SkillsUSA Students Travel to Washington D.C. in Preparation for WorldSkills Competition in Calgary, Canada

Leesburg, Va., August 28, 2009 – SkillsUSA, the organization that represents the United States in the WorldSkills Competition, hosted 16 student members of the SkillsUSA WorldTeam in Washington, D.C. this week. The students met with government officials from the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor, the Canadian Embassy and toured the nation’s Capital as they prepared to depart for the 40th international event to be held September 1-7, in Calgary, Canada.

“These extraordinary students have worked and trained vigorously to represent the United States at the WorldSkills Competition and we want them to know how proud we are to have them as members of the WorldTeam,” said Tim Lawrence, executive director of SkillsUSA. “SkillsUSA is fortunate to have the support of Lowe's Companies Inc. through a grant from the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation to be the U.S. team’s anchor sponsor. We also enjoy the support of 31 other businesses and organizations that provide financial and in-kind contributions to make this competition a reality for SkillsUSA students," he added.

Every two years, hundreds of young people from 51 member countries compete in the prestigious WorldSkills Competition. Member countries include Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Brazil, and many other global economic competitors to the U.S. Considered “the best of the best” of the world’s future skilled work force, these contestants compete for four days in 45 occupational skill areas from economic sectors including manufacturing, information technology, transportation, construction and services. Accompanied by their teachers, trainers and industry technical experts, these young people compete before the public in contests that are run by and judged by industry using demanding international standards.

Over its 55-year history, WorldSkills International has come to symbolize the pinnacle of excellence in technical training. This year, in Calgary, more than 1,000 competitors will test their skills. Five thousand international experts, delegates and judges from around the world and 3,000 volunteers will attend. A total of 150,000 student and public spectators will attend the competition at Stampede Park situated on 193 acres with 800,000 square feet of competition space. For more information about the competition go to: www.worldskills.org.

About Lowe’s

Lowe’s is a proud supporter of SkillsUSA, Habitat for Humanity International, American Red Cross, United Way of America, and the Home Safety Council, in addition to numerous non-profit organizations and programs that help communities across the country. In 2008, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation together contributed more than $25 million to support community and education projects in the United States and Canada. Lowe’s also encourages volunteerism through the Lowe’s Heroes program, a company-wide employee volunteer initiative. Lowe’s is a FORTUNE® 50 company with fiscal year 2008 sales of $48.2 billion and has more than 1,675 stores in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit www.Lowes.com/community.

ABOUT SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled work force. The organization helps students excel by augmenting their technical education with training in leadership, team-working skills and in citizenship and character development. SkillsUSA serves more than 300,000 students and instructors annually. The organization has 16,693 teachers and school administrators who serve as professional SkillsUSA members and instructors. More than 1,100 businesses, industry and labor sponsors actively support SkillsUSA at the national level through financial donations, in-kind contributions, and volunteer involvement in SkillsUSA activities. Many more work directly with state associations and local chapters. For more information about SkillsUSA, visit www.skillsusa.org.

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