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Building on pathway training

Construction students build on pathway classes
Posted on 08/04/2015
Noel Maselli

Chris Szedlak, owner of Concrete Solutions, Inc., hasn’t had many high school students working for him through the years.  Now he has two.

“I’m happy to see kids out here working,” says Szedlak.  “A lot of people don’t want to do physical work anymore.

“But I think it’s great that kids are getting trained in the trades,” he said.  “Employers find that really valuable.  This prepares kids to make an actual living.”

Noel Maselli (pictured) and Macauley Kizer are both rising seniors at McMinnville High School, who have taken construction classes.  Maselli, who is earning his endorsement in the Construction pathway, worked for the business last summer as well, when he spent a lot of time nailing together concrete forms.

“You make it like a box and then pour the concrete in,” he said. “We use a lot of the basic tools for construction, like what learned how to use in the classes at school.”

This year, the company is building 186 curb ramps as part of McMinnville’s transportation bond, which includes installing wheelchair accessible sidewalks to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Maselli’s job is now more about digging out around the old sidewalk and stripping away the forms after the concrete is poured.

Kizer doesn’t know whether he’ll work in the construction industry after high school, but enjoys it for now.  “I never wanted to be flipping burgers,” he said.  “This is a better fit for me.”

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