PPG Automotive Refinish has donated $10,000 to SkillsUSA, a national nonprofit organization serving teachers, high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. Formerly known as Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA), the organization serves as a link between education and industry, helping students to excel in their chosen field and qualify for jobs in the real world. More than 284,000 students and instructors join SkillsUSA annually.
“Our relationship with industry sponsors like PPG is a ‘win-win’ situation,” says Tom Holdsworth, director for the SkillsUSA Office of Communications. “The input we get from PPG helps technical instructors to incorporate new products and new developments in refinish technology into their curriculum, so our students will have the skills to meet the needs of the industry when it’s time for them to enter the work force. Industry donations help to keep our programs current and allow us to reach more and more students each year. We are grateful to PPG for their continuing support.”
PPG has been a supporter of SkillsUSA for many years. A number of PPG employees and distributors act as judges at local, state and national skills competitions, and many PPG personnel have held positions on the USA Advisory Board and the SkillsUSA Youth Development Foundation since the organization was founded in 1965. In addition, SkillsUSA’s Youth Development Foundation assists in providing funding for the SkillsUSA Championships. Last year, more than 4,300 students competed at the championships in 84 different events, including collision repair technology. This year, more than 5,000 competitors are slated to compete in 87 different events.
“PPG supports SkillsUSA because it is dedicated to helping young people develop the right skills to succeed in life.” says Kathi Minut, training operations manager for Strongsville, Ohio-based PPG and a current member of the SkillsUSA Youth Development Foundation Advisory Board. “We also support the program from an industry perspective. There is a shortage of qualified technicians in the automotive refinish industry. We have more technicians retiring or exiting the field than qualified people entering each year. The students that participate in SkillsUSA are more often than not individuals that are self-motivated and willing to go the extra mile. These students are the type of employees today’s body shops and distributor stores need. We are very pleased to participate in SkillsUSA events and competitions and to support the SkillsUSA organization.”