Cascadia Tech News

April 22, 2020

From our Director

We are doing great things a Cascadia Tech Academy!

-Joan Huston, Director

Newsletter #2

The new face of fashion

Fashion Design instructor, Kim Forbes developed a multi-sized face mask pattern and instructions over the last few weeks. She is making as many face masks as time will allow and distributing them to essential workers. Her priority is staff at Camp Evergreen daycare, mail carriers and grocery employees.


Click here to visit our website to view and download the patterns and instructions. "Please feel free to share with anyone and everyone. This is my own developed pattern and there is no copyright," said Kim.


The Columbian highlighted local businesses retooling manufacturing lines to address needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. One such business owner is also a member of the Cascadia Tech Fashion Design Advisory Board.


With the slogan, “We are all in this together”, Fashion Design Advisory Board member, Ryan Moor and his companies, Ryonet and Allmade, are joining the call to make face masks and other protective gear. Ryan shared that making PPE is accounting for 50% of their current production. The masks are not medical-grade, but are being used to prolong the life of the N95 medical masks. Thank you Ryan and team!


Click here to view the entire article.

Construction Tech builds house #44

The Construction Technology program is building its 44th home this year! The second year students work alongside industry subcontractors to learn and experience all aspects of the building trades. The program’s rich history of collaborating and partnering with builders in our community started in the early 1980s per Dennis Kampe, Cascadia Technical Academy Foundation Director. This relationship is unique, yet mutually beneficial. It affords local employers a wealth of well-trained individuals and leaders for their workforce and the construction students experience real life hands-on training.


After successfully completing year one of the on-campus Construction Technology program, where students learn the basics of the trade, they enroll into the second year of the training. Each morning rain or shine, the students suit up in boots, coveralls, and hardhats and are bussed to an actual job site. Here is where they put their skills to use building a house under the supervision of instructor Lance Landis. When asked why the program is so popular and successful with today’s youth, Lance states, “Students thrive when their classroom is in fact authentic."


This year’s home is nestled within the quiet West Minnehaha area of Vancouver. It is an 1,844 square foot two story home with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths; it is located in an established neighborhood within the nationally recognized Vancouver Public Schools and is close to a variety of parks and county recreation trails. The house funding is by Cascadia Technical Academy Foundation. The Foundation Director says, “It’s easier for us to stand behind the loan than the school. When we first started building, we contracted with Lang Brothers Enterprises. Lang Brothers backed the first 32 houses allowing the school to use their contractor licenses and their financial status in order to acquire a loan for the houses and now the Foundation is able to do this.” Once the home is completed, it is sold on the open market.


In addition to the technical and professionalism skills students learn while in the Construction Technology program, the students are encouraged to continue their training in a variety of apprenticeship and post-secondary education programs. Many of the program’s graduates are building contractors in our community today!

Cascadia Foundation grants $57K for flight simulator

Aviation Technology at Cascadia Technical Academy has grown in size and popularity since the program opening in the fall of 2014, necessitating the need for additional advanced simulators. Cascadia Technical Academy Foundation received a $57,000 donation for the purchase of a second CRX Max simulator for the program. “The vision of the Foundation is to make Cascadia Tech the premier career and technical education program in our country. That requires us to keep our equipment and instructors on the leading edge of technology. We felt the purchases of these simulators was a perfect example of how we do that,” said Jim West, chairperson for the Cascadia Technical Academy Foundation.


Aviation Technology is an entry point into a multitude of careers in the aerospace industry, including Airline Pilot, Aerospace Engineer, Remote Aircraft Systems Operator, Air Traffic Controller, Aviation Maintenance Technician and Aircraft Assembler. Students can earn a private pilot ground school certificate, as well as other technical certifications. Rob Reinbach, Aviation Technology Instructor shares, “The actual hands-on training allows students to work together as a flight crew in an authentic aviation experience. We also use the CRX for evaluation where we bring in actual airline pilots or flight instructors to evaluate students.” The fully enclosed flight simulator gives students the opportunity to complete the required hours on a FFA approved training device.


“I appreciate our Foundation Board for their continued generosity and support of our programs. Without them, the purchase of this simulator could not have happened. This simulator allows us to be able serve more students in the Aviation program,” said Joan Huston, Director of Cascadia Technical Academy.

Cascadia Tech Grads: Where are they now?

Dental Program Alumni


Dr. Erica Lenz started her career in dentistry as a dental assistant in 2006, when she completed the Clark County Skills Center Dental Assisting Program (now Cascadia Technical Academy) as a high school student. Her first dental assisting position was with the now-retired pediatric dentist, Dr. Ronald Lund in Hazel Dell area.


Erica continued working as a dental assistant in college in Omaha, Nebraska. While attending University of Nebraska Medical Center she completed advanced research in Bacterial Adherence to Sealant Materials and Orthodontic Bonding Agents and graduated with two regional awards. She received the W.W. Webster Oral Surgery Award for demonstrating outstanding ability in performing oral surgery, as well as the American Association of Public Health Dentistry Award for demonstrating outstanding achievements in community dentistry and dental public health. She has also been recognized by Komet USA in the Outstanding Women in Dentistry category in 2016.


Erica moved “home” in 2017 to open a Comfort Dental location in Camas. Dr. Lenz believes that her staff feels truly understood and valued, thanks to her unique personal perspective. Dr. Lenz highly recommends Cascadia Tech. She shares that the school, instructors and learning opportunities she received attending the Dental program shaped her into the woman and dentist she is today.

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