Joseph Leifson – Platinum Performer for Building Technology

Joseph Leifson is a Zion’s Bank Platinum Performer and recent graduate from the Building Technology program at Bridgerland Technical College (BTECH).

A little bit of background about Joseph reveals that he grew up in the small town of Woodruff, Utah. He describes it as “awesome”, but also agrees that Woodruff is about “ as small as a town can get”.

His town may be small, but his favorite food is a huge Sirloin steak with a side of chocolate. He loves any treat with chocolate in it.

Joseph first became a BTECH student in high school where he took classed in the Drafting program. He loved his experience in high school, but wasn’t sure if Drafting was the career he was looking for.

Stewart Petersen, an actor from Wyoming, served as his mentor and helped him discover his love for construction. Joseph realized his love of woodwork could lead to a future career. Thanks to his time at BTECH as a high school student, he came back to see if there was a program for him. When he learned of the Building Technology program, he jumped in with both feet as it “just made sense.”

His dream job would be owning a furniture shop, where he could build things for other people and work with interior finishes. Plans after graduation include continuing to work for a year as a foreman at his current place of employment and take the test to receive his contractor’s license.

Joseph’s advice to future students at BTECH was, “The effort you put into the class is going to determine your learning experience in the program. If you pay attention, you can learn a lot. If you want to get good at what you’re doing, then you have to put in the work.”

In his opinion, the best part about the Building Technology program was the fact that everything was hands on. In class they would talk about what they were going to do, but then they would actually get to practice. “That’s how I learn. I love doing things with my hands—it just sticks with me a lot longer if I do it that way,” Joseph said.

Joseph shared his thoughts on persevering, even if the program get’s difficult. “I think a lot of students don’t realize it’s okay to make mistakes.” He said, “Many people get overwhelmed when they don’t do something right the first few times of practice. Mistakes are okay because you learn from them, and that is what the program is for—getting your mistakes out of the way before going to work.” We couldn’t agree more!

Joseph concluded the interview by expressing his appreciation to his instructors for all the hard work they did and specifically thanked our Building Technology instructor, Richie Calderwood, who was always willing to work with him until he got it right.