High school students here in the Methow Valley can now utilize an innovative expansion of career and technical education facilities at TwispWorks.
Renovating and expanding the current welding shop, as well as building a new 2,000+ square-foot, two-bay automotive tech garage started with the students. We invited Independent Learning Center students to help with design. For one term three interested students spent one day per week in our studio learning about design, modeling, and documentation while gaining relevant experience on this project. With the students we met with local industry professionals to build the criteria for the program and building, and the students were able to present their concepts to the community.
The renovation and addition includes equipment and mechanical upgrades to the welding shop, a new classroom that is shared between the welding shop and auto-tech shop, bathrooms for exclusive student use as well as two bathrooms on the outside of the building for public use.
The new facilities help provide long term solutions for recent community challenges such as retention of youth talent, labor shortages, need for career and technical education opportunities, and lack of living wage jobs. The expansion is made possible by a strong partnership with the Methow Valley School District, which provides the programming (equipment, curriculum, staff, enrollment, etc.) while TwispWorks provides and maintains the facility. The auto tech facility has the capacity to include electric vehicles in the curriculum. Increasing career and technical education offerings was one of the key ideas to come out of the school district’s 2020 Dream Big planning process.
“Education is at its best when school and community come together, blurring the lines between school and the workplace, providing students with an opportunity to ‘rub elbows with the real world’. I don’t know of a school district and community that does it better.”
– Frank Kline, President, Methow Valley School Board
“The future automotive technology shop and the upgrades to the welding shop are all a part of the Methow Valley School District’s plan to give students real world experience while exploring skilled trades or preparing for a career in the industries. Because of our innovative partnership with TwispWorks, students will get to use industry standard equipment in the welding and automotive shops while also learning theory and other important skills in the recently remodeled classroom. These programs will prepare students to enter a post-secondary technical college or step straight into the industry of their interest. There is a huge need for skilled tradespeople right now, so we are excited to be giving students the chance to prepare for these much-needed careers.”
– Matt Kennedy, Welding and Auto Tech Instructor, Methow Valley School District
Vocation Tech Building