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Carpentry Returns to Pipestone Campus

carpentry returns to pipestone6/23/17

Minnesota West is pleased to announce the re-introduction of the Carpentry program to our Pipestone campus with the collaboration of the Pipestone City Economic Development Authority, and Pipestone Area Schools.   

In spring of 2014, the Carpentry program was suspended on the Pipestone campus due to low enrollment numbers. However, since then, the job demand for carpentry has continued to grow creating an opportunity to look for solutions in meeting the needs of industry. The program will be re-instated for enrollment beginning this fall semester, starting in August.

The program has been designed to work with Pipestone High School academic schedules allowing high schools students to take courses at the Pipestone campus and housing projects for hands-on learning have been established by Pipestone City Economic Development Authority.  

Solomon Derby, alum of the Minnesota West Carpentry program has been recently hired to teach the program. Derby has a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies & Sociology from SDSU and an Associate’s degree in Carpentry from Minnesota West. Derby has been working in the carpentry industry and has previous instructor experience.

Minnesota West President, Dr. Terry Gaalswyk, “Minnesota West is impressed with the community’s support and proud of the collaboration evidenced by leadership of the EDA, Pipestone School District, and our own team in creativity working to provide opportunities for students. Our sincerest appreciation to our partners in developing a unique solution to the housing shortage in Pipestone.”

Kevin Paulsen, Chairperson of Pipestone City Economic Development Authority (EDA), “The Pipestone City EDA understands that economic development can be achieved in many ways. Economic development is not just creating jobs, but rather filling the needs of a community for continued growth toward being a healthy community. A healthy community is one that provides jobs, housing, education, safety, recreation, leisure life, and more. The collaboration between Pipestone Area Schools, Minnesota West, and the Pipestone EDA will provide exposure and training in the construction trade, create a work force for local contractors, inspire potential careers, help to improve blighted properties, and create home ownership opportunities.”

Kevin Enerson, Superintendent Pipestone Schools, “Pipestone Area Schools strategic goals look to ensure college and career readiness for our students and to engage the community with the district. The Construction Program provides a wonderful opportunity to our students as we build partnerships with Minnesota West and Pipestone EDA that will meet community needs and support post-secondary opportunities. This has huge potential for community partnerships with other businesses and organizations as we go forward.”

Minnesota West Pipestone Dean, Jackie Otkin, “We are excited to bring back the Carpentry program to the Pipestone campus. The joint collaboration between the partners has facilitated opportunities for our community, students, and industry. This is an excellent example of a community utilizing its resources to promote the betterment of the community and region of southwest Minnesota.”

If you are interested in enrolling or learning more about the carpentry program please contact us at or 800-658-2330.

Read more about our Carpentry program.