A lesson in the trades


Bridge City Contracting hosted Battle Ground High School career and technical education (CTE) students to learn about the trades while building fences.

On Wednesday, May 8, woodshop and other CTE students helped build a fence for the Bridge City Contracting property along North Parkway Avenue, close to the high school. Students used a power drill, painted and stained wood and learned other construction concepts.

“Our goal for today was to create an event for students of Battle Ground High School … to really spark their interest and get them involved in learning about the trades,” said Elizabeth Gomez, founder and project manager of Bridge City Contracting. “One of the ways that we’re doing that is we have created a pretty palatable construction project that we are helping them with.”

Other businesses partnered with Bridge City Contracting to help teach students about the trades. Parr Lumber donated the wood and fencing supplies for the event, while Miller Paint and Lowe’s also provided donations and experience. The Building Industry Association of Clark County Building Futures Foundation attended, as well.

“They have provided us lunch, and they’re here to talk about scholarship opportunities for any of the students interested in going into the trades,” Gomez said of the Building Futures Foundation. “They also offer tool grants for students, which is very important. A lot of people graduate high school with jobs, and they don’t have the hand tools they need to perform the work for the jobs that they get. So our Building Futures Foundation can help with drills, hand tools and other types of tools. So, this is a very impactful presence here.”

Gomez believes the trades allow graduates to enter careers and earn money versus owe money to student loans and other debts.

“CTE programs, overall, I feel really help students kind of determine what they want to do in the future and as they graduate, and some kids will go into an industry similar to this,” said Cindy Arnold, director of career and technical education at Battle Ground Public Schools. “This is just a great opportunity for them to be able to see kind of a little bit what this is all about if they’re not already involved. Some of these students are already involved in construction, in the trades in one way, shape or form, but for them to be able to come here and just keep experiencing it helps them kind of solidify what they want to do.”