Harbor Freight announced it will once again award $1 million in prizes with its 2019 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence. Applications are now open for the 2019 prize.
High school skilled trades teachers are encouraged to apply through June 17 at hftforschoolsprize.org/.
The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence will award three first-place winners $100,000, with $70,000 going to the high school skilled trades program and $30,000 to the individual skilled trades teacher or teacher team behind the program. Fifteen second-place winners will each be awarded $50,000, with $35,000 going to the high school program and $15,000 to the teacher or teacher team.
Harbor Freight Tools founder Eric Smidt started the program in 2017 to recognize outstanding instruction in the skilled trades in U.S. public high schools that inspire students to learn a trade that prepares them for a career after high school.
“We depend on skilled trades workers. They fix the cars we drive, they build and repair the homes we live in and they do so much more. Yet more than 1.5 million skilled trades workers will retire by 2024, and there are not nearly enough students entering the trades to fill those jobs,” said Smidt.
“Our desire to support skilled trades education in American public high schools led to the creation in 2017 of the annual Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence.”
The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools team, with the help of regional managers from our stores, visited the schools and surprised the winning teachers with cash prizes. You can watch the surprise announcements here. Harbor Freight Tools also provided a $1,000 gift card to the 34 semi-finalists to support their high school’s skilled trades programs.
The 2018 first-place winners included:
• Charles Kachmar, who teaches metals and welding at Maxwell High School of Technology in Lawrenceville, Georgia, and whose students give back to the community by building beds for local homeless women and children in need of emergency shelter.
• Gary Bronson, an industrial diesel mechanics teacher at Laurel Oaks Career Campus in Wilmington, Ohio, whose students work on an International ProStar truck, replacing the brakes, wiring the lighting and completing its annual inspection.
• Andrew J. Neumann, a building trades teacher at Bay Arenac Intermediate School District Career Center in Bay City, Michigan, whose students design, build and market a new house from the ground up.
In the coming months, Harbor Freight will feature some of the winners in its coupon book mailed to more than 10 million customers each month.
For more information about Harbor Freight Tools for Schools and to enter the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, visit hftforschoolsprize.org/.