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Cooks Run Cedar hosts tour for WIC building trades students

Cooks Run Cedar hosted a tour for West Iron County High School building trades students at the site of one of its most recently finished homes, this one on Snipe Lake. The tour, the idea of Cooks Run Cedar owner Nick Bjorkman, was also designed to inspire future carpenters and encourage some of them to stay and employ their trade in Iron County.

IRON RIVER—A primary focus of educators and local business and community leaders is to prepare students for successful and fulfilling careers. And a key emphasis in that effort is to keep some of the talented young people home in Iron County.
    Along those lines, Cooks Run Cedar hosted a tour for West Iron County building trades students of a home the company just finish building on Snipe Lake. The tour was held on Sept. 5 and was the idea of current owner and president Nick Bjorkman.
    Chief operating officer and former owner John Nieminen, who founded the business with his father Carl in 1985, explained the purpose of the tour.
    “Over the years, we’ve hired a lot of kids that went through the building trades,” Nieminen said, specifically mentioning Bjorkman (a 2010 WIC graduate) and WIC building trades instructor Jeff Swenski (a 1999 WIC grad). “We’re looking for more recruits and we’re hoping to inspire some of these young folks.
    “We want to show them that it’s possible to make a good living, living in Iron County being a carpenter.”
    One such recent student, 2018 WIC graduate Sawyer Hogenmiller, has embarked on just that path.
    “He just graduated through the building trades program and he’s a fine young man and he’s got a promising career as a carpenter,” Nieminen said.
    The home itself, on Baumgartner Road, was built on the site of an old farmstead on 88 acres with a spectacular view. Cooks Run Cedar designed and built the home, which Nieminen described as an “upscale house.”
    “It has our half-log siding on it,” he explained. “We dismantled the barn that was on site and we did most of the lower level in barnwood so it has a very rustic flavor.
    “It has a big stone fireplace and we’ve got big round logs that go down a couple of valleys. When you look out the front room, it’s like a million-dollar view. You’re sitting up over Snipe Lake, you’ve got all of Snipe Lake in the background and you can watch the skiers come down the hills at Ski Brule.”
    Nieminen added that the builders also reassembled some of the original logs and were able to build a smaller version of the original home built in the late 1800s.

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