Category Archives: Waco

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

Republic Airline Representatives Visit TSTC

(WACO) – Representatives of Indianapolis-based Republic Airline visited Texas State Technical College on Wednesday afternoon to talk to aviation students about careers.

The airline, like others in the United States, needs qualified pilots. The number of airline and commercial pilots is expected to grow to more than 129,000 through 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many positions need to be filled due to retirements, with some of the best job possibilities being at regional airlines, according to the federal agency.

Republic Airline opened a new crew and maintenance base July 1 at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, its first in Texas. Lauren K.E. Isaacs, a college relations consultant for Republic Airline, said having a larger Texas presence could mean a new labor market to fill jobs for pilots, aviation mechanics and other support fields. The airline’s bases are primarily in the Midwest and Northeast.

The airline has the RJet Cadet Program for students at federal Part 141 aviation schools who have their instrument rating, a cumulative 3.0 GPA, no more than two checkride failures and are authorized to work in the United States.

The airline also has the RJet Ambassadors Program for college students to be part-time employees to represent the company on campus.

Thomas Schroeder, 21, of Conroe is a TSTC Aircraft Pilot Training Technology major who became an RJet Ambassador in January.

He said he was glad airline staff made the trip to Waco.

“It shows they have a vested interest in the future of the industry,” Schroeder said.

The airline offers summer internships for students interested in communications, engineering, flight operations, graphic design, supply chain management and other fields. Selected interns work in Indianapolis, Isaacs said.

Parker Allan, 24, of Martindale is a TSTC Aircraft Pilot Training Technology and Aircraft Dispatch Technology major scheduled to graduate in 2020. He wants to stay in Texas to work after graduation.

Allan said he enjoyed hearing details of the pilot’s life in selecting the best place to live and working with flight schedules. He said the information gave him a good start thinking about his future as a pilot.

“It was eye-opening,” Allan said.

Republic Airline was known as Chautauqua Airlines when the first flight was made on Aug. 1, 1974, from Jamestown, New York.

Today, the airline has about 5,500 employees and partners with American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines. The airline has a fleet of more than 190 Embraer 170/175s.

For more information on Republic Airline, go to

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TSTC Alumnus Connects Students with Job Opportunities

(WACO) — Networking is all about creating connections.

Jonathan McElmurry, a Texas State Technical College alumnus and network engineer at Cisco Systems Inc. in Richardson, recently enlightened TSTC students about job opportunities in the computer networking industry.

“I want students to know that getting a job at Cisco is within their grasp. Apply as many times as needed, and it’s not out of your reach. This school prepared me perfectly to get in the door and get a job,” McElmurry said.

McElmurry graduated from TSTC in August 2017 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in in Computer Networking and Systems Administration and started working for Cisco three months later.

Cisco is the worldwide leader in networking for the internet.

“Cisco gives us 40 hours a year to give back, and the first thing I wanted to do was come back to TSTC and advocate for Cisco,” McElmurry said. “It’s so important to have someone come back and let other students know that a company like Cisco is a real opportunity for them.”

Cyber security and digital forensics student Lori Wise said that McElmurry’s advice was all she needed to have the courage to apply at Cisco.

“I think it’s so important that a company wants to invest in you. And he (McElmurry) was a big help in what information to add to my resume and what to expect during the interview process. I’m going to apply immediately,” Wise said.

TSTC instructor John Washington was more than happy to organize the meet and greet when McElmurry reached out to him.

“I think it gives the students something real when the alumni come back and talk and give advice to the current students. It’s more real for them, and Jon has really embraced the Cisco culture to become a great advocate,” Washington said.

Before ending his discussion with the students, McElmurry offered some guiding wisdom that he says allowed him to thrive at his job.

“Don’t worry about knowing everything; you never will. This school lets you get prepared to do well in this industry and anything else you can learn along the way,” McElmurry said.

TSTC students visit the Cisco campus in Richardson with Washington once a year and can network with other alumni through the TSTC alumni LinkedIn account.

Registration for fall classes at TSTC is underway. For more information, visit

TSTC Student Awarded National Construction Scholarship

(WACO) – Timothy Watkins grew up on a ranch in Milam County working on fences and repairing tractors.

“We built our house there and I got to be part of that,” he said.

