MCA Toolbox

Industrial arts programs throughout Montana are always in need of donations of materials and funds. The MCA Toolbox connects teachers with contractors who can help fill in some of the gaps in the school’s industrial arts program, and make sure Montana students get positive exposure to careers in the trades.Teachers: To share your construction material/equipment grocery list with MCA members in the MCA Toolbox, call the MCA at (406) 442-4162.Contractors: Check out the lists below to find out which items industrial arts programs in your community need to be successful, and talk to the listed contacts.Thank you for supporting the trades in Montana!

Missoula – Hellgate

Hellgate High School Building Trades – Chip Rinehart 406-240-2425– Any recycled or left over dimensional lumber or plywood is always appreciated. Those are things that keep the kids building. I have a trailer and am happy to pick up. I branched out this year with a bathroom unit for my students to build/learn. I can see this will be an ongoing expense. The following materials will be something we burn through a lot of:1/2×20 strt lgth AQUA PEX2x10 PVC foam core pipe 3×10 PVC foam core pipe 12/2 RomaxI appreciate all the help MCA and its members have given the Hellgate Building Trades program through job site visits, donations, and grants. Thank you – Chip


Kyle Mitchell, Plains School District – (406) 552-3435 or – ​I am lucky enough have a fairly well equipped shop serving the poorest county in the state of Montana.  Four years ago, I received a grant for a timber company that no longer exists and was able to purchase a bandsaw log mill. This allows my students to take take trees and turn them into lumber and eventually even furniture and other projects.  We produce about half the lumber the students use in a year from our own mill.  The issue we have is our school doesn’t have any machinery to move around heavy logs.  We have been relying on student power to roll or move logs and lumber.  This poses a huge safety concern for us to have student manually move 1000 pound logs up on to the mill and around our log yard. My wishlist would be to have some type of machine to move logs in order to improve student safety and increase our efficiency in milling lumber.  I would love to have access skidsteer or tractor with a loader in order to move logs and materials.  I realize that this is a pretty large wishlist item but if you don’t ask you never know.