New Industry Employs UCA Students
Ever since Spangle Wood Products closed a year ago, Upper Columbia Academy has been searching for an industry (or industries) that could provide additional employment opportunities for students.
During Alumni Weekend this spring, brothers Dale and Richard Bartsch learned of the need when Dale and his wife, Annette Carcich Bartsch, attended her 20th reunion.
They recognized that they could establish their business in the US rather than Canada and save a significant amount of tariff money, while providing thousands of dollars each year for Christian education.
The company, HyMark Wood Products, imports coastal cedar from British Columbia and processes it into decking, siding, and trim boards for traditional, high-end cedar homes in New England.
After just a few weeks on site, the company was already well ahead of its set-up schedule. “Originally, we were only planning to package the lumber here,” says Dale Bartsch. “But we’ve expanded our vision and are already re-sawing and beveling, as well. Many amazing things have happened along the way with business contacts, the wood supply, new customers… We know it’s miraculous.”
By the time this article is printed, HyMark expects to have the molder up and running and have approximately 20 student employees. When HyMark installs a dry kiln, the Company will be able to employ another 10 students.
“UCA is delighted to be able to offer this outstanding earning opportunity to students who may not otherwise be able to access Christian education,” says Cheri Corder, Upper Columbia Conference director of communications and outreach.