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Grant Secured: Clatskanie Middle/High School Receives Funding

Grant Secured: Clatskanie Middle/High School Receives Funding

Clatskanie School District received $250,000 in funds from the State of Oregon through the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Revitalization Grant.

The grant funds will go toward supporting the expansion of Clatskanie Middle/High School’s (CMHS) Automotive/ Manufacturing Program of Study.

CMHS Principal Laurie Maughan gave insight into how the school was able to secure the grant.

“We worked with Tim Kamppi, who’s our manufacturing teacher, and I worked with Northwest ESD to put in the grant,” Maughan said. “That was the max amount. It sounds like a lot of money, right? But sometimes, when you’re talking about that equipment, it doesn’t go quite as far as you would think.”

Maughan said she thought they would be awarded less than the maximum amount they requested, but they were thrilled to be awarded with the full $250,000.

Maughan said that CMHS currently has a manufacturing program, and there are courses of study within. There is a metals program where students learn to manufacture with metals. They have a woodworking course, construction basics, a robotics class, and an equipment repair program.

One of the big uses of the secured funds will be the expansion of the equipment repair program to a “full-blown automotive repair class.” Maughan said they want to update the equipment to the most current technology related to the automotive field.

“So we’ll be able to bring in the computer systems that are required now for automotive repair,” Maughan said. “It’s a huge advantage for our students to be able to have experience in what is happening in that industry right now.”

Another big use of the funds will be to upgrade the machining in the metal manufacturing department. The school is looking to buy a Haas Mini Mill for their coursework.

Maughan said supporting CTE programs is important because CMHS has many kids who are eager to “dive into that workforce.”

“It’s really important that we offer them an opportunity to experience some of those things that they would be experiencing in the workforce. To build that skill set, and be ready to go out,” Maughan said. “Also, we find that our community needs skilled workers. And they’re ready to take on further training, especially when those kids come out with some basic knowledge and understanding of the trade.”

With manufacturing and industry being staples in Columbia County, Maughan said offering this alternative curriculum can help kids stay close to home and work and make a livable wage.

Maughan also emphasized that part of the grant is for the school to try to bring some of the demographics that aren’t represented in the CTE program to these opportunities.

“[We want to] see if we can draw more female students to those programs, and also students who are at risk or struggle in the academic arena,” Maughan said. “Some kids who don’t excel at bookwork really, really excel in the CTE programs. They are like life-giving to them.”

Maughan said the strategy to bring in those students is something CMHS and the district are building and thinking through so they can advertise to a broader demographic.

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