Building Future Trades Workers: Durango Wood Provides Resources to Local Schools

Apr 21, 2021

Silverton School is a small community, home to 80 students K-12. 14 students are enrolled in Silverton Middle School. Silverton High School has 16 students, 5 of whom are concurrently enrolled at Fort Lewis College in Durango, and 2 of which are registered at Pueblo Community College, taking dual-credit courses online. Silverton School has a solid core of hardworking students.

Here at Durango Wood Company, there is nothing we are more passionate about than educating the next generation and continuing our history. When Kevin DeKay, the shop instructor at Silverton School, asked us for a couple of boards, we wanted to make sure we did not send him back to Silverton empty-handed. Mr. DeKay left Durango Wood Company with 2-300 feet of donated hardwoods, and a new base inventory for Silverton School’s Shop class. 

“I have taught here for over 20 years, both middle and high school,” Mr. DeKay tells us. “My subject areas are science, math, P.E., and shop. Not unusual in a small school.  Shop class is most inspirational and motivating for me. The students really want to be there, they have good energy, ideas, and I think they find it meaningful and worthwhile. I have been well supported by some local craftsmen. I tell the students that if I can’t figure something out. I’ll find someone who can.”

“You all were a huge help in providing us with a base inventory of hardwoods that the students will use for projects. Identifying and ordering wood from a remote location adds an extra layer to overcome.”

“We have been building a program for several years now and our shop class has been on/off a little but we now have pretty high interest. I limit class sizes to 4 to 5 students mostly due to space. Currently, I have 4 high school students and 4 middle school students,” DeKay continues.

“The exciting thing about shop is the potential for growth.  We are currently in an old historic barn that was a warehouse used for loading pack trains and wagons (I think).  It’s pretty cool actually and we have some hopes to expand our shop space since we only use 1/2 the building.”

Durango Wood Company has also donated to Durango High School, Bayfield Schools, and Ignacio Schools.

The U.S. is facing an incredible decline in skilled labor over the next few years, at the exact time when demand is expected to reach its peak. The constant demand for trades work skills keeps wages high, but the greatest value of learning a trade might be embarking on an enriching career. Entering a trade offers personal fulfillment, high salary potential, and job stability. The trades provide an essential service for which there will always be a need. Durango Wood Company is proud to be a part of the trades industry and is happy to offer education and resources to the next generation of craftsmen to come.

Are you a local educator, interested in reaching out? We welcome all inquiries and would be delighted to speak with you. Give us a call, and let us know how we can help!