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 Local Competition Begins for All-American Vocational Student Awards
 EAST BUTLER, Pa., Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Helping tens of thousands of vocational-technical education students nationwide, SERVISTAR Corporation kicks off the second year of its widely acclaimed vocational- technical education support program with the beginning of the new school year.
 "Tools for Tomorrow: Local SERVISTAR Retailers in Support of Vocational Education in America," has been called the largest, most far-reaching program of its kind by educators and administrators. During the 1992-93 school year, more than 1,700 local SERVISTAR stores created vo-tech support initiatives in their communities.
 Also, SERVISTAR has announced that applications for the 1993-94 SERVISTAR All-American Vocational Student Awards will be mailed to schools in early September. Applications for the program, for which students can earn local recognition and state and national awards, and also will be available at participating SERVISTAR retailers.
 SERVISTAR, one of the nation's largest hardware, lumber and home center cooperatives, launched "Tools for Tomorrow" in September 1992. The program combines a national public awareness campaign with grassroots support of community vo-tech programs by local SERVISTAR retailers.
 In its inaugural year, "Tools for Tomorrow" earned the praise of the U.S. Department of Education, national vocational service organizations and educators, parents and students throughout the country.
 "Tools for Tomorrow" acknowledges the importance of vocational education to the nation's economy," recognizes the accomplishments and contributions of local vocational students, and supports vocational education programs at the local, state and national levels. The multi-tiered program includes support from SERVISTAR Corporation, local SERVISTAR retailers and nearly 100 of SERVISTAR's supplier companies.
 "Vocational skills are critical to the economic future of this country, both from a national and local point of view," said Paul E. Pentz, SERVISTAR president and chief executive officer. "The 15 million students enrolled in vocational education programs today represent the backbone of tomorrow's work force. SERVISTAR recognizes the important place that vocational-technical education has in America's future, and we've taken an active role in promoting the importance of quality vocational education."
 According to the U.S. Labor Department, by 1995, 70 percent of all jobs in the United States will require technical skills beyond the level provided in high school. The department also reports that tomorrow's work force will need a skill level 38 percent higher than the average skill of today's worker. Additionally, 17 of the 20 fastest-growing occupations will require vocational skills, the department noted.
 More than 1,700 independent SERVISTAR retailers across the country are supporting their local vocational education programs in a variety of ways,

 -- Student award and recognition programs;
 -- Vocational student internships;
 -- Fund-raising programs, such as register receipt drives, and the sale of discount cards;
 -- Donations of SERVISTAR coupon calendars to student groups, who sell them for fund-raising purposes;
 -- Tool lending libraries, with tools available for use by vo-tech programs, or on community projects;
 -- Discount programs for vocational students and teachers;
 -- "How-to" clinics to demonstrate the safe use of a wide range of tools and equipment; and
 -- School project support programs, to which SERVISTAR retailers donate materials and tools to complete school projects worked on by vocational students.
 SERVISTAR's All-American Awards Honors Top Vo-Tech Students
 An important component of "Tools for Tomorrow" is the SERVISTAR All- American Vocational Student Awards program, which recognizes the top vocational students from around the country each year. The awards spotlight students who achieve prescribed standards of excellence in vocational and academic skills, and who exhibit leadership in, and a commitment to, their communities.
 During last year's inaugural year of the program, administrators from more than 1,000 secondary schools and all 50 states picked their top vocational students to represent their schools as local finalists. Individual state judging panels then chose their respective state winners, who received $500 U.S. savings bonds. In mid-April, the first 10 national winners and 12 special merit honor students were selected by the "Tools for Tomorrow Board of Advisors," representing the finest vocational-technical education students in the country. The national winners were honored during SERVISTAR's convention in Baltimore, and during ceremonies at the U.S. Capitol and at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington. National winners also received $1,000 U.S. savings bonds. Special merit honor students received $500 U.S. savings bonds.
 With headquarters in East Butler, SERVISTAR Corporation is a $1.6 billion member-owned wholesaler with more than 4,000 hardware, lumber and home center stores worldwide. The company also operates SERVISTAR/Coast to Coast Inc., Grand Rental Station and Home and Garden Showplace.
 -0- 9/13/93
 /CONTACT: Paul Froehlich or Amy Myers of MARC Public Relations, 412- 562-2006, for SERVISTAR/

CO: SERVISTAR Corporation ST: Pennsylvania IN: REA SU:

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 13, 1993

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