The Smidt Foundation is a private foundation created in December 2016 by Eric Smidt, the cofounder and CEO of Harbor Freight Tools, the family-owned national retailer. The foundation builds upon the Smidt family’s longstanding commitment to give back to their home town and to advance its future as one of opportunity and care for all.
The Smidts have made major long-term grants to two Los Angeles-serving institutions-- supporting the transformation of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and establishing the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. With an emphasis on collaboration, humility, an appreciation for sweating the details and an “invest or invent” mindset to help create leverage for community good, and with an emphasis on the Los Angeles region, the foundation also supports exemplary leaders and organizations serving homeless veterans, first responders and those lifting up opportunity for youth.
The flagship initiative of The Smidt Foundation is Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, which Eric established to support the advancement of skilled trades education in America. With a deep respect for the dignity of these fields and for the intelligence and creativity of people who work with their hands, this program was created to foster and shine a light on excellence in skilled trades education in public high schools. Believing that access to quality skilled trades education gives high school students pathways to graduation, opportunity, good jobs and a workforce our country needs, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools aims to stimulate greater understanding, support and investment by public entities and others in skilled trades education. Harbor Freight Tools is a major supporter of the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools program.