SkillsUSA 2012 Harris technical sales specialist George Benyak supervises a competitor in the HVAC/R area at SkillsUSA 2012

The Harris Products Group supports SkillsUSA

Mason, OH - Jul 02, 2012 :

The Harris Products Group, a manufacturer of brazing, soldering, welding and cutting equipment and alloys participated in SkillsUSA's 48th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference.

The event, held from June 23-27, 2012 in Kansas City, brought more than 15,000 attendees together to participate in industry-specific seminars and compete in events geared toward specific technical professions as students prepare to enter the workforce.

"To be able to help and support promising students who are excited about entering the workforce – that's one of the most rewarding things we can do as a team," said David Nangle, president of The Harris Products Group. "This is just another way for us to give back to our industry and our future customers."

For the past 15 years, Harris has supported SkillsUSA by sponsoring the brazing portion of the HVAC/R competition. Brazing is one of eight tests that contestants must complete as part of the HVAC/R event. This year, the company is supplying the equipment, as well as two judges, George Benyak, technical sales, and Mike Scruggs, technical support specialist. In the event, students are asked to interpret a drawing, then measure, cut and assemble the component. Finished parts are checked for size and pressure-tested for leaks.

"These are really great kids who compete," said Bob Henson, technical director with The Harris Products Group, who serves as the event chairman for the brazing competition. "Those who compete have shown the attitude and skills to be successful and represent the industry's future."

Lincoln Electric, Harris' parent company, is one of SkillsUSA's largest contributors, sponsoring events, providing equipment and utilizing employees as judges, instructors and support personnel. In the welding area, Lincoln Electric's efforts are supported by Harris' team for gas cutting apparatus. Ron Frasier, a technical consultant for Harris, serves on the technical committee for the welding group.

"These kinds of events give us a real opportunity to meet the young people who are coming into our workplace and share our knowledge and experience with them," Frasier said. "It's great to see the participants years later. They remember you and remember their experience here."

The conference gives the opportunity for students from secondary, post-secondary and vocational training schools to engage with Harris, Lincoln Electric along with 1,100 other manufacturing leaders, trade associations, businesses and labor unions.

"This is a great opportunity for students to meet industry leaders and experience the challenge of competing at the highest level against their peers," Henson said. "As an organization, we really enjoy spending time with the participants and look forward to this event year after year."

In addition to these efforts at SkillsUSA, Harris team members support HVAC/R training across the U.S. They have provided NATE-approved brazing seminars at technical schools and industry events. Locally, the company frequently partners with Butler Tech in Hamilton for technical training.

About Harris Products Group
The Harris Products Group, a Lincoln Electric Company, is a world leader in the design, development, and manufacture of cutting, welding, brazing, and soldering equipment and consumables and gas distribution systems. Harris Products Group products are sold and used in more than 90 countries. For more information about The Harris Products Group and its products and services, please visit the Company's website at www.harrisproductsgroup.com.

About SkillsUSA
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA helps each student excel. SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations, including health occupations. It was formerly known as VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America).

Contact Information:
Ira Vea Bennett, Director of Marketing
The Harris Products Group
2345 Murphy Boulevard
Gainesville, GA 30504-6000
Tel:  770.538.6184
Fax:  770.535.8358
Email:  ira_bennett@lincolnelectric.com