Sometimes cool things have a handy, albeit incidental, lesson within them.
Cory Dent’s “Win the Day” Oregon Duck tailgate bus was certainly a cool addition to Build Oregon Trades Day at Stayton High School on Friday, Sept. 25.
The popular (and according to Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kelly Schreiber “formerly ugly”) converted commercial bus provided a curious attraction — along with an opportunity to step out of the morning drizzle into a comfy padded seating alignment with a flat-screen TV affixed to the rear wall.
About a dozen students were checking out the custom rig’s spiffy interior when freshman J.C. Miller inquired: “How much did this cost?”
Dent, owner of Stayton Tire and Automotive, obliged with a quick lesson about time and money.
“Well, that depends on how you look at it,” he explained to the students. “I have about 600 hours of work put into this.”
“How about for all the stuff?” Miller pursued.
“Materials and everything — about $25,000,” Dent added.
Time-as-money was an important concept of the day, as was the opportunity to get face-time with the employing sector of the Santiam region.
Trades Day formulated via North Santiam School District’s partnership with Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce. The aim is to afford students a glimpse at what is out there, and to provide businesses and employers an opportunity to convey what types of training, skills, or education leads to various job opportunities.
The idea is to provide a scenario of mutual benefit, inspiring students to work toward jobs that exist within the community while helping local industry and employers outline the course to such employment.
While Stayton students visited the various kiosks in the morning, the school opened up the attraction regionally as students from Regis, Cascade, Scio and Jefferson were slated to bus in for an afternoon visit.
“One of my goals and the goals of the district is to better connect students and community,” Stayton Principal Alan Kirby said. “It’s a ‘win-win’ when we can have businesses involved with our students.”
Businesses and other entities responded favorably.
Pacific Power’s Van Schoenborn of Sublimity anchored one end of the field complex area while stretching west from Pacific Power were Modern Building, NORPAC, Build Oregon, Willamette Promise, City of Stayton, Chemeketa Community College, Area 2 Plumber, Tanglewood Timber, DeSantis Landscaping, Best Heating, Freres Lumber, Stayton Police and Stayton Fire.
North and east of the complex toward the football stadium some heavy equipment lured curious eyes, compliments SITECH Peterson CAT, Northwest College of Construction and Siegmund Excavation Construction.
Public safety entities pumped up their popularity with a few cool standbys: Stayton Police K9 Brodie presented his nifty prowess using a tennis-ball prop; Stayton Fire’s recruiter Matt Aalto and volunteer Rochelle Toon furnished hands-on operation of a robust fire hose.
“We weren’t expecting to shoot water today, but they let us do it,” Aalto said. “It’s been a blast. The kids really seem to be having fun.”
It was the sort of fun that comes with eye-opening exposure, between the forklifts and power-line lift trucks, backhoes and fire hoses or customized recreation rigs, maybe some inspired career or trade ideas will sprout.
Or perhaps other ideas: like maybe an Oregon State Beavers tailgate bus?
jmuch@StatesmanJournal.com or (503) 769-6338, cell (503) 508-8157 or follow at twitter.com/justinmuch