Prairie Business Magazine - Construction 2017

Q&A: Carpentry

Earl Torgerson 2017-06-06 13:19:20

Q: DO MOST STUDENTS WHO FINISH THE CARPENTRY PROGRAM LEAVE THE REGION FOR EMPLOYMENT POST-GRADUATION? A: Historically, 100 percent of our students who are interested in working in the field are offered jobs. Many land in the Bismarck area, others find jobs in their home towns across the state and region. Students continuing on to earn their AAS Degree often stay to work in the Bismarck area. Q: WHAT’S THE AVERAGE ENROLLMENT IN BISMARCK STATE COLLEGE’S CARPENTRY PROGRAM FOR A SEMESTER? A: BSC Carpentry accepts 24 students in the program each year. Q: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MAIN SKILLS STUDENTS WILL LEARN, AND HOW WILL THOSE SKILLS BE APPLIED IN THEIR CAREERS? A: Students learn residential carpentry skills: blueprint reading, site layout and foundation construction, framing, exterior finish, cabinetmaking, interior finish, codes and house design. The training is built around the actual construction of a home each year in the Bismarck area. Emphasis is placed on sustainable/green building, and our program has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Homes Across America Program for practices associated with high-performance and resource-efficient home building. In 2010-11, the BSC Carpentry program was the first in North Dakota to earn certification from the National Association of Home Builders Residential Green Rating Program. Q: HOW MANY YEARS DOES IT TAKE TO FINISH THE PROGRAM, AND WHAT DEGREE OR CERTIFICATE DO STUDENTS EARN? A: Students who successfully complete the first year of training are awarded a certificate in residential construction. They are prepared for skilled entry-level jobs in the home-building industry. Students can go on for another year of school to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree. Q: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON CAREERS STUDENTS PURSUE AFTER GRADUATION? A: Because students are trained in and exposed to so many areas of residential construction, they are recruited for a variety of roles. Home framing is the most common job for graduates, also cabinet making and exterior finish. Working in construction can be a path of opportunities for motivated individuals. Graduates can go from carpentry to subcontracting to general contracting and even ownership of their own business. This is my 22nd year teaching residential construction at BSC. During that time, I have also owned a home-building and land-development business. I have seen education in the industry move toward resource-efficient training, greater focus on building a healthy environment for homeowners and increased concern for the welfare, health and safety of workers. Students are more interested in exploratory education than in the past. The last decade also has seen an increase in female and nontraditional students in residential construction.

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