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First Annual Harbor Freight Tools for Schools winners

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As Harbor Freight has grown, high schools across America were dramatically reducing and even eliminating their skilled trades classes. Harbor Freight Tools for Schools is a non-profit program to strengthen and bring back those classes to give students a path to a skilled trade and a good paying career. The first annual Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence is part of that program, recently awarding over $500,000 to outstanding skilled trades teachers and their American public high schools.

Harbor Freight announced three first-place winners of the prize. These remarkable teachers and their schools have each received $100,000: $70,000 to the school and $30,000 to the teacher:

  • Bob Kilmer teaches woodworking, computer-aided design and architecture and construction at Enumclaw High School in Washington. His students are designing and building a tiny house for a local family in need.
  • Brendan Malone teaches marine systems technology at Urban Assembly New York Harbor School on Governors Island. His program teaches his students to build, maintain and repair boats, and his school is the only high school in the country that can credential students for a career in the marine industry.
  • Jonathan Schwartz teaches advanced manufacturing and woodworking at Colfax High School in Northern California. His students use software to design wood projects and then build them with traditional shop tools, CNC equipment, 3D printers and laser cutters.

Harbor Freight's seven second-place winners have each received $30,000, with $20,000 to the schools and $10,000 to the teachers. You can learn more about these inspiring winners and view the video highlights of the announcements here.

Additionally, Harbor Freight Tools provided a $1,000 gift card to each of the 44 prize semifinalists to support their skilled trades programs.

To learn more about Harbor Freight Tools for Schools and our Prize for Teaching Excellence, visit

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