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Friday August 23

NABC's Mark Claypool Selected to Lead Team USA

Skills USA/VICA has selected Mark Claypool to be the overall team leader for Team USA 2003. Claypool is President and CEO of Mentors At Work and Executive Director of the National Auto Body Council (NABC). In June, 2003, Team USA will compete in the International Youth Skills Competition in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Competitions range from collision repair technology, to auto refinishing, auto service technology, cabinet making, cosmetology, culinary arts, welding, electronics technology and much more. The United States will be sending a team of between 7-12 competitors, depending on industry sponsorship.

This honorary position of Team Leader was offered to Claypool by Tim Lawrence, Executive Director of Skills USA/VICA. "We are fully aware of how much Mark believes in Skills USA, workforce development, mentoring, image-enhancement and more," said Lawrence. "Mark knows what the Internationals are all about and will get our competitors in the right frame of mind to compete against the best students representing their countries from around the world." Claypool formerly served as Director of Development and Business Partnerships Team Leader for Skills USA/VICA.

"What greater honor can there be than to be chosen to represent your country in competition with the rest of the world?" asked Claypool. "These students represent the best of the best in many occupational fields, including the automotive industry. All of the skilled trades are in great need of new employees and I see Team USA as a way to showcase what opportunities the auto industry has for young people and what it takes to get into this field. I know Skills USA/VICA is seeking sponsors for the two collision repair competitors and I hope we can count on this industry to come through and make this possible."

Skills USA/VICA is a national organization serving 266,000 high school and college students and professional members in training programs in technical, skilled, and service occupations, including health occupations. Student membership in Skills USA/VICA offers leadership, citizenship and character development programs and activities to complement skill training. Skills USA/VICA emphasizes respect for the dignity of work, high standards in trade ethics, workmanship, scholarship and safety. For more information, visit the Skills USA website or call 703-777-8810.

Mentors At Work, founded in 2001 after 18 months of research and development, provides automotive repair and collision shops with a full plan for shop implementation of an on-line apprenticeship program, complete with attracting, training, retaining and tracking components. For more information, log on to the Mentors at Work website or call 630-762-0614.

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