Watkins, 24, a Building Construction Technology major at Texas State Technical College, did not know his talents would land a nationwide scholarship. The Cameron resident was one of 28 recipients of Fine Homebuilding’s #KeepCraftAlive Scholarship. He was honored at a reception at SkillsUSA’s 54th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in late June in Louisville, Kentucky.

He said he was grateful for the $2,500 scholarship.

“I’ve been paying for each semester out-of-pocket, so it helps,” he said.

John Russell, an instructor in TSTC’s Building Construction Technology program, encouraged Watkins to apply for the scholarship given to SkillsUSA high school and college students, along with organization alumni, studying in the construction field.

SkillsUSA is a professional organization teaching technical, academic and employability skills that help high school and college students pursue successful careers.

Russell said he admired Watkins’ demeanor and attentiveness.

“His attention to detail is rarely surpassed,” Russell said. “He is an ‘A’ student in my classes. He always has the answer if called upon in class. He is soft spoken and respectful at all times.”

While at the SkillsUSA conference, Watkins represented TSTC and the state in the Cabinetmaking contest. It was the first time he participated in SkillsUSA.

“I’ve always been interested in challenging myself,” he said. “I was calm in the beginning of the competition. I did run into a mistake and was able to fix it. I tried to make the right cuts and be consistent. I’m definitely inspired to complete some more projects.”

Watkins graduated in 2012 from C.H. Yoe High School in Cameron. He did home remodeling as an after-school job.

“I’ve always been interested in being challenging myself,” Watkins said. “I’ve always loved building.”

Watkins is scheduled to graduate from TSTC in spring 2019 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Building Construction Technology.

After graduation, Watkins wants to work in the construction field in the Austin area.

For more information on Texas State Technical College or to register for fall classes,  go to


Temple Business Finding Value in TSTC Alumni

(WACO) — In the fast lane it can be easy to forget the importance of family values, but for the folks at Wisener’s Auto Clinic, LLC, family is what keeps the engine running smoothly.

For over 30 years, Wisner’s has prided itself on serving the Bell County area with honest and efficient work, entrusting two TSTC graduates to help preserve that mission.

“We need to look at our business with a servant’s heart and provide the highest level of service to our community and others,” Neil Wisener, president, said.

Justin Dillard and Chris Duffy are both TSTC alumni working at Wisener’s. Dillard graduated in 2013 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Automotive Technology and Duffy graduated in 2002 with a certification in Industrial Maintenance. Dillard has been with the company for a year while Duffy has been with the company for the past two and a half years.

“It’s been great with Wisener’s because it’s family-based. I worked with Bill, Neil’s dad, and Neil, and they really do want you to be your best and keep training to be better,” Duffy said.

After graduating, Dillard felt confident to enter the workforce and credits his time at TSTC for helping him to succeed.  

“I like working on cars because it’s always something different and TSTC really prepared me for the industry and interviews so that I can do what I love,” Dillard said.

During the hiring process at Wisener’s, Neil asks applicants what their goals are to determine if they are dedicated to providing the level of service his company is known for.

“We’ve always looked at TSTC students because they’ve always stood out to us as good interview candidates,” Wisener said. “Those that come out of TSTC seem to have their act together and are clearly focused in advancing their skills and careers.”  

Both alumni agree that their time at TSTC and Wisener’s is allowing them to grow in their careers, while still having time for family.

“I got started working on cars with my dad and my brothers went to TSTC for industrial maintenance too. Family is important to me just like it is to the Wisener’s,” Duffy said.

Wisener’s Auto Clinic, LLC was purchased by Bill Wisener, Jr. in 1987. Neil Wisener purchased it after his father retired in 2009. There are two locations in Temple.

With TSTC as a partner, the future is bright for the established auto shop and the graduates hired to work there.

Registration for fall classes at TSTC is underway. For more information, visit

TSTC Student Uses Gift of Education to Keep Giving

(WACO) — Education may be the key to creating a better life for oneself, but for Texas State Technical College student Taylor Dudik, it’s also the opportunity to create a better life for others.

Dudik is a second-semester Instrumentation Technology student who plans to use her degree as a way to support her five-year-old daughter and stay involved in various philanthropic activities.

Dudik finds time in her busy schedule to volunteer with the Heart of Texas Region MHMR Center in Waco, as well as fostering  animals through Gray Mutts Rescue and Sanctuary in Clifton and running T&B Doggie Haven in Aquilla.

“I wish I could do more. This degree and the job that will follow are going to allow me to help and do more,” Dudik said. “It will allow me to give money and have more time to donate. I love helping people; it just makes me happy.”

