Sutherlin Grads Doing the Hard Work!

Ty Clement always dreamed of being a lineman or an electrician like his father, a dream he is now in the process of achieving.  Ty shared this with Sutherlin High School Athletic Director Josh Grotting, who encouraged him to follow his dream.  Ty attended school in Sutherlin from fourth grade through graduation and participated in basketball, soccer, and wrestling.  Being involved in sports made school more fun and something to look forward to outside of the classroom, even though he enjoyed all aspects of high school and being with friends.  During his high school years, Ty worked at the Oakland Tree Farm, doing weed-eating and other yard maintenance.

After he graduated in 2021, he went to work for Pacific Power, climbing trees and trimming their undergrowth from beneath the power lines. He also spent two summers working for the Douglas Forest Protective Association fighting fires.  About a year and a half ago, he began working with Olsson Industrial Electric in a mill; it was during this time that he accumulated a thousand hours of industrial electrical experience and began the path toward his dream of obtaining his electrician journeyman card.  The road to this requires 8,000 hours of on-the-job experience in the areas of residential, commercial, and industrial electrical work, along with 576 hours of documented classroom training, cumulating in a three-hour exam that he must pass.   It was his girlfriend who inspired him to contact Central Electric, where he now works as an apprentice electrician.  His days are busy, with work during the week and classes on his weekends.  While there were no specific classes geared toward the electrician trade at SHS, Ty indicated the math classes he took were very helpful.  In addition, he learned how to schedule his time to be the most productive.  This past summer, Ty worked with a journeyman reviewing blueprints and codes and installing new electrical systems at Madras High School and at Sutherlin High School’s new CTE welding building.  In the little free time Ty has, you can find him wakeboarding or snowboarding, depending on the season.  Lessons he has learned are “once you leave high school, it is way different, learn to be disciplined and know you are not going to learn everything in a day.”  Lessons that Ty continues to put to good use.

As a youngster, Sutherlin High School class of 2020 graduate Dylin Peterman, imagined he would work on the railroad driving a train, an occupation he would still like to explore one day.  Dylin attended school in Sutherlin from kindergarten through graduation, where he played football, basketball, and baseball.  While sports made school enjoyable for Dylin, and attending school meant he was able to “hang out” with his friends, his challenge was realizing school wasn’t just about hanging out with his friends but taking learning seriously.   His experiences in sports and high school classes prepared him to work in group settings and to learn through listening.  While still in high school, Dylin worked for FMB Performance Works as a diesel mechanic’s assistant, and although the job put money in his pocket, it really wasn’t the career he desired.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

    After graduation, he moved to Corvallis, where he began a logging job setting chokers and, when the opportunity presented, operating equipment.  While setting chokers was not really his forte, he enjoyed operating the equipment, and whenever he could, he was quick to hop on a piece of equipment to learn and practice those skills.   Two years ago, Dylin decided he wanted to see what the construction world offered, and he returned to Sutherlin, accepting a position with Umpqua Aggregate Resources Excavation & Paving and putting to use those skills he learned operating the equipment in his logging job.  His typical workday starts early, often at 6:00 a.m., and may include loading the smaller equipment on trailers and hauling to the job site.  The equipment used during the day is dictated by the job -- most days, you will find him operating an excavator, cat, or paving machine and working as a team member.  Work has taught him “to use your brain, not your back, and to ask smart questions, lots of them.”

   Dylin continues to reside in Sutherlin and attributes his family’s blue-collar, strong work ethic to his success.  In his spare time, he enjoys the outdoors, being in the mountains, hunting, and spending time with friends and family.  This past summer Dylin was back at Sutherlin High School, this time as a paving machine operator helping to complete the asphalt area for the new CTE welding building.

Trent Olsen, a 2022 Sutherlin High School graduate, attended Sutherlin schools from kindergarten through graduation.  While Trent says he didn’t always agree with his instructors, he is quick to acknowledge they gave him a sound foundation upon which to build his skills and prepare himself for life after school.  School was challenging because it was difficult to sit still and pay attention; however, the influence of coaches Jon Martz and Josh Gary kept him on the straight-and-narrow path to success.   The relationships Trent created during the years he participated in football, wrestling, track, and baseball were also beneficial and contributed to his high school experience.  The classes he enjoyed the most were wood shop and welding; he was a member of FFA and participated in tractor driving and shop skills competitions.  During his senior year, Trent worked with cattle and put his tractor skills to use doing haying jobs and putting his wood shop talents to work making and selling custom live edge signs. 

After graduation, Trent attended UCC for a term where he was on the wrestling team and spent a lot of time studying in the library.   He was majoring in business, and although his grades were good, he realized he preferred being outdoors and really enjoyed agriculture.  He spent some time in Wyoming building fences and found that he loved Wyoming, but fence building, not so much.  He returned home, and at a friend’s graduation celebration, he was offered a job at Umpqua Aggregate Resources Excavation & Paving as a laborer.  Trent has been employed there on the paving crew for the past five months. This past summer, Trent was part of the paving crew working on the asphalt area at the new CTE Welding building at Sutherlin High School.   Lessons he has learned from his experiences are to “be quick on your feet, pay attention, and work hard.”  Trent resides in Sutherlin and assists his former high school wrestling coach Jon Martz, with the Sutherlin Mat Club (a youth wrestling club).  When not on the job or volunteering, he enjoys snowmobiling and working with cattle and horses.  He hopes to one day own his own excavation and trucking business with his brother and father.  In the meantime, Trent is diligently learning the business one phase at a time.