A Master Craftsman, Stevens Ambassador and Partner

     Latrobe Pennsylvania is a town of masters. It’s home to Master’s golf pro Arnold Palmer and Master Craftsman and Stevens alumnus, Alan McCullough, class of 1973, entrepreneur, businessman and owner of one of the area’s successful, long time established business—Homecraft Veneer and Woodworkers Supply Co.

     In 1971, as a high school student at Latrobe School District, Alan’s dream was to be a cabinetmaker. “I enjoyed taking pieces of wood and crafting them into a unique piece of furniture.” Alan’s shop teachers and guidance counselors urged him to pursue trade schools that specialized in carpentry. “However, a new shop teacher in my senior year knew about the outstanding cabinetmaking program at Thaddeus Stevens and encouraged me to look at the school. I did and immediately said this is for me. And I’m glad I made the decision.”

     “Thaddeus Stevens really prepared me for my career. I was trained in well equipped facilities with state-of-the-art equipment. The College also gave me time to mature and instill confidence, not only in myself but in my professional craft. When not in class, I was employed at H. M. Stauffer in Leola where I applied some of my skills and prepared for the workplace.”

     “One of the most educational student experiences at Stevens is the annual housing project built by the students during their final year. Through this opportunity I saw how all the building trades and processes fit together like cabinetry, carpentry, masonry, electrical, HVAC and plumbing.”

     Upon graduation in 1973 Alan returned to Latrobe, to work in a small cabinet shop and factory. But his break came in 1979, when he purchased a small business. Over the past 31 years Homecraft Veneer and Woodworkers Supply has grown significantly. The company supplies the woodcrafting and hobby industries with fine domestic and imported raw veneers and manufactures restoration molding. It also has a full cabinet and planing mill on the premises. “I still enjoy working in the manufacturing part of the business,” comments Alan.

     “Over the years our local Small Business Center at St. Vincent’s College in Latrobe has helped me develop my business plans and provided additional management training to support our company’s growth.”

     Alan comes to the Stevens campus about twice a year. He is a member of the College’s Cabinetmaking and Wood Technology Advisory Council and the 2006 recipient of the Stevens Alumni Association’s Achievement Award. “Professors Rob Tobias and Steve Latta do an outstanding job preparing the students for our profession. It’s a premier program. I enjoy meeting with the students and discussing the opportunities in the profession. I want to impress on both high school and college students in this field that there are many shops looking for employees skilled in veneer work. And it usually pays well.” Alan provides the Stevens students with veneers to help them with their class projects.

     Active in his local community, Alan is on the Latrobe Area Vo-tech Advisory Board, volunteers with the Latrobe School District, and is a statewide judge for SkillsUSA in the cabinetmaking competition. “I find local vocational and guidance departments aren’t promoting Thaddeus Stevens to students who want to pursue a trade and technology education beyond high school,” says Alan. “I guess I am that Stevens ambassador and I’m proud to be a graduate of Thaddeus Stevens College. I wouldn’t exchange the experience for anything!”  --Alan McCullough ‘73