Students receive SkillsUSA certificate
“We’re here because of Elmer’s leadership,” said Katie Walter, executive director of SkillsUSA Council.
Walter was speaking to a ballroom full of red-jacketed students during a breakfast ceremony May 23 at Homewood Suites and Conference Center in Center Valley. These students have honed useful skills applicable to the modern demands of the workplace.
Walter presided over the Elmer Gates Enterprise Awards ceremonies, where local students were being recognized for their scholastic achievement, positive work ethic, community service and entrepreneurial spirit.
Gates’ granddaughter, Emily Silfies, was the keynote speaker for the event.
“My grandfather believed in leadership by example,” Silfies said.
She summarized his advice by saying, “You don’t need to be the smartest person in the room, just smart enough to know what they don’t.”
The awards were presented by Gates’ daughter Patti Gates-Smith, who presented each student with a certificate that attests to the skill of the students and are part of SkillsUSA’s mission. The organization offers opportunities for almost 6,000 students attending career and technical schools in Lehigh, Northampton, Monroe and Upper Bucks counties.
According to a biography provided by event organizers, Gates’ “educational, military and career background as an engineer and manager provided important experience in preparing him to be an international industry leader.”