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Awards to USA Teachers to Recognize
Outstanding Career Readiness Programs

Prize for Teaching Excellence

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Smidt Foundation (TSF) - Harbor Freight Tools (HFT) for Schools

Deadline Date:

05/20/22 5:00 PM PT


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Awards to USA high school educators for innovation and excellence in areas of career readiness and workforce development. Eligible applicants are public school teachers of skilled trades. The purpose of the award is to recognize programs that are focused on hands-on learning, building, maintenance, and repair.

The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, started in 2017, recognizes outstanding skilled trades teachers and programs in public high schools in the United States.

Judges are looking for:

  • Strong Evidence of Past Teaching Success and Future Innovation
  • Thoughtful and In-Depth Application
  • Positive Data and Results
  • Inspirational Storytelling
  • Active Engagement with Learning Modules
  • Passion. Creativity. Leadership.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 186059

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Grand Prize: 3 Winners; Prize: 15 Winners

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Grand prize winners will receive $100,000, with $70,000 going to the public high school skilled trades program and $30,000 going to the eligible individual skilled trades teacher or teacher team.
- Prize winners will each be awarded $50,000, with $35,000 going to the public high school program and $15,000 going to the eligible teacher or teacher team.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Prize for Teaching Excellence is open to skilled trades teachers who are current faculty members at U.S. public high schools. Eligible applicants are those who teach skilled trades classes that emphasize the expert use of tools and materials to build, repair and maintain products and structures. Most applicants will come from the following broad fields of trades education in public high schools:
- Agriculture Mechanics
- Carpentry
- Construction
- Electrical
- HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning)
- Manufacturing
- Plumbing
- Transportation mechanics and repair
- Welding

Each applicant and each prize recipient must be an active faculty member at a U.S. public high school, in good standing who is not subject to any threatened, pending or active disciplinary proceedings or involuntary leave of absence with their school, district or state education agencies or other authorities during the entire 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years. Applicants must be a faculty member at the same school during both such school years.

If you are a teacher at a career and technical education center not on a high school faculty, please contact program staff.

Applicants whose school, district and/or state policy prohibits receipt of the individual portion of prize earnings may still apply.

Administrators, teacher aides, grant writers, or non-skilled trades faculty members are not eligible to apply or receive the individual prize award and should not apply.

For ineligible applicants, see

Pre-Application Information:

- Applications Open: March 23, 2022
- Round 1 Applications: Friday, May 20, 2022, 5 p.m. (Pacific Time)
- Rond 2 Applications: Friday, July 15, 2022, 5 p.m. (Pacific Time)
- Finalists Announced: June 27, 2022
- Winners Announced: October 2022

Teachers may not submit more than one application.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register and Apply Online (from March 23):

For technical or registration issues, contact

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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