Students in Enrique Reyes’ East Valley Institute of Technology construction class, housed at Apache Junction High School, 2525 S. Ironwood Drive, are laying the foundation for great careers.
The class that AJHS students attend is ranked No. 1 in Arizona of high schools in the state with a construction program.
Proof of its success was evident in a recent event where city of Apache Junction presenters talked to the students about the job experience in the construction field, the type of equipment that gets worked on, as well median salaries that can be made.
Presenters, who included Heather Hodgman, Victor Martinez, Darron Anglin, Richard Mooney, Adrian Alegria and Dave Maza, emphasized the need for more local, skilled workers due to the new land development on South Ironwood and more.
The construction technologies class is part of an EVIT course based on the National Center for Construction and Research program. There are currently openings for students next semester and students in 10-12 grades are eligible to enroll.
Students learn about safety, how to use power tools, as well as building basics. Mr. Reyes puts a huge focus on math, reading and understanding plans, layout, and using the tools that are used on job sites.
Math basics such as converting fractions (inches to feet), calculating the pitch of a roof, taking accurate measurements (measure twice, cut once), configuring the area of a shed and ordering raw materials to create a project give students “hands-on” examples of how math skills are needed in everyday life.
Reyes is a former Sundt Construction employee who was a journeyman carpenter and also worked as a foreman in the concrete division. He has garnered donations from his former employer and closely supervises his students to ensure they learn and use the same quality, safety and great fundamental practices that are needed in the professional world.
Due to emphasizing high standards he is able to place many students in high-paying jobs with companies such as Sundt, Okland and others. After the students complete the program, many graduates start at more than $23 an hour.
Apache Junction High School emphasizes a well-rounded education where academics, sports and extracurricular activities allow students to grow scholastically, physically and emotionally. AJHS graduates have access to more scholarships per student than in most communities in the Valley and qualifying students have access to Promise for the Future to earn a tuition-free education at Central Arizona College.
Registration for all new students who wish to enroll in Apache Junction Unified School District schools are currently being accepted at all school locations. For more information about AJUSD or its schools or departments, visit ajusd.org.
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