Submitted by the San Juan County Economic Development Council.
The San Juan County Economic Development Council (EDC) has been running a free training program in plumbing basics since January, and students have great things to say about it. Taught by Jeff Morris of Morris Plumbing & Heating and by Brett McFarland, Applied Physics teacher at Orcas Island High School, this class has explored the history of plumbing, career information, tool usage, standard plumbing code, safety, and more.
Instruction has revolved around the construction of the wall and floor of a faux bathroom, to be fully plumbed with fixtures during the final weeks of the class. Student Jason Lee says of the course: “I’ve learned a tremendous amount in a short amount of time. If I had the chance, I’d take the course again.”
While teaching Plumbing Basics, Jeff Morris has been “impressed with the interest all of the students are showing. Even with their wide range of backgrounds, they all seem to want to learn something new; something that may help them in their current jobs, something that they may be able to use in their personal lives, or perhaps something that will lead to a job in a different trade.”
This course is the latest in a series of classes under the EDC’s Trades Education Initiative, which is intended for high school students, career changers, and those looking to advance in the trades. The goal of these classes is to give participating students a comprehensive introduction into the trades, while creating a larger pool of skilled workers for local companies to employ.
The EDC’s Orcas programs are sponsored by the Washington State Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund, the Washington State Department of Commerce, the Orcas Island Community Foundation, the Kiwanis Club of Orcas Island, Walt Corbin, and the Orcas Island School District. The EDC’s Trades Education Initiative is additionally supported by San Juan County, the Town of Friday Harbor, the Port of Friday Harbor, San Juan Island School District, Heritage Bank, and Islanders Bank. The EDC is grateful to all of our partners, without whom these courses would not be possible.
The San Juan County Economic Development Council (EDC) strives to strengthen and diversify the economy of San Juan County. We believe a strong economy builds a strong community.