Saint Paul College's cutting-edge practices, which combine evolving technologies with cabinetmaking, made news in the United Kingdom. The magazine “Furniture & Joinery Production" out of the United Kingdom published an article on December 10, 2020, by John Legg, titled “Alphacam and Cabinet Vision prepare graduates to join workforce." This article discusses the cutting-edge practices Saint Paul College uses to prepare students for working life in this growing career field.
Cabinetmaking is a unique occupation in the education spectrum as the average age of students is 29, with most students transitioning over from other career fields. Many students transition to this field after expressing an interest in wanting to be more creative with their hands in their work. Saint Paul College adopted the Alphacam software system in 2009 to help better prepare students for CNC manufacturing and customize designs. Tom Hillstead, Cabinetmaking Instructor, describes the field as a beautiful blend of both art and trade. One of his primary training principles is to help students treat each project with utmost quality and respect. These principles have benefitted many students who have gone on to successful cabinetmaking careers throughout the Twin Cities regional area and beyond.
Over nearly two decades at Saint Paul College, Mr. Hillstead has established some strong partnerships with local non-profits. These partnerships have allowed students to design innovative projects for important local causes, for example:
- Homeward Bound – new kitchens and offices for a non-profit that cares for the disabled in residential housing
- NE Metro 916 – cabinetry for the 916 Construction Trades project house in partnership with the city of North Saint Paul and Century College Interior Design students
- Greater Metropolitan Housing Corp – building kitchens for rehab and new homes
- Goodwill-Easter Seals – a range of kitchen projects over the past number of years
- Disabled Veterans Homes – with several non-profits in the Saint Paul regional area.
Learn more about our Cabinetmaking Program: