TOLEDO — Waldport High School sophomore Jake Turkaly was one of three high school student interns at the Port of Toledo this Spring. On his last day, Turkaly assisted boat builder Dave Stocker to replace the main engine, generator and refrigeration unit of the F/V Pacific Pacer.
“He’s a pretty talented guy,” Stocker said of Turkaly, who that day fabricated gussets to reinforce a refrigeration unit and helped Stocker dismantle the engine and remove it.
Stocker complimented Turkaly’s attitude and enthusiasm.
Port Manager Lorna Davis said she wanted to hire Turkaly, but had to wait until the 16-year-old turns 18.
Eight Lincoln County School District students participated in the welding program — a partnership between the school district, Oregon Coast Community College and the port. School district students and those from the college attend classes in the instructional welding lab at the port.
Enrollment capacity was limited by COVID this year, Davis said. Twelve students attended classes at the campus in Toledo. With more than 120 students on the community college’s wait list, it’s one of the most popular programs, Davis noted.
While training potential future workers to meet the needs of the port and industry at larg e, Davis indicated the other part of the port’s commitment to the community is to provide local high school students with internship opportunities.
Turkaly and the other interns worked in the yard a few days a week, she explained, learning marine trade and what it’s like to work in a shipyard — gaining valuable skills and actual work experience.
In addition to welding, Turkaly earned to drive a fork lift, operate a scissor lift, how to weld and fabricate metal parts, and helped to install a tail shaft in a commercial fishing boat. Working with boat owners, captains and crews, as well as port staff, he gained valuable, real-world work experience.
“I learned a lot. I worked with some great people. It was a great experience,” said Turkaly.