Students at the Bismarck State College carpentry program are not only laying the foundations for carpentry, but they are also building on their future careers.

The program is run by the associate professor of carpentry at BSC, Earl Torgerson. A Marine Corps veteran, he aims to ensure his students complete projects to the highest standard. Some of these projects include building cabinetry, building furniture and ultimately, building a house.

Torgerson said, “The Bismarck State Carpentry program each year builds a house out in the community.”

The program runs two semesters, and the construction of the house begins around September.

Aaron Wole, one of the carpentry students, said, “Once we got everything framed together, we’ve been doing interior work now. We’ve done everything from hanging sheetrock, and now we’re doing the doors.”

The students begin the framework of the house in the first semester. Construction of the house is expected to be completed in April.

Torgerson described how the course is designed and said, “In January, we generally start out doing cabinet making, [we do] a cabinet making class for a month, where the students learn how to build case construction cabinets and then we also touch a little bit on furniture-making as well.”

The house is then featured on the Bismarck-Mandan Homeowner’s Association Parade of Homes. Torgerson says, “from that point, it’ll be listed with a local realtor and available for sale.”

Students learn valuable skills to take with them as they enter into their trade, with many lining up work while still in the program. Wole joined the program from Fargo and says, “I’m working for Klein’s Carpentry and eventually I’m going to be taking over that business.”

Torgerson says students can easily find jobs due to the high demand in the profession. He says there are more jobs than carpenters.