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Wednesday, 28 January 2015
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Kevin Kleckler - Director of Vocational Technology Education

Babson-Carpenter Career & Technical Education Center

We would like to take a moment of your time to introduce ourselves to you. We are the Career and Technical Education Committee. Comprised of school administrators and successful businessmen, we are responding to an overwhelming need in Hayden and the Yampa Valley for a skilled and competent workforce. Expansion of our career and technical education programs and facilities necessary for producing this work force are lacking, and we are determined to remedy this shortfall.

If you are familiar with the Hayden High School welding and automotive programs, you know what a tremendous job we are doing of educating students in these trades. In partnership with Colorado Northwestern Community College, we offer classes for high school students and adults. We have had students travel from Moffat County and Steamboat Springs to participate in these courses, and the classes have grown tremendously in popularity. The demand for our vocational courses is greater than our capacity to serve them. This is evidence of the need to expand our facilities and curriculum.

Kevin Kleckler, welding and automotive instructor, has been awarded a federal grant totaling $40,000 to expand the welding and automotive programs at Hayden High School. The Hayden School District Board of Education wants to see this grant money put to good use, and has committed $100,000 toward the building of a new facility. The district has hired an architectural firm, and the Hayden Economic Development Committee has also committed to help with the project.

The Hayden School District is planning to apply for an Energy Impact grant totaling $350,000 to $500,000. This grant, in addition to funds already committed by the school district and donations from the private sector, will allow us to build and equip a 70’ by 120’ addition to our current shop facility. We are estimating total funds of $750,000 needed to complete the project. Our new facility will have a lecture classroom, a mechanical drafting/computer aided drafting classroom, a painting booth, an automotive collision/refinishing shop, an automotive mechanics shop, which will include an area for building trades and diesel mechanics/heavy equipment operation shop. The existing facility, which currently houses both the automotive and welding programs, will be dedicated to welding. Building this addition will allow us to increase both the number of students who participate in our technical education programs, and the type and number of classes available for them to take. It will also allow Colorado Northwestern Community College to better meet the needs of adult students who desire retraining in the valley.

This is only the beginning! Hayden High School is currently expanding its building trades/cabinet making program from building tuff sheds and garages to building one home per year, which will give students training in framing, roofing, insulating, interior and exterior finishing, pouring and forming concrete, plumbing and heating, and basic electricity. Within five years, this program will outgrow its current facility inside our main building, and will need to be moved to the bus garage which adjoins our welding shop. We envision the Babson-Carpenter Career and Technical Education Center housing the very best in welding, automotive and building trades instruction!

Thank you for supporting the trades in the Yampa Valley.


Kevin Kleckler, who leads the vocational technology program for the Hayden district, points out Tuesday some of the features of the Babson-Carpenter Career and Technical Education Center. The school district is hosting an open house Saturday to show off the new $1.6 million facility. Enlarge photo