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Labor commissioner tours shop to see students in action gaining career skills


by: TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Wind and Oar instructor Bill Wessinger, Merlo Station High School seniors Micah Nichols and Juan Garcia work to drill pilot holes in the hull structure of their boat. Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian last week went back to school to get a closer look at a technical, career training program he would like to see duplicated in public schools across the state.by: TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Merlo Station High School senior Micah Nichols sands a 'knee' portion of the Wind and Oar boat project's hull.

Avakian reported to class Feb. 26 at Aloha High School, where he saw students from Merlo Station High School building a traditional wooden sailboat as part of a regional workforce development program.

The youth boat-build is the result of an ongoing partnership between Worksystems Inc., Wind and Oar Boat School and the Beaverton School District.

“This program is about much more than the creation of a beautiful boat,” said Andrew McGough, Worksystems’ executive director. “It’s a prime example of how we can infuse creative and experiential learning into the way we prepare young people for careers in manufacturing and engineering.”

Wind and Oar Boat School is a nonprofit organization committed to using traditional boat-building skills to engage youth in science, technology, engineering and math education and help prepare them for meaningful and fulfilling careers.by: TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian holds a board as Merlo Station High School senior Micah Nichols planes the edges. Avakian visited the Wind and Oar wooden boat project at Aloha High School on Wednesday, Feb. 26.by: TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Wind and Oar lead instructor Josh Brown helps Merlo Station High School junior Edwin Sanchez plane a portion of the boat's hull in an Aloha High School workshop. by: TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian helps a group of students from Merlo Station High School and instructors from the Wind and Oar program align a part their boat's hull.



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