Author Archives: Debra Gonzalez

TSTC Instructor’s Enthusiasm Earns Him Faculty of the Year Award

(RED OAK) – Employees at Texas State Technical College celebrated Employee Appreciation Day in June, a day that included fun for employees and awards for employees of the year.

HVAC Instructor Terry Robinson was chosen as faculty member of the year.

Robinson, a native of Clute, Texas, who has been teaching at TSTC for two years, said he was humbled to receive the honor from his peers.

“I was gratified to get this recognition,” he said. “I think they’ve seen my dedication and the amount of work I put into helping build the HVAC department. When I came here, they had just moved all the equipment from another location, so I had to not only start building stuff to teach with, but I had to build the lab. I think everyone was well-pleased with the effort I put into it.”

Robinson was working as a service manager when he discovered a passion for teaching.

“I enjoyed teaching my technicians and installers how to do things, so I knew that teaching was going to be something I would want to do at some point,” he said. “In 1992 I started teaching, and I’ve been teaching ever since. I’ve also taught at Tarrant County College, Fort Worth Independent Schools’ night adult program and at Cedar Valley College.”

In his teaching style, Robinson swears by his motto: “Those that can, teach passionately.”

“That’s the way I try to approach my teaching. I enjoy communicating with my students and being creative,” he said.

He enjoys showing students the significance of TSTC.

“I’ve seen all types of educational systems — private, proprietary, trade school, junior college — and I like TSTC because I think we’re the best educational value a student can have,” Robinson said. “It’s just such an incredible value for students at a relatively low price.”

Robinson and his wife, a former elementary school teacher, share a passion for education.


“My wife was there the day that I got the award, and it just totally surprised her,” Robinson said. “She had just retired after 41 years of teaching elementary in public schools. In the last 15 years or so, she was a talented and gifted teacher. I always told her, ‘Of course you teach talented and gifted — you live with me!’”

TSTC prides itself on being “a great place to work” and is currently hiring for positions at its 10 campuses statewide. For information on open positions at TSTC, visit tstc.edu/about/employment.

TSTC Looks to Expand Team

(HUTTO) – Texas State Technical College is looking to expand its Williamson County team and hiring for several instructor positions.

Precision Machining, Industrial Maintenance, HVAC, Welding and Culinary Arts are some of the areas in which the school is looking to fill vacancies.

Campus Director Darren Block said teaching offers a chance to make an impact in the community. It also lets one do one’s part to fill the “skills gap,” a shortage of middle-skilled workers to fill open positions in the U.S.

“By instructing the next generation of blue-collar workers in this country, we are building the future and providing a path to success,” Block said. “You often hear ‘it’s a dying art’ or the ‘skills gap.’ We are filling that skills gap, or handing down that skill or ‘art’ to the next generation.”

Block said teaching also offers a sense of pride.

“Teaching someone to do what you do is fulfilling and rewarding,” he said. “When I get a call from an employer saying our student is working out great and asking if we have any more to send them, that is what it is all about.”

TSTC Provost Edgar Padilla hopes those interested in strengthening the workforce of Texas will apply.

“TSTC is a dynamic institution, working hard to fulfill a unique mission among colleges and universities in Texas,” Padilla said. “Our employees are the heartbeat of our vision for placing more Texans into great careers. We are seeking employees who are eager to innovate, lead and be part of changing the landscape of higher education in Texas.”

TSTC has 10 campuses statewide in Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood, Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater, Waco and Williamson County. Each campus provides a unique atmosphere, with programs chosen to suit each area’s employment needs.

“We are situated in one of the top five fastest-growing cities in Texas,” Padilla said. “The business climate in the Austin metropolitan area, coupled with our unique culture, makes this the perfect place to work and make an impact for our future students and graduates.”

TSTC offers benefits such as retirement, medical, dental, vision and more.

For information on open positions at TSTC, visit tstc.edu/about/employment.

TSTC Recruiters Bring Enthusiasm to New Roles

(HUTTO) – Texas State Technical College recently welcomed two new student recruiters at its Williamson County campus.

MaKenna Honea, of Georgetown, and Brittany Hoke, of Pflugerville, joined the TSTC team at the beginning of June.

Before joining TSTC, Honea worked in the food and bar industry for four years.

“I wanted to find somewhere to grow professionally and start a career,” she said. “I wanted to work somewhere I’d be held to higher standards and have more responsibilities.”

