Students turn wood into profit |

Students turn wood into profit

Lee Harstad

Taking matters into his own hands and combating the onslaught of budget cuts, Craig Conrad began a program in 1986 at Moffat County High School that teaches mass production, salesmanship and confidence.

With 11,625 butcher-block parts lining the wall of a storage closet in the wood shop, students are set to begin their quest to build 375 sets of butcher blocks. Each set has three different sized cutting blocks, producing 1,125 blocks.

By pounding the pavement in the area, students solicited community members to buy 356 butcher-block sets.

The sets sold for $39, raising $13,884 for the program.

For each set students sold, they made $15. Students took home $5,340 and the program made $1,780 after costs.

“This has really salvaged our program through the years,” Conrad said. “We finish each year in the black and are able to buy additional tools and equipment.”

For wood shop students Cory Hixson and Brian Dilldine, it was a profitable venture.

Hixson sold 58 sets, earning $870, while Dilldine sold 52 and will take home $780. All students had one week to pre-sell the blocks and, according to Conrad, the blocks will be completed by mid-March.

A motto from Conrad’s classroom says a lot “Success you can make it or you can make excuses … but you can’t do both.”

Hixson and Dilldine took this message to heart and with it a combined $1,650.

“Students are taught how to market themselves and the kids feel more confident,” Conrad said.