June 08, 2011 Lehigh Valley, Pa.
Air Products (NYSE: APD) literally had a front row seat today when President Obama announced a major expansion of “Skills for America’s Future” at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, Va. The “Skills for America’s Future” program is designed to improve industry partnerships with community colleges to maximize workforce development strategies. Air Products’ chairman, president and chief executive officer, John E. McGlade, was extremely proud to have the company invited to the event and applauds the President for his dedicated efforts to strengthen the country’s workforce skills.
“I could not agree more with the importance President Obama has placed on the workforce skills necessary to compete with companies in this global economy. We are very passionate about workforce development at Air Products to do our part to ensure a skilled workforce for the competitiveness of the country and to support our own future employment needs. Partnering with SkillsUSA has been an excellent way for us to meet these goals,” said McGlade. “We believe the answer to help meet the challenging and changing needs of the workforce is to take a creative and hands-on approach, and to be actively involved in preparing the youth of this country for the necessary technical and employability skills essential to success.”
Air Products was an invited guest to the President’s skilled workforce themed-event because of its many years of work with SkillsUSA -- a nationwide partnership of industry and over 300,000 student and teacher members annually in career and technical education programs dedicated to preparing America’s highly skilled workforce. Air Products and SkillsUSA work together served as an example of a successful industry partnership with an organization targeting the development of a highly skilled workforce benefitting the manufacturing industry.
A White House news release on the President’s speech highlighted Air Products efforts with SkillsUSA as one of a number of public-private partnerships that leverage the core competencies of the technology sector, media companies, and federal agencies to enhance these efforts through their own initiatives to bolster the nation’s manufacturing workforce. Specifically the release stated: (The full news release can be found at: www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/06/08/president-obama-and-skills-americas-future-partners-announce-initiatives.)
Building These Credentials into High School Pathways: Given that many students begin to seek manufacturing training before college, Air Products, a global manufacturer serving customers in industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide, is partnering with SkillsUSA to build partnerships in 3,500 member high schools and more than 200 colleges to adopt these credentials in their schools.
Among many collaborative projects, Air Products has delivered the first-ever “PlayBook,” a how-to guide developed by industry for industry to establish and build partnerships at the local level between manufacturers and career and technical education schools. Air Products and other industry partners will concentrate efforts on building partnerships in many of the 3,500 member high schools and more than 200 colleges, and with SkillsUSA’s alumni network of 10.2 million. The consortium will also challenge schools and colleges to include industry-recognized credentials in their Career and Technical Education pathways and to champion credentials with manufacturers and students.
Air Products has integrated support for SkillsUSA in a number of ways with employees from around the country serving on technical committees for the SkillsUSA Championships, and on task forces and boards of state and local SkillsUSA chapters in California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Texas. Air Products’ employees are active in judging local, state and national student competitions, and with the SkillsUSA Youth Development Foundation. The company provides financial support for SkillsUSA initiatives such as the Professional Development Program, and is helping SkillsUSA build its national network through support of the Alumni & Friends Association.
In recognition of these efforts, McGlade was presented the inaugural SkillsUSA CEO Champion of the Year award in October 2010. The CEO Champion award is to be given each year to recognize the leadership of the chief executive of an organization doing exemplary work in the creation and support of America’s highly skilled workforce. The award will also recognize CEOs for their corporation’s involvement in promoting and supporting career and technical education.
About Air Products
Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, and equipment and services. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment. In fiscal 2010, Air Products had revenues of $9 billion, operations in over 40 countries, and 18,300 employees around the globe. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It helps each student excel. The nationwide organization serves more than 300,000 high school, college and postsecondary students—and their instructors—in training programs in technical, skilled, and service occupations, including health occupations. SkillsUSA has the active support of more than 1,100 corporations, trade associations, business and labor unions at the national level. Over 9.9 million people have been members of SkillsUSA since its founding as The Vocational Industrial Clubs of America in 1965. SkillsUSA instructional programs teach leadership, citizenship and character development to complement technical skill training. The association emphasizes respect for the dignity of work, ethics, workmanship, scholarship and safety. For more information, go to www.skillsusa.org.
NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s reasonable expectations and assumptions as of the date of this release regarding important risk factors. Actual performance and financial results may differ materially from projections and estimates expressed in the forward-looking statements because of many factors not anticipated by management, including risk factors described in the Company’s Form 10K for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2010.
Thomas W. Holdsworth
Tel: (703) 737-0607