Ashley Furniture partners with local High School SkillsUSA Chapters to advance career and technology education opportunities
ARCADIA, Wis. – Ashley Furniture Industries, LLC (Ashley) recently awarded $125,000 through the Ashley Furniture SkillsUSA Chapter Grant to recipient SkillsUSA chapters located near Ashley’s advanced manufacturing facilities in Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin. The furniture company hosted onsite events for students to accept their chapter’s check and tour the advanced-manufacturing and distribution facility to learn about the many career paths available at the company.
SkillsUSA is a national membership association serving middle school, high school, and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations, as well as for further education. The organization provides opportunities for students to participate in educational programs, events and competitions that support career and technical education in the nation’s classrooms. Ashley is proud to continue to support the SkillsUSA mission which is to empower its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.
“I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be involved with SkillsUSA and gain exposure to technical trades. This gracious donation that we are receiving will be very beneficial to our program as it will allow for more people to be enrolled in welding classes and enable us to take it our program a step further,” stated Arcadia High School senior and SkillsUSA Student President, Tristen Lyga.
The purpose of the Ashley Furniture SkillsUSA Chapter Grant is to provide area schools and technical colleges financial support to involve more students in their program and strengthen the experience for current members, begin a new chapter, and/or improve the communities in which students live through a technical education project.
"Pontotoc Ridge Career and Technology Center is thankful for this opportunity that will help prepare students to attend district, local, and national SkillsUSA competitions,” said Barry Reeder, Architecture and Drafting Instructor. “SkillsUSA provides a unique opportunity for students to learn hands-on job skills that will prepare them for a 21st century workforce. We are proud to partner with Ashley Furniture to help the students of Pontotoc County succeed. "
North Carolina schools include Davidson Davie Community College and Davie County High School. Wisconsin schools include Arcadia School District, Black River Falls High School, Chippewa Valley Technical College, Cochrane- Fountain City, Eleva-Strum School District, Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau School District, Holmen High School, Lincoln High School, and Whitehall School District. Mississippi schools include Itawamba Career and Technical Center, New Albany School of Career & Technical Education, Northeast Mississippi Community College, Tippah Career and Technology Center and Pontotoc Ridge Career & Technology Center. Texas schools include Vanguard High School.
“With the continued support of Ashley Furniture, we have been able to modernize our Technology Education program and implement a student run business, Lincoln Woods & Welding. Our students now have the opportunity to design, prototype, and produce products with state-of-the-art equipment in an environment that looks and feels like modern manufacturing facilities right here in our area,” said Lincoln Technology Education Instructor, Mac Bowen.
Ashley has a strong belief in improving the quality of our nation’s future skilled workforce. Ashley has developed several partnerships with K-12 as well as post-secondary schools in support of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning opportunities. Combined efforts include scholarships, providing students with exposure to technical trades and career opportunities, instructor training, and robotics programs.
Ashley Furniture Industries, LLC (Ashley) feels that every person deserves more value for their money. Established in 1945, Ashley is the largest manufacturer of home furnishings in the world and was named one of America’s Best Employers by Forbes in 2021. From design through fulfillment, Ashley is committed to delivering the world’s best home furnishing values, selection and service, and earning the loyalty and trust of its customers every day. Visit Ashley online at www.ashleyfurnitureindustriesllc.com and “like” Ashley Furniture Industries on Facebook.
SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of education and industry to strengthen our nation’s skilled workforce. Driven by employer demand, SkillsUSA helps students develop necessary personal and workplace skills along with technical skills grounded in academics. This SkillsUSA Framework empowers every student to succeed at work and in life, while helping to close the “skills gap” in which millions of positions go unfilled. Through SkillsUSA’s championships program and curricula, employers have long ensured schools are teaching relevant technical skills, and with SkillsUSA’s new credentialing process, they can now assess how ready potential employees are for the job. SkillsUSA has more than 360,000 annual members nationwide in high schools, colleges and middle schools, covering over 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, and is recognized by the U.S. departments of Education and Labor as integral to career and technical education. For more information: www.skillsusa.org
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