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Senator McGuire visits McKinleyville Middle School Woodworking Program

MCKINLEYVILLE - Senator Mike McGuire's interest in career and technical education, led him to McKinleyville Middle School Friday morning to recognize their exceptional entrepreneurship program.

This program allows students to make a variety of goods to sell through commission or at their craft fairs. The program focuses on three career driven fields; gardening, art and woodworking.

Senator Mike McGuire said, "First off, I'm blown away. McKinleyville Middle School does it right and does it like everybody else should across the state".

Senator McGuire heard of the woodworking class in particular and became intrigued to see the facility and students at work.

“I was really happy, because all of us worked really hard for this woodshop program and we all put our best into everything we did. So it was good to get some recognition for that,” said woodworking student, Sebastian Reyes.

McGuire sees the importance of technical and career skills and believes the state should focus on these types of classes for the future.

"This is exactly the model of success for public schools. So one, students are able to realize the importance of responsibility, project management and completing a project. Two, they are learning important skills when it comes to being able to sell those items that they're making. And I’ve got to tell you this, career technology and job skill classes like this, is exactly what we need in the state of California," said McGuire.

Over 600 children have gone through this program. They learn everything from starting with hand tools, to working with compass planes, miter saws, band saws, and even oscillating spindle sanders. They’ve got top of the line equipment and everything in the room has come from donations or grants.

The woodworking class has only been around for six years, but teachers say, the students gain so much from their time in the woodshop.

“The kids come in here, not really knowing themselves and often not really much self-esteem, and when they walk out of here, they have a lot of self-esteem and they really feel that they can do things all by themselves, without anybody to help," said Woodworking Program Director.