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Winners of the 2020 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence

Published on Fri, Oct 23, 2020

By: Doug Stokes

The program recognizes outstanding educators who prepare the next generation of skilled trades workers, and Harbor Freight pays it forward.

Once again, and now in some of the most uncertain of times in recent history, Harbor Freight has stepped up, sought out, and honored a branch of our front-line workers who (even at a distance) stayed dedicated to their work as teachers.  As we seem to have finally grasped as a nation, we need well-trained people in the skilled trades now more than ever.  And these women and men understand that need and work hard to impart not only theory and technique but a true sense of pride in hands-on occupations.

That said, here’s this year’s news on the Harbor Freight honors and the honorees from the company’s President, Eric Smidt… we here at LACar (quietly, and with our face masks firmly in place) celebrate and honor these men and women and wish all teachers everywhere the very best and good health. Thank you all!  Doug Stokes, editor-at-large

Harbor Freight statement below:


In 2017, we created the annual Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence to support skilled trades education in American public high schools. Our goal was to honor the inspiring men and women teaching the next generation of skilled trades professionals. When students learn the trades in high school, they gain a head start on the road to good-paying jobs and fulfilling careers. And they help create a workforce our country desperately needs.

Every year since then, we’ve donated more than $1 million in cash awards to recognize outstanding educators who’ve excelled in preparing their students to enter the trades. These teachers are heroes to us, and we’re proud to honor their dedication and hard work on behalf of students and their futures.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year skilled trades teachers faced an unprecedented challenge: how do you teach hands-on skills remotely? With dedication and ingenuity, they figured it out. I am especially proud to announce the 2020 winners and applaud their remarkable accomplishments under the most extraordinary circumstances.

Each of this year’s three grand prize winners will receive $100,000, and each of the15 additional prize winners will receive $50,000, with funds benefiting the winning teachers and their school’s skilled trades programs. While this year, due to the pandemic, we were unable to honor all the teachers in-person, you can read more about all the winners here. Harbor Freight Tools also provided a $1,000 gift card to the 34 finalists to support their high school’s skilled trades programs.

Stay up to date on the latest prize news on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Please join me in congratulating these amazing educators and in supporting skilled trades teachers and their students everywhere.


Eric Smidt
Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, LLC

Harbor Freight Tools for Schools is a program of The Smidt Foundation established by Harbor Freight Tools founder Eric Smidt. For more information about the program, please visit:

Featured photo courtesy of NeONBRAND.

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