Ashley awards grant to SkillsUSA

ARCADIA, Wis. – Ashley Furniture Industries, LLC has 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.

“I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be involved with SkillsUSA and gain exposure to technical trades,” said Tristen Lyga, a senior at Arcadia High School and the SkillsUSA student president.

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 Mac Bowen, Lincoln Technology Education Instructor, Mac Bowen.

Ashley Furniture 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.


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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).