She relishes her new role as a recruiter.

“It’s challenging, but it’s rewarding,” Honea said. “Every day is something different, which is fun.”

While Honea enjoys the team she works with, she is happy to be helping local students map out their futures.

“It’s cool that I get to be somebody I wish I would’ve met in high school, reaching out to kids,” she said. “If I would have had a recruiter, things probably could have been really different for me.”

Hoke enjoys that aspect of the job as well.

“I like getting to help students figure things out that I didn’t figure out when I was younger,” she said. “Getting to help introduce kids to TSTC is pretty awesome because it is such an affordable education.”

Before coming to TSTC, Hoke worked with the Texas secretary of state’s office as an employee of Registered Agent Solutions Inc. and was also a child support officer. She was excited to take on her role at TSTC.

“It was a completely different opportunity than anything else I had seen,” she said. “The pride of the staff is really eye-opening.”

Both women stand behind the school’s mission — to place more Texans in great-paying jobs.

“We are all about students,” Honea said. “We’re not just about numbers; we’re about the actual people.”

Hoke shared those sentiments.

“TSTC is something I can stand behind,” Hoke said. “It’s a good message, a good education and a good value.”

Coordinator of Recruitment Melissa Morman said she is happy to have finally completed her team of recruiters.

“Having Brittany and MaKenna join the student recruitment team has really been the fuel this department has needed to have more of a presence in the surrounding areas,” she said. “With Pflugerville and Georgetown natives on board, it gives us the insight to share our mission of placing more Texans along with spreading the TSTC message.”

TSTC prides itself on being “a great place to work” and is currently hiring for positions at its 10 campuses statewide. For information on open positions at TSTC, visit tstc.edu/about/employment.

TSTC in North Texas to Host First Commencement Ceremony

(RED OAK) – Texas State Technical College in North Texas will host its first commencement ceremony Monday, Aug. 20. Sixty students are eligible to graduate from eight of the college’s 10 programs in Red Oak.

The summer 2018 commencement ceremony will be at 6 p.m. at the Waxahachie Civic Center.

“We’re extremely excited about having our first commencement ceremony here in North Texas,” said TSTC Provost Marcus Balch.

Balch said the ceremony gives TSTC the opportunity to showcase the success of the campus.

“This is a great opportunity to show the local community the progress we have made in growing our campus and providing our local industry partners with highly skilled employees,” Balch said. “It also allows us to invite our supporters such as industry partners and donors to be able to see firsthand the culmination of the great things we are doing here at TSTC.”

Graduates of the campus are normally hosted at the commencement ceremony in Waco. Balch said he hopes having the ceremony locally will boost participation and morale.

“I would expect that many more of our graduates and their families and friends will be able to attend, making the ceremony much more meaningful,” Balch said. “Participating in the Waco ceremony was great, but North Texas graduates will now become the center of attention.”

This semester boasts the campus’ largest graduating class so far, with students graduating from the college’s Computer Aided Drafting & Design, Computer Networking & Systems Administration, Diesel Equipment, Electrical Power & Controls, HVAC, Industrial Maintenance, Logistics and Welding technology programs.

“These graduates have worked very hard and are currently being heavily recruited by area industry partners,” Balch said.

TSTC Chancellor Mike Reeser will be the featured speaker at the commencement ceremony.

TSTC is registering now for the fall semester. The last day to register is Monday, Aug. 20, and classes begin Monday, Aug. 27.

For more information on TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC Registration Rally Set for July 24 in Williamson County

(HUTTO) – Texas State Technical College in Williamson County will host a Registration Rally on Tuesday, July 24 – all part of an effort to make the registration process as easy as possible for students starting classes in the fall semester.

Recruiting and Admissions staff will be on standby to walk students through the registration process. They will also offer tours and help with applications.

The Registration Rally will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the East Williamson County Higher Education Center. Attendees will be able to meet with faculty, learn more about the different technologies offered at the Williamson County campus and tour the facilities.

In addition to Recruiting and Admissions, personnel from Financial Aid, Testing, Student Success and Veteran Services will be available to answer questions and lend a helping hand. Prospective students will be able to learn all about resources available to them.

Coordinator of recruitment Melissa Morman said the June event was great, and she hopes next week’s event will bring in new students.

