Skilled to Work: Students learn construction basics

To have a practical application for what they learn, they have been creating cutting boards

Posted: Apr. 23, 2018 5:52 PM
Updated: May. 28, 2018 7:38 PM

MARCOLA, Ore. -- Students in the construction class at Mohawk High School have been using their skills to build and design cutting boards. 

Andy Rice, who teaches the class, said students have been learning about everything from concrete, cabinetry, and woodworking to the contractors union. He said they have had numerous community members working in the industry visit to help teach the class. He said the class gives students the opportunity to not only learn about the trade but also learn employment skills like problem-solving, teamwork and planning.

To have a practical application for what they learn, they have been creating wooden cutting boards. After they have enough cutting boards complete they plan to sell them to community members. 

"These types of courses are essential, we used to have them a long time ago," Rice said. "Not every kid is going to college. There is so much more you can learn in a school than just reading and writing and math, there's practical application."

Rice said the cutting boards are unique. They are made out of hardwoods like maple, jatoba and purple heart. He said they should be ready to start selling the boards in about a month.

Charles Kimball, the owner of a local cabinet shop, said he has been coming to the class four days a week for the past few weeks to work side by side with the students. He said he is excited about sharing his passion for woodworking.

Students said they have enjoyed working on the project. Colton Anderson said he plans to go into construction when he graduates and that this class helped influence his decision. 

Anderson gave some advice to other students and said, "I would definitely try it, even if you're not a hands-on person I would definitely try it because you learn a lot of useful skills that you're going to need to know if you ever want to get into a job like this."

Rice said even if students don't go into a trade when they graduate they still learn valuable life lessons. 

"You can create something beautiful if you spend the time," Rice said. "If you're willing to put the work in, you can do some amazing things."

The cutting boards will cost about $120 to $150. They will also sell smaller boards for $25 to $75. 

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