Enumclaw School Board hears employer’s plea

Local business owner Ted DeVol made a plea to the Enumclaw School Board to provide high school students with training to fill a need in the manufacturing industry.

He said his business, DeVol Racing Equipment, is struggling to find programmers. With other similar businesses in the area like Boeing and Hill Aero Systems, he said there’s a need for graduates with those skills.

DeVol placed three parts on a table before school board members and said, “We can’t find anyone to produce them for me. Nobody is training anyone to do this.”

He said those who can do the job can make a decent middle-class wage of $24 to $60 an hour.

“It’s expensive to buy the machines,” said board member Corey Cassell, who is an advocate for the district’s career and technology training programs. He said it’s also find hard to find instructors willing to give up their jobs to teach students, but he’s one who is trying to leap over those hurdles.

Cassell said Green River Community College and Renton Technical College have programs. He is also aware of grants for aerospace training and other programs and he would meet with DeVol to see what’s available.

In other business, the board:

• announced Dec. 5 for its next board workshop at Sunrise Elementary School and its next regular meeting Dec. 19 in the district board room. Both begin at 6:30 p.m.

• accepted a donation of $2,600 from the Muckleshoot Tribe to purchase five iPads for the special education program; $6,000 from the Enumclaw Schools Foundation for grants at Black Diamond, Sunrise, Westwood and Kibler elementary schools and Enumclaw High School; $45,000 from the Muckleshoot Tribe for a grant to the Native American program; and $4,100 from Kibler PTA to Kibler for classroom enhancements.

• accepted a leave request from Enumclaw Middle School teacher Rebekah Cheney.

• rehired long-term substitute Renee Woods at EMS.

• gave additional hours to paraeducators Kristin Young, Thunder Mountain Middle School, and Kim Hogan, Westwood, and district office secretary Virginia Harmon.

• accepted the retirement of Sunrise custodian Korliss DeLange and Westwood assistant secretary Carol Buckendahl.

• gave temporary hours to ECEAP paraeducator Patricia Monstand-Rios at Southwood.

• hired paraeducators Anita Fong, Sunrise, Stephanie Sanders, TMMS, and Sandra Wells and June vanHaalan, both at Westwood.