COLORADO SPRINGS— The International Woodworking Fair based in Atlanta donated $12,500 to the cabinet manufacturing trades program.
Widefield School District 3 plans to update equipment and skill-based curriculum for students at its Manufacturing Industry Learning Lab (MiLL).
"It’s always exciting to see students involved in programs where we know there’s a direct connection to employment," said the director of innovation and alternative education Shane Skalla.
Skalla said there are more than 420 students enrolled in trades programs at the MiLL, the most since it started in 2017.
This donation makes it possible for students to feel confident going straight into the workforce after graduation.
"We just hope that we can continue to get the support from industries so we can grow our programs and ensure there’s a strong workforce for the future," said Skalla.
Students can choose from cabinet manufacturing, woodworking, or welding technologies.
Emiliano Zamora, a Mesa Ridge High School Senior, found his passion at the MiLL— plumbing.
"Most people get out of high school thinking,’ wow, I have no idea what I want to do,’ and here they actually got a place for you to find that to see if you click with anything," said Zamora.
With four years of working experience already under his belt, he said he feels prepared for whatever's next.
"It makes me realize like, ‘wow, I can do this with my bare hands,’ and once you have that mentality in your head I feel like there’s little to scare you in the big world," said Zamora.
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