“The response from the community during our registration rally in June was overwhelming, and we can feel the growth happening with each registered student,” Morman said. “We look forward to welcoming even more students next Tuesday, and we invite everyone in the community to come tour our facility and sign up for classes.”

Students who need help finalizing their registration are encouraged to bring the following: copy of driver’s license, high school transcript or GED, any college transcripts, proof of bacterial meningitis vaccination and TSI scores.

For more information on the Registration Rally, go to tstc.edu/rally.

TSTC Registration Rally Set for July 19 in Marshall

(MARSHALL) – Texas State Technical College in Marshall will host a Registration Rally on Thursday, July 19 – all part of an effort to make the registration process as easy as possible for students starting classes in the fall semester.

Recruiting and Admissions staff will be on standby to walk students through the registration process. They will also offer tours and help with applications.

The Registration Rally will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the campus at 2650 East End Blvd., South. Attendees will be able to meet with faculty, learn more about the different technologies offered at the Marshall campus and tour the facilities.

In addition to Recruiting and Admissions, personnel from Financial Aid, Testing, Student Success and Veteran Services will be available to answer questions and lend a helping hand. Prospective students will be able to learn all about resources available to them.

Students who need help finalizing their registration are encouraged to bring the following: copy of driver’s license, high school transcript or GED, any college transcripts, proof of bacterial meningitis vaccination and TSI scores.

For more information on the Registration Rally, go to tstc.edu/rally.

TSTC Registration Rally Set for July 17

(RED OAK) – Texas State Technical College in North Texas will host a Registration Rally on Tuesday, July 17 – all part of an effort to make the registration process as easy as possible for students starting classes in the fall semester.

Recruiting and Admissions staff will be on standby to walk students through the registration process. They will also offer tours and help with applications.

The Registration Rally will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the campus at 119 N. Lowrance in Red Oak. Attendees will be able to meet with faculty, learn more about the different technologies offered at the North Texas campus and tour the facilities.

In addition to Recruiting and Admissions; personnel from Financial Aid, Testing, Student Success and Veteran Services will be available to answer questions and lend a helping hand. Prospective students will be able to learn all about resources available to them.

Students who need help finalizing their registration are encouraged to bring the following: copy of driver’s license, high school transcript or GED, any college transcripts, proof of bacterial meningitis vaccination and TSI scores.

For more information on the Registration Rally, go to tstc.edu/rally.

TSTC Presents Faculty Member of the Year Award

(MARSHALL) – Employees at Texas State Technical College in Marshall celebrated Employee Appreciation Day on June 15, a day that included fun for employees and awards for employees of the year.

Josh Stampley, Computer-Aided Drafting & Design instructor, was chosen as faculty member of the year for the Marshall campus.

Stampley, a Marshall resident and graduate of Kilgore College, began working at TSTC in September 2016 after working in the industry for nearly 20 years.

“I was doing all the drafting and eventually became the general manager,” Stampley said. “I had daily duties of drafting, running machines, welding — whatever I needed to do to keep it running.”

Employees of the campus submitted nominations for the award, and the winner was chosen by vote. Stampley’s fellow employees had great things to say about him, with one teammate writing, “Josh is an exceptional team player. He is always willing to help others without any hesitation. Additionally, Josh has a very cheerful disposition and always exemplifies professionalism.”

Stampley said he was happy to receive the award.

“It’s a very neat feeling to get that since I don’t have a whole lot of years in education. It’s been a blast here. The people are great, and it was a good experience. I enjoy every bit of it.”

He is glad his co-workers notice his enjoyment for the job.

“I hope that everyone sees that I try and do a good job,” he said. “I really like what I do and try hard.”

He takes pride in knowing he is getting his students ready for work.

“My favorite thing, besides the help of the faculty and everyone being there for you, is the students and how you can turn them, and mold them, into a ‘product,’” he said. “I dealt with metal and steel products in industry; now I’m dealing with a human product. I can mold (students) into the best drafters that I can and put them in the workforce. I thoroughly enjoy that.”

Knowing that his former students enjoy their jobs keeps him motivated.

“I keep in contact with several students that have graduated and moved on into jobs,” he said. “They enjoy their jobs. To see that they like doing what they’re doing really helps me to stay focused and keep toward my goal of trying to educate these students and get them out there and working.”

TSTC prides itself on being “a great place to work” and is currently hiring for positions at its 10 campuses statewide. For information on open positions at TSTC, visit tstc.edu/about/employment.

