Roundhouse grant boosts career-tech students

Students enrolled in Advanced Manufacturing, Construction Technology and Aviation Maintenance at Columbia Gorge Community College will receive tools for their new trades thanks to support from the Roundhouse Foundation.

Columbia Gorge Community College Foundation received $22,500 from The Roundhouse Foundation to equip career-tech students with tools and supplies needed for these new training programs and help prepare them for their new careers.

The Roundhouse Foundation supports rural Oregon through education, arts, culture, and environmental stewardship. “Both the CGCC Foundation and Roundhouse believe education opens doors, changes lives, and strengthens communities,” said Wendy Patton, executive director of CGCC Foundation.  “I love partnership like this,” she added. 

With this grant, Advanced Manufacturing students now have a welding jacket, angle grinder, a ball-peen hammer, vice grips and clamps. Construction Technology students receive a hardhat, headlamp and other safety equipment they’ll need for class and jobsite. Plus, all the students receive $160 to purchase work boots.

Once the Aviation Maintenance program starts this winter term, Patton will work with instructor Bryan Despain to supply those students with the tools they need. Program approval is pending review by the Federal Aviation Administration.

“Removing barriers for our students who want an education in the trades, but often do not have the resources to invest in the tools needed to step onto the jobsite, is a personal goal of mine,” says Patton, who grew up in a family of aircraft mechanics. “We are honored to be selected by The Roundhouse Foundation this year.”

Based in Sisters, Oregon, the Roundhouse Foundation began in 2002 with support from Gert Boyle, matriach of Columbia Sportswear.

The Roundhouse Foundation is dedicated to supporting programs that inspire creativity, connect people with each other and their sense of place, and ensure sustainability for Oregon’s rural communities.

“I live and work in Sisters, and Mom was a frequent visitor,” says Founder Kathy Deggendorfer. “We love rural Oregon, its scenic beauty, and the creative community of artists who live throughout our regions.” 

As described on The Roundhouse Foundation’s website, Gert was no stranger to challenges. She immigrated from Nazi Germany in 1937, took over Columbia Hat Company with her husband Neal, and then quickly had to transition the family business after Neal’s sudden death in 1970.  Gert recognized the need for hard work and collaboration to ensure the family business and the greater community was successful.

Construction Technology instructor Glenn Wood greets visitors in skills center lab, The Dalles Campus of Columbia Gorge Community College. (CGCC photo.)