Seneca Sawmill trains workers for success

Seneca sawmill is a staple in our community and for many who want to enter the trades industry it has become a staple for their livelihood.

Posted: Jan 27, 2020 2:52 PM
Updated: Feb 3, 2020 3:59 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Seneca Sawmill is a staple in our community, and for many who want to enter the trades it has become a staple for their livelihoods.

There are several apprenticeship programs, including electrician, millwright, and saw filing.

Seneca has a relationships with Lane Community College to help students complete the electrician's program. But the millwright and saw filing programs don't require formal degrees.

Millwrights are responsible for holding down the fort and responding whenever a piece of machinery needs repair.

Brandon Evenson is a millwright at Seneca, and he says the skills you learn are more than just on-the-job training.

"You're always working with various personalities," Evenson said. "Other than that you learn how to weld, cut with an acetylene torch, fabricate stuff, build stuff. Sometimes I can't believe I get paid to come to work."

Seneca said they are always looking for new hires for entry-level positions and love to hire within when it comes to moving up in the company. The various programs can last anywhere from four to five years depending on the person's drive to accomplish the work.

Pay during training is around $20 an hour, and once you complete the program, it jumps into the 30s.

Another trade at Seneca that they offer training for and doesn't require a degree is saw filing. Saw filers are responsible for sharpening the blades of the saws when they go dull.

Jason Jones is a saw filer at Seneca, and he says the skills that make you successful are more than just hands-on.

"(Successful workers are) definitely self motivated, people that show up on time every day and that work hard," said Jones.

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