Winners announced for National SkillsUSA Championships |

Winners announced for National SkillsUSA Championships

August 28, 2012 — Many question whether the technical arts, which have traditionally served as the backbone of our Nation’s workforce, remain a relevant and viable career option. At the National SkillsUSA Championships, a competition that engages more than 275,000 students in occupational, technical, skilled and service-related training programs at the high school and college level, the answer is clear: Not only are they a career option, they are attracting young people who possess incredible drive, talent and innovative thinking.
The Gene Haas Foundation recognizes that these same young people are integral to the success of U.S. manufacturing. For the SkillsUSA machining champions, that recognition comes in the form of monetary support; support that is needed to continue to advance the skills they will need to become the next generation of skilled innovators.
Peter Zierhut, representative, Gene Haas Foundation says, “There’s no denying the fact that we have a serious skills-gap issue in the current workforce, and certainly the pipeline is a concern as well. Yet, when I see the talent displayed by the young people who come from across the country to compete, it gives me hope for the future – a future that we are committed to supporting.”
The 2012 SkillsUSA Machining Championship Award program is administered by the SME Education Foundation. Winning medalists receive a designated amount each year to support continued learning by submitting their application and award certificate to the SME Education Foundation. The Foundation will then send designated award funding directly to the medalists’ respective schools.
“This award program is specifically aligned with the SME Education Foundation’s mission to support young people as they pursue continued education and training. Its recipients are the people who will directly contribute to the future success of U.S. manufacturing – and our nation,” said Bart A. Aslin, CEO of SME Education Foundation. “They deserve to be acknowledged, supported and celebrated just as much as their university-bound counterparts. We are grateful that the Gene Haas Foundation not only understands the urgent need to develop a highly-skilled workforce, they are willing to be part of the solution.”
The Gene Haas SkillsUSA Machining Championship Award certificates were presented at the June 27th Awards Ceremony to 18 national medal winners in the following amounts: Gold: $2,000, Silver: $1,500.; and Bronze: $1,000. 
The recipients are:
Jeremy J. LeBlanc -Templeton, Massachusetts (Monty Tech)        
Jacob Hudson- Ansonia, Connecticut (Housatonic Community College)           
Trey Smith- Lima, Ohio (University of Toledo)       
Walter H. Eads, III- Vinemont, Alabama (Wallace State Community College)
Matthew Warnecke- Belleville, Illinois (Ranken Technical College)
Sean Johnson- Tulalip, Washington (Renton Technical College)
Jared R. Mattingly- Hudson, Kentucky (Breckinridge County High School)
James T. Tubbs- Hollywood, Alabama (Northeast Alabama Community College)
Nicholas Parente-Fall River, Massachusetts (Diman Regional Vocational Tech High School)
Donovan Shaw- Kennewick, Washington (Columbia Basin College)
Matt R. Knops- Superior, Wisconsin (Lake Superior College)
Justin Paulson- Wahpeton, North Dakota (North Dakota State College of Science)
Austin Schneider- Sedgwick, Kansas (Newton High School)
Matt Gillett-Port Huron, Michigan (St. Clair Technical Education Center)
Brandon M. Burnworth- Huntington, Indiana (Vincennes University)
Mark Lowrey-Vinemont, Alabama (Wallace State Community College)
Ethan R. Lee- Sturgeon, Missouri (Graduated and entered the Navy, July 2012)       
Joel Sturtevant- Pueblo, Colorado (Pueblo Community College)
About SkillsUSA:
SkillsUSA is a national partnership of students, teachers and industry, working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA chapters help students preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations to excel. SkillsUSA has more than 307,000 members in 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia. SkillsUSA is an applied method of instruction and it provides quality education experiences for students. Its national SkillsUSA Championships is an industry-driven competition to improve education. Over 1,100 corporations, trade associations, businesses, and unions are partners at the national level.

About The Gene Haas Foundation:
The Gene Haas Foundation, Oxnard, California, was created in 1999 by Gene Haas, founder and president of Haas Automation, Inc. (HaasCNC), the largest machine tool manufacturer in the United States. Created to help fund community humanitarian causes, it has provided more than $10 million to more than 900 non-profit and charitable community causes. One of its primary goals is providing financial assistance for students interested in manufacturing-based careers. Scholarship programs are available through career centers, technical schools, community colleges and universities.

About the SME Education Foundation:

The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, supporting and preparing the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists for the advancement of manufacturing education. Created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $31 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations, and individual donors.

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