In 1954, the Representative of the Second District of Negros Occidental, Carlos A. Hilado authored a bill creating the first trade-technical school in the province, the Negros Occidental School of Arts and Trades in the then town of Talisay.
In 1984, Paglaum State College was established by virtue of Batas Pambansa No. 477, which caused the merger of three educational institutions in the province of Negros Occidental: Negros Occidental School of Arts and Trades in Talisay, Provincial Community College in Fortune Town, Bacolod City and Bacolod City National Trade School in Alijis, Bacolod City.Paglaum is a Hiligaynon word which means "hope".
In 1994, Paglaum State College was renamed Carlos Hilado Memorial State College by virtue of Republic Act No. 7707 authored by Congressman Jose Carlos V. Lacson of the Third District of Negros Occidental to honor Congressman Carlos A. Hilado.
On November 24, 2000, Carlos Hilado Memorial State College acquired another satellite campus with the integration of the Negros Occidental School of Fisheries in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental into the state college.