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High school's career training center gets sparked by grant for welding

Two new welders sit in Warrenton High School's library, waiting for installation in the campus' new Career Tech Center. (Courtesy Josh Jannusch)
Thursday, February 7, 2019

Warrenton High School has two new welding stations for its Career Tech Center, which is being built this spring.

The Pacific Power Foundation awarded the Warrenton Hammond School District a $2,000 grant to help purchase the MIG/TIG welders.

Next school year, Warrenton High School is excited it can offer welding and automotive technology classes on campus, said Vice Principal Josh Jannusch, who is in charge of career training and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

Jannusch wrote a grant application on behalf of the high school that won $436,286 from the Oregon Department of Education to help revitalize career and technology programs on campus.

It allowed the school, among other things, to remove a shed on campus and seek bids for construction of a prefabricated career training building in its place.

The new career training building, a 120-foot by 60-foot steel building worth $76,000, was donated by the owner of R&M Steel of Caldwell, Idaho. Four district teachers have been or are in the process of being certified to teach career-oriented classes in graphic design, natural resources and manufacturing/technology and others will be hired and certified for auto and welding to meet state STEM requirements.

“The Pacific Power Foundation grant has helped to provide much needed funds to begin to fully stock the building with current industry tools, which will allow students … to experience valuable career-connected learning,” Jannusch said.

To determine industry needs, the school district consulted with community college CTE and high school instructors, as well as industry partners to provide the most current information about welders, tools and methods, he said.

“These partnerships are very important to providing students with the best learning opportunities that have career connections, as well as connections to post-secondary programs, such as with Clatsop Community College’s MERTS campus.”

MIG (metal inert gas) welding is a process that involves feeding metal wire into a weld, which acts as a filler to join the two metal objects. TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding uses a tungsten electrode to run a current through the metals being joined.

The Pacific Power Foundation is part of the PacifiCorp Foundation, one of the largest utility-endowed foundations in the United States. The utility serves 1.8 million customers in six western states.

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