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Grants Pass High keeps woodworking alive

Teachers said it's important to keep these types of classes alive because not everyone wants to go to college or can afford college when they graduate high school.

Posted: Dec 10, 2019 10:48 AM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- Woodworking students at Grants Pass High School are swapping their pencils and paper for sanders and a saw.

This is just one of the high school's career and technical education classes that teaches students about skilled work. Teachers said it's important to keep these types of classes alive because not everyone can afford college or wants to go to college. 

"Students have to have a strong work ethic to be able to f unction in this class and be successful," said David Brannen, the woodworking teacher. "That transmits to any job they want to take, whether that's going to college or going straight into the workforce."

He teaches the beginning and advanced woodworking classes. Advanced students build a personal project from one of thousands of blueprints. Beginning students learn about all the basics of woodworking and build a cabinet by the end of the class. 

Freshman Moises Chavez Mejia is in the beginning woodshop class and is thinking about a career in construction. He said the class is preparing him for the future and it's also a break from the normal routine of school. 

"I personally like doing hands on things," said Chavez Mejia. "Sitting in a chair all day is not my kind of thing. Ii like socializing with people too, so I just thought this class was going to be good."

Porsha Gilliland is a freshman, too. She's almost done building her cabinet. Even though she said she's not really thinking about a career in woodworking, she said she likes how the class is hands-on. 

"You get to take your projects home and I think it's really fun to show your family," said Gilliland.

It's very possible for students to find jobs in the woodworking industry, according to woodworking teacher David Brannen. The Bureau of Labor statistics said, on average, woodworkers make about $15 an hour. That's equal to about $32,000 a year. 

You can support the Grants Pass High School Woodworking Program by donating wood supplies, equipment or money. Contact David Brannen at: DBRANNEN@grantspass.k12.or.us

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