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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

From Carpentry Instructor to Ongoing Mentor
Arias Oliver sitting in a suit

During his 4-year stint in the Marines, Arias Oliver knew he wanted to pursue a career in carpentry following his military service. He was still determining where to attend when he read that Washington Monthly magazine ranked Saint Paul College the #1 community college in the nation in 2010 and 2013 for student engagement in active and collaborative learning. Arias enrolled in the Saint Paul College Carpentry Diploma Program in 2013 and received the education and encouragement he needed, and he still receives today, some ten years later.

After earning his education, Arias worked as a union carpenter for seven years; three years at Adolfson & Peterson in commercial concrete, three years at Morcon Construction, and one year at Install Eight. While in the union, Arias completed the carpentry apprenticeship program to advance to a Journeyman carpenter and general contractor. Later, Arias worked for a residential remodeling company which sparked his interest in residential carpentry. Following his heart and advice from his teacher and now mentor, Perry Franzen, Arias took a leap of faith and started his own residential carpentry business in February 2022.

Since this exciting leap of faith, his business, Oliver Company, LLC, has grown through word-of-mouth based on hard work and an unwavering commitment to always being on time. He credits much of his discipline to military service and continues to grow in carpentry skills through ongoing mentorship from his teacher over a decade ago. Arias describes Perry Franzen as a patient teacher who wants to teach and help others to succeed. He is amazed and grateful that his instructor continues teaching while encouraging him to "call any time" with questions about his craft. Arias appreciates his special ongoing relationship and understands why Saint Paul College has earned many excellent credentials.

Arias Military

Corporal Arias Oliver’s marine service included infantry work in the Middle East and Afghanistan from 2009 to 2013. He learned vital life skills like mental toughness, discipline, work ethic, and overall maturity as he adapted to numerous obstacles in challenging environments far from home. Arias has seen several of his military friends struggle to adjust. Transitioning from military to civilian life can be challenging as veterans are often taught to suppress their emotions. He encourages veterans to seek mental health support to become productive members. Arias wishes vets would use the benefits they earned in military service. The GI Bill and VA Home loan and the discipline and hard work they learned while serving can set their future for success. Seeking support can also help unlock their true potential and help with life after the military.

As a Yellow Ribbon college, Saint Paul College is committed to helping service members and veterans with this transition, including available mental health Counseling Services to help with these critical life transitions.

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