no better partner.”
Others honoring Mr. Pinchuk and his accomplishments included Bryan Albrecht, president, Gateway Technical College, who said the CEO “is increasingly called upon to shape the agenda of American workforce development.”
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker declared Sept. 18 “Nick Pinchuk Day.” Snap-on is based in Kenosha, Wis.
SkillsUSA said Mr. Pinchuk is a “strong long-time advocate for career and technical education and has provided leadership in the development of new initiatives to link industry and education.” In addition to his work with the organization, he serves on the advisory board for Skills for America's Future, an industry-led initiative that promotes partnerships with community colleges to enhance workforce development strategies and to improve job placement.
In 2011, the Career and Technical Education Foundation named Mr. Pinchuk its National Business Leader of the Year, recognizing his role in the formation of the nation's technical education agenda.