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Sandy High School to receive grant for manufacturing

County service district awarded $324,281, which will help metals students at Sandy


Oregon has made a major expansion of career readiness, and it will greatly benefit manufacturing students at Sandy High School.

Career and Technical Education Revitalization grants totaling $8.87 million are being given to 140 Oregon middle and high schools.

The Clackamas Education Service District received an award of $324,281 for creating the capacity to support manufacturing workforce needs.

Debbie Johnson, director of teaching and learning for the Oregon Trail School District, said the majority of welding workers are age 50 and older, a population that is nearing retirement. The grant is meant to help prepare high school students to fill those jobs.

Sandy High School now offers a manufacturing class taught by Paul Panula.

The goal of the program is to help kids launch into a career directly after graduation and make a living wage.

The grant money is to be used for two main reasons: to expand the manufacturing programs in the high schools and to continue educating the instructors so they are up to date on current techniques.

Since Sandy is one of the high schools that already had a manufacturing program, the money will go toward getting standardized equipment.

“At Sandy High it will be based on what we need,” Johnson said. “But we definitely are very thankful recipients.”

Johnson said the manufacturing equipment is not inexpensive. The last piece of equipment the district purchased cost $12,000, paid for completely with grant money.

District officials work with contacts within the industry to assure they are up to current standards. They keep in touch with companies such as Blount International, Enroch and Northwest Tactics.

“These are opportunities that we’re providing to our students so that they have options,” Johnson said. “The goal is to launch them directly into post-secondary education, trade schools and careers.”