Adam Hughes unpacks a box and pulls out a circular saw.
On a table nearby, he’s laid out hammers, tape measures and drill and drive bits. Elsewhere, in what used to be the drama club’s scene construction shop at Brookfield High School, you see a table saw, a miter saw, utility knives, and other kinds of power and manual hand tools.
“We’re bringing shop class back – modified,” said Rob Eggleston, the Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio career counselor who works with Brookfield schools.
Hughes will teach the pre-apprenticeship program to juniors and seniors, starting this year. For the first year, the class will focus on carpentry skills.
“Building bird houses, building cornhole boards, little projects like that,” Hughes said. “We’re not gonna
get into the big sheds or anything like that, yet. Hopefully, down the line, we can get into that.”
And, down the line, the students will be exposed to masonry, electrical work, plumbing and other skilled
trades, often by professionals in those trades themselves, who will have the opportunity to recruit students
they think show potential.
“When the kids graduate, they have already a foot in the door of all the trades, not just carpentry,” Hughes said. “Brookfield bringing this stuff back, I think it’s a great thing for the community.”
“The goal is to teach them the underlying skills that you’re going to need to be able to go into an apprenticeship and succeed,” Eggleston said. “How to not cut your finger off. How to read a tape measure. How to use a circular saw. How to use an impact drill. What is a fastener? What are the different types of fasteners? The difference between a screw and a nail. The kids don’t know this stuff, yet. They’re
going to learn it in this course.”
The pre-apprenticeship program follows the school’s desire to do more for students who do not go to
college after high school.
Eggleston said that 70 percent of high school graduates go to college, but only about 30 to 35 percent earn
at least an associate’s degree.
“What do we do with the other extra 70 percent?” Eggleston said. “We’re getting those ones ready to
The school has slowly added career-oriented course offerings in recent years, from CPR and basic first aid to Microsoft software programs.
Also new this year, the high school is offering a life skills class that will teach skills similar to what many people remember as home economics.
“I am so excited where the high school is going,” said Principal Kristen Foster. “ I feel like, from our career pathways class to our life skills class, we’re kind of bringing those things back that kids are missing
out on, and they are super excited about that.”