CST Alumni - 1947 to Today

“My path toward gunsmithing started as a passion for firearms at a young age. It evolved into a hobby by tinkering around with my guns. After finishing college I was unhappy in my former career path, so I found an opportunity to turn my hobby into a career, and I’ve never looked back.”

David joined The Colorado School of Trades in the Fall of 2017. He immediately took to the community, banter, jokes, and knowledge gained in design and functions.

While falling in love with machine work, David daydreamed about owning his own shop or returning to CST someday to help teach the future generation. “CST isn’t going to hand you knowledge. You get out what you put in. Go out of your way and treat this as a job Monday thru Friday. Yes, I said Friday. Come in every Friday you can and do something, doesn’t matter what as long as you are practicing or learning something in the trade. Pick the instructors brains as often as you can. There is a ton of knowledge and contacts under that roof, your goal should be to learn as much as you possibly can. Be proactive in looking for a job. Start in Design and Function and use the schools’ resources. Send out your resume and cover letters.”

All of that advice seemed to work. David Hill is graduating as one of the top students in his class and will be accepting a full time position at Brimstone in Washington State. He looks forward to creating custom rifles, custom parts, custom optic mounts, cerakote work and much more.

CST Alumni - 1947 to Today
Students learn better when they feel they’re being supported.
Alumni Feature
2011 Graduate

Jarred McNeely received a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Troy University in Criminal Justice. Mr. McNeely also served in the U.S. Army as a Calvary Scout and served one tour in Bosnia and two tours in Iraq. He was Honorably Discharged in 2006 with the rank of Sergeant. That is when Jarred decided to pursue a career in Gunsmithing and became a student at Colorado School of Trades, graduating in 2011. CST felt like family and is what attracted Mr. McNeely to the school.

“It was the most family-focused way to get an education. And, because of CST’s ‘sense of community,’ they made sure they knew everyone on a first-name basis. It was family, and the school was looking out for everyone’s well-being. That’s just the way they do things at CST: community.”

After graduating in 2011, Jarred assumed the role of Director of Education for Colorado School of Trades in 2013. He loved CST so much, he couldn’t leave! His passion and support for the students truly shines through and for Mr. McNeely it is simple to see that “Students learn better when they feel they’re being supported.”