Gerdau donates ten thousand dollars for TSTC scholarships

(RED OAK) – Gerdau’s Midlothian Steel Mill has pledged to donate over $10,000 for scholarships to Midlothian ISD students to attend Texas State Technical College.

For the first year, Gerdau pledged $3,000, which will be matched by The TSTC Foundation to provide six $1,000 scholarships to students in the college’s Industrial Maintenance program. The second year will bring another $3,000 for first-year students, with at least $4,000 more for second-year scholarships.

Gerdau’s relationship with TSTC began in 2015, when the company sent 13 of its employees to train at the college’s North Texas campus in Red Oak. Gerdau later received a Texas Workforce Commission Skills Development Fund Grant to train an additional 189 employees at TSTC.

“Gerdau has had a very strong relationship with TSTC for the last couple of years and currently sends over 50 — and growing — of their employees to North Texas to get their associate degree in Industrial Maintenance,” said Jessica Ford, field development officer at TSTC.

With these scholarships, Gerdau hopes to help fill the expanding shortage of skilled workers.

“There is a growing resource gap in skilled trades across the U.S. And in a booming area like Dallas-Fort Worth, that gap is becoming even more challenging,” said Gerdau Midlothian Human Resources Manager Ryan Hube. “Encouraging today’s youth to enter into these programs will be instrumental in attracting them to careers at Gerdau and other domestic manufacturers.”

Hube also hopes the scholarships will encourage local high school students to look into technical fields like Industrial Maintenance at TSTC.

“Our goal is to recruit young talent with the technical aptitude we need directly from TSTC’s program,” he said. “We are confident that this scholarship is a great first step in attracting local talent to manufacturing in order to meet our future needs while at the same time continuing as a partner for this community for years to come.”

Hube said the company is proud to support the local community.

“The scholarship presented itself as a unique opportunity to give back to our community while at the same time developing a pipeline of talent to fulfill future people-needs at the mill,” he said. “We’ve had great success thus far by partnering with TSTC to develop our own employees through the Industrial Maintenance program. We’re hoping to build on that success by providing scholarships to local high school graduates and eventually give them opportunities with Gerdau.”

Besides TSTC, Midlothian students are the winners overall, Ford said.

“This benefits TSTC by allowing us to provide scholarships to students from Midlothian ISD that we could not do otherwise,” she said.

The TSTC Foundation supports the Texas State Technical College campuses across the state, supporting the critical needs of students and providing funds to enhance TSTC’s ability to provide new and emerging technical programs to support the Texas workforce.

For more information on The TSTC Foundation, visit tstc.edu/tstcfoundation.

TSTC is registering now for the fall semester. For more information, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC Offers Precision Machining Scholarships Through HAAS Grant

(MARSHALL) – Texas State Technical College has been granted $10,000 from the Gene Haas Foundation to award Precision Machining Technology students with scholarships.

The program will award 10 new students with $1,000 each — $500 for the fall semester and the other half for the spring.

TSTC’s Precision Machining program will begin hosting weekly Lunch and Learn sessions on the program beginning Friday, July 6, and continuing through Friday, Aug. 10. Potential students must attend one of these sessions and enroll in the program to be eligible to receive the scholarship.

The Gene Haas Foundation, which is headquartered in Oxnard, California, was established in 1999. Haas started Haas Automation Inc., a builder of computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools, in 1983. Aware of the “Skills Gap,” a lack of skilled workers to fill jobs in the U.S., Haas directed the board of his foundation to focus on scholarships in manufacturing education.

Daniel Nixon, head of TSTC’s Precision Machining department, hopes the scholarships will help boost enrollment in the program and said now is an opportune time to join the machining industry.

“Right now there is a shortage of good machinists not just statewide, but nationally and worldwide,” he said. “It’s a good time for a young person to get in at the ground level and build themselves into a career.”

Nixon elaborated on some positions that may be available after receiving training in the field.

“Some of the job descriptions they would be looking for after they graduate are CNC operator, CNC machinist or just machinist in general,” he said. “In the job, employees will be modifying and repairing tools, using precision instruments to measure products and organizing leadership while following safety protocols.”

O*NET OnLine predicts a healthy 15 percent increase in machining jobs, or 90 new jobs annually, in Texas through 2024.

For more information on TSTC’s Precision Machining Technology program, visit tstc.edu.