Maureen Tholen, sustainability director for 3M’s Industrial Business, and Safety and Graphics Business Groups, has been named as chairperson of the SkillsUSA Foundation Inc.
The foundation is SkillsUSA’s philanthropic arm. Comprised of representatives from business, industry, organized labor and others who assist in fundraising, it offers expert advice and counsel to the organization. The foundation meets quarterly and raises 25 percent of SkillsUSA’s operating budget each year to support SkillsUSA’s core mission and related programs and events, including the WorldSkills competition.
At 3M, Tholen focuses on sustainability to create business growth for the company and its customers in the fields of industry, health care and consumer goods. Her career at 3M began as a technical service engineer, work that fostered her passion and connection to the customer. 3M’s diversity provided opportunity for roles in marketing, business development, sales management, six sigma, strategic planning, commercialization leadership and general management. Tholen serves in a number of advisory roles within 3M, including the Women’s Leadership Forum that organizes Lean In Circles, and 3M Impact, a program for 3M employees to directly improve lives in underserved communities. She is the Inclusion Champion for the Safety and Graphics Business Group, leading efforts for inclusion of all employees. She holds a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from University of Notre Dame, and an MBA from the University of Minnesota.
“It is my honor to serve as chair of the SkillsUSA Foundation,” Tholen said. “I am looking forward to working with the foundation, the staff and the board of directors to help SkillsUSA most effectively deliver its mission to improve the quality of our nation’s future skilled workforce by delivering graduates who are ready for careers or higher education.”
SkillsUSA executive director Timothy Lawrence added, “SkillsUSA is thrilled to have an individual of this caliber to lead our foundation. Maureen and 3M have taken business and education partnerships from local to global levels, and her work has made a positive difference for SkillsUSA’s mission. Maureen’s contributions — both personally and through the 3M Foundation — will have a lasting impact on the lives of students, teachers and communities well into the future.”
3M is the lead sponsor of the 2019 WorldSkills USA team, selected and trained by SkillsUSA. This sponsorship will support the efforts of the 23 competitors and their technical experts as they train to represent the United States at WorldSkills in Kazan, Russia, on Aug. 22-27, 2019. WorldSkills is largest international showcase of the skilled trades. As a global science-based company, 3M’s commitment to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills are the foundation for many of these trades. 3M will host the WorldSkills USA team March 10-13 at its headquarters in St. Paul, Minn.
SkillsUSA is a vital solution to the growing U.S. skills gap. This nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry ensures America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. Founded in 1965 and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, the association serves more than 360,000 students and instructors each year in middle schools, high schools and colleges. This diverse talent pipeline covers 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, the majority STEM-related. More than 600 corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA at the national level. SkillsUSA programs are integrated into career and technical education through a framework of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. Local, state and national championships, designed and judged by industry, set relevant standards for career and technical education and provide needed recognition to its students. SkillsUSA also offers technical skill assessments and other workplace credentials. For more information, go to: www.SkillsUSA.org.
3M applies science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $32 billion in sales, 3M’s 91,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to the world’s problems at www.3M.com or on Twitter @3M or @3MNews.