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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

Career Transition Brings Satisfaction and Accolades

Ryan Faust received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering and worked in the field for nearly a decade. When his wife found a job that transferred their family to Saint Paul during the COVID pandemic, he struggled to find a position in his field. Ryan thought maybe this was the time toPhoto: Ryan Faust - Cabinetmaking transition to a new line of work with a passion for woodworking. He met with Saint Paul College's cabinetmaking instructor, Tom Hillstead, skeptical but intrigued by the potential of pursuing his passion.  Tom answered Ryan's concerns and encouraged him that this was the right time to make this transition. Grateful for this encouragement, Ryan enrolled in his first cabinetmaking class.

After just one semester of cabinetmaking classes, Ryan successfully transitioned to the cabinetmaking profession.  He currently works as a cabinetmaker at Designed and Made while finishing up his classwork. Ryan feels satisfied in this transition to a new line of work where he has the opportunity to create beautiful cabinets with his own hands. Doing what he loves to do, Ryan enthusiastically shared that he is now a more fulfilled person, both physically and mentally!

With unquestioned talent and passion for creating beautiful woodwork, Ryan was encouraged to enter the SkillsUSA competition and share his work at the state-level competition. Ryan's ​submittal was awarded First Place for the state of Minnesota. He subsequently submitted a hexagon-shaped tea box into the national competition and finished 3rd place in the United States!

Ryan will be completing his cabinetmaking certificate in Fall 2021 and is grateful for Tom Hillstead and other college staff and students who helped him successfully navigate this significant career change.​​​

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