Lynden students shine at Technic Training Center

Lynden students shine at Technic Training Center
Posted on 02/22/2017
Already the opportunities available for Lynden High School students at the Technic Training Center prove invaluable, but those opportunities continue to grow as the roughly one-year-old center furthers its expansion.

Located on the campus of Lynden Door and with sponsorships from nearly 20 local and national businesses funding the center, the Technic Training Center has already made its mark as one of the most sought after classes for LHS students looking to further skills in woodworking, modern manufacturing and business.

Located within its own 8,000-square-foot building on the Lynden Door campus, the training center welcomes separate classes from Lynden High School, Lynden Christian and Cornerstone, starting in the winter of 2016 with a pilot class from LHS. With the second LHS class—this with 14 students—wrapping up at the end of the first semester, another LHS class of 20 students sits poised to enter the dream woodworking shop next semester.

Staffed with a program director and training manager, the center also features community volunteer mentors that help the students work on advanced projects, both for themselves and for the community. For example, next semester’s class will construct bookcases designed specifically for the new Fisher Elementary School.

“We get to make our own projects and stuff for the community,” senior Steven Bakke says about the opportunity. “I enjoy it and like leaving school to come here.”

LHS teacher John Grubbs, who oversees the LHS class, says his students have taken the privilege to join seriously, providing a mature environment of learning new skills on advanced machinery.

“It is nice to have school outside of school, as it allows the students to remain focused and have no distractions,” Grubbs says. “They are really wanting to learn.”

The next stage of learning comes with the installation of a CNC machine, which takes digital designs and cuts them on wood for more exacting projects, such as the Fisher effort.

John Slagle, Technic program director, says the center exists in part to expose students to the cutting-edge technology used in manufacturing and to allow “students to use a variety of skills” they wouldn’t otherwise explore at the high school.

Recent projects include construction of nightstand end tables using a variety of construction methods and turning raw lumber into headboards.

Micah Smith, a LHS senior, says having tools not available in the high school’s metal shop has given him a new perspective on what’s available, especially as he moves toward a post-high school education that puts a focus on business.

Whether with Slagle, training manager Ron Visser or the community mentors, having professionals working alongside the students offers a wealth of knowledge to draw from. “You can build more than the basics,” says senior Michael Fremolaro. “They work with us to show tricks and different ways to do things with different tools. This is really hands-on for the kids who want to be here and want to have a career.”

The concept of the Technic Training Center took off in fall 2015 when community members created a vision and confirmed the direction of the center by creating partnerships. LHS was the first to pilot the center in early 2016, accepting students who had already participated in Woodworking 1 and 2. Now LHS students can join the center through coordinated transportation during the school day to earn high school credit.

Participants in the center complete training in workplace and shop safety, tool and equipment functions, raw materials applications, woodworking, planning, machining, maintenance, management (from time to LEAN to inventory), finance in the form of inventory and cost analysis and product marketing.