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Lowe’s donates tools to Pruden Center

Thanks to a grant from Lowe’s and Kobalt Tools, new tools have arrived at the Pruden Center for high school students studying to be mechanics.

The automotive services technology program at the Pruden Center received the tools as part of the Toolbox for Education Program. Lowe’s is donating about $1,000 worth of Kobalt tools to each of 400 SkillsUSA automotive service technology programs.

The Pruden Center received a tool kit with more than 300 pieces, including a five-drawer tool chest and several wrench, socket and ratchet sets.

“They’re going to help a lot, especially in this economy when we have to be very careful how we spend our local dollars,” said Corey McCray, director at the Pruden Center. “This is going to be very helpful for things we otherwise couldn’t purchase.”

Student Alex Brueggeman, an automotive services technology student, said the tools will benefit every student in the hands-on portions of the program.

“This is a wonderful thing,” Brueggeman said. “This will help us out a lot.”

The donated tools carry a lifetime guarantee, so they will be used by students at the Pruden Center for years to come.

“It’s wonderful,” said Tony Pearce, an automotive services technology instructor at the Pruden Center. “When we received news we were getting it, I was excited.”

The program kicked off earlier this month at Lowe’s No. 1875 in Atlanta, Ga., where four-time NASCAR Spring Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, who drives the Lowe’s-sponsored car in the series, went shopping for the first set of donated items with students from an Atlanta-area high school.

“With school budgets being cut throughout the country, anything we can do to help students and schools is worthwhile,” Johnson said in a press release. “I’ve seen the incredible results created by the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education program. By providing Kobalt tools to automotive classrooms nationwide with the help of SkillsUSA, we are supplying students with the equipment they need to succeed.”

Last year, Lowe’s and Kobalt Tools donated about $300,000 worth of tools to more than 500 SkillsUSA building and construction trade classes around the country.

“The students, teachers and, ultimately, local employers who benefit from this generous donation of Kobalt tools is tremendous,” SkillsUSA executive director Timothy Lawrence said. “I believe the Toolbox for Education program is an outstanding example of the partnership between SkillsUSA and Lowe’s to build something together that will help America’s technical education programs to have a lasting impact on American workers and communities.”