A construction student inspired his classmates to enter the field

Kylie Lundy was a leader among her classmates as they built a house as part of the residential construction program at the Career Technical Education Center in Salem.

Kylie Lundy, West Salem High School and Career Technical Education Center Class of 2022 (Courtesy/Kylie Lundy)

This article is part of a series of profiles of the class of 2022 graduates.

With a house built before graduation, Kylie Lundy had her pick of summer jobs.

The 18-year-old is a graduate of West Salem High School and the district’s Career Technical Education Center — and is following in her parents’ footsteps in the construction industry.

“As soon as I set foot there, I felt at home,” Lundy said of the program at CETC. “The environment was so welcoming and I started to aspire to enter this field.”

Lundy said she found her first two years of high school “a little boring” and was less interested in sitting in class all day, although she enjoyed some business classes that involved hands-on work like management of the student store.

She applied to the construction program and started her freshman year.

Students in the program learn everything from architecture to ordering materials, and put their skills to work building an actual home that is then sold on the open market.

The cost of the home covers materials, supervisors, land, and licensed specialty work like electrical and plumbing, which is left to contractors.

“It’s fascinating to me to see how it can grow from a piece of land to a structure that people can live in,” Lundy said.

Her teachers said Lundy quickly stood out for her professionalism – always being the one in the class who stood up and greeted visitors – and her attention to detail.

“She sort of took on the leadership role on the job site saying, ‘What do we have to do today?’ said Alyssa Stone, the building program’s teaching assistant.

This year, Lundy tutored first-year construction students, a job no one asked her to do, said Alesha Watts, the program’s English teacher.

“She really excelled in our house design competition,” Watts said, referring to the annual project where students design a house to be built the following year.

Although her design was not selected, Lundy said working on a real house was a high school highlight for her.

“To see a house that I had worked on a bit last year and earlier this year, to move in and see a family living in the house was super cool,” she said.

The district’s construction program tends to be male-dominated, with approximately 30% female students. Some of them first applied to CETC hoping to attend another of their practical programs and were instead assigned to construction when others filled up.

Stone said that means there are often girls in the program who don’t necessarily want to enter the construction industry after graduating. But Lundy’s influence and enthusiasm spread among her classmates.

“I think all but one or two of this year’s band are going to be building, which is crazy,” Stone said. “One was going to be a veterinarian. Now she’s going to be a plumber.

Stone said Lundy also made trips across town from his west Salem home to socialize with friends as part of the construction program, despite driving a truck with terrible gas mileage. . She joined the National Association of Women in Construction and made gift bags with roses for other girls in the program.

Lundy works for Smallwood Builders, a general contracting company, out of Alsea this summer, then begins a construction engineering management program at Oregon State University in the fall.

She hopes to one day own her own general contracting business.

Lundy said that looking back on high school, she’s most proud of “being a leader and blazing my own trail.”

“I think a lot of people, especially in high school, like to fit in with the band…and I felt like I never did,” she said.

Contact journalist Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

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