Umatilla High School Exploring Trades
Students Gain Skills and Learn Trades
If you visit the Manufacturing Shop at Umatilla High School, you will see five framed “house” walls. These walls are the product of many hours of work by the students in the UHS Exploring Trades class. Since the school year began, they have been building these walls to learn all the facets of building an actual house.
Kyle Francisco, the Metals/Manufacturing Teacher, said students started out pouring concrete foundations, then moved on to framing, exterior finishing, and are now working on plumbing. By the end of the school year, the student groups will have learned about electrical, drywall, and painting, too.
The purpose of Exploring Trades is to introduce high school students to a variety of trades, for general awareness and for potential future careers. Francisco said this is the first year the class has been offered at UHS. “The biggest advantage of the class is that students get to learn about high-demand trades, try their hand at these skills and see if they really like this type of work,” Francisco said. Even if students don’t pursue it as a career, they can use the skills in their own homes.
Bob Kumar, a UHS sophomore, said he has learned how to use a tape measure, saws, and a nail gun. He said he enjoys Exploring Trades because it’s a change from just sitting in a chair and writing an essay for a class. “This is something different, and I really like the physical work involved with the projects. I thought cutting the pieces of wood was fun, because I had never really done that before,” Kumar said.
Francisco said during the year-long class, students realize that building just one wall of a house takes a lot of work, and “they have gotten a lot better about understanding how things go together.”