Submitted by the San Juan County Economic Development Council
In partnership with Rain Shadow Consulting, the San Juan County Economic Development Council will offer a free six-week training in tree work and arboriculture, beginning Dec. 5. This course is sponsored by Walt Corbin and the Kiwanis Club of Orcas Island.
The course will be taught at the Rain Shadow Consulting office by Carson Sprenger, who has over 20 years of experience working in the forests of the San Juan Islands. This program is intended to benefit participating students as well as local companies in need of skilled employees.
The hands-on curriculum is designed for students and career changers interested in working in the tree care or tree service and landscaping trades. The class will cover tree worker safety and how to avoid common injuries; Washington Labor & Industries laws and employer responsibilities for tree workers; tools of the trade; proper pruning techniques; tree felling techniques and specialized rigging systems; caring for and feeding of your chainsaw and other common tool maintenance; working with rope; tree and plant health; common tree species and basic tree identification; tree physiology and how trees respond to injury; the physical demands of working in the tree care trades; and industry organizations and certification.
The class will have at least two guest speakers from local tree care companies and will end with a Saturday field day for some hands-on learning and equipment demonstrations. No tree felling or chainsaw use will be part of this class. The course will prepare students for an entry-level arborist position and is not intended for D.I.Y. home repairs.
This six-week course will run from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Dec. 5-Jan. 23 with one on-site day on Saturday, Feb. 1. There is no cost for the training; pre-registration and a $10 filing fee is required. The deadline to apply is Thursday, Nov. 21.
The EDC’s Trades Education Initiative is additionally supported by San Juan County; the Town of Friday Harbor; the Port of Friday Harbor; San Juan Island School District; Heritage Bank; and Islanders Bank.