Dudik’s life can be hectic at times, but she is determined to set an example for her daughter.

“I’m a single mom, and I want my daughter to see me as an example of ‘girl power,’” Dudik said. “I want her to see that you can go out and do anything you want, and for her to always have those values of helping people, no matter what.”

Dudik’s giving attitude made an impression on her instructors and subsequently helped her get to know one of her neighbors.

“Taylor and I found out we live on the same road in the first few days of class,” said Linda Martin, TSTC senior instructor of Instrumentation, Computer Controls and Robotics. “Even in my first impression, she came off as very happy to be there and focused and just an open person, which will help her big-time in the field.”

Martin and Dudik both encourage women to enter the instrumentation field and take advantage of the financial opportunities that can follow.

“For a woman who is not afraid to get outdoors and get to work, you can provide for yourself. Especially for single mothers, it’s great because you can provide for your family and have insurance and be able to thrive on your own,” Martin said.

Dudik was pleasantly surprised to have a female instructor and to see other women in her classes. She thoroughly supports anyone who has an interest in the field.  

“If you’re a girl, you can do anything you feel like. And don’t be embarrassed or ashamed — just do it,” Dudik said. “Don’t be scared to put some boots on, get your safety glasses, get your hard hat, and let’s go!”

Dudik plans to graduate in spring 2019 with an Associate of Applied Science degree.

Registration for fall classes at TSTC is underway. For more information, visit


Houston Company, TSTC Alumnus Help Support BCT Program

(WACO) – The driver of the semi-trailer truck made the turn onto Airline Drive and maneuvered left into a driveway next to Texas State Technical College’s Building Construction Technology building. A BCT faculty member sat ready with a forklift to begin unloading the vehicle’s contents.

And, the items kept coming and coming.

“I think it’s great,” said Chris Porter, a TSTC in Waco BCT instructor and master plumber. “It’s a great relief for our department.”

The semi-trailer truck carried more than 1,300 pieces of lumber from Boise Cascade in Sugar Land and 80 pieces of No. 2 and BTR (better) Douglas fir lumber from Weyerhaeuser Co. in Houston. The items were delivered by Double G Forest Products in Navasota. The nine bundles of lumber is valued at slightly less than $14,000.

The in-kind gift was from Camden Living in Houston and organized by Steve Hefner, senior vice president of construction and a graduate of the BCT program at TSTC in Waco.

“I’m a huge advocate of TSTC and I believe strongly in our workforce and technical schools that provide a benefit to this country,” he said.

Michael Carrillo, a TSTC Building Construction Technology instructor, said the gift means he and other instructors can have students work on larger scale hands-on projects in classes.

“It’s pushing the efforts in what we are trying to do to help the workforce,” Carrillo said. “The students get what they need. We can expand and grow labs and make them more complex. It gives them more realistic scenarios.”

Hefner also made a $2,500 gift to the Building Construction Technology program for SkillsUSA. SkillsUSA is a nationwide professional organization teaching technical, academic and employability skills that help college and high school students pursue successful careers. TSTC’s Building Construction Technology program has students that participate in cabinet making, carpentry, plumbing, electrical and group construction contests on the state and national level.

“These will be life changing moments for the students in the future,” Hefner said.

Carrillo said the money could be used to purchase uniforms and hard hats for the program’s SkillsUSA participants to use at yearly competitions and scholarship opportunities for future students.

“One of the biggest expenses a student has are uniforms,” he said. “SkillsUSA are the top notch students. SkillsUSA provides a pathway to a company.”

Porter said he hoped the construction students would value the gifts. And, he said he wants one day for the students to contribute in their own ways to the program long after graduating.

“I hope they do see there are good people in the world who really want to help a good program,” he said.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to


TSTC Wins Medals at National SkillsUSA Conference

(WACO) – Texas State Technical College won medals in four events at Friday night’s closing ceremony of SkillsUSA’s 54th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

The ceremony was electric as delegations of high school and college students from Hawaii to Puerto Rico filled Freedom Hall and cheered for medalists and SkillsUSA’s new national officers.

TSTC alumnus Jeremiah Stones won the gold medal in Computer Programming. Category contestants had to solve computer programming problems.

Stones, 33, grew up in Waco and graduated in December from TSTC with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Programming Technology. He took the week off from his job as a computer programmer at Citibank in Irving to make the trip to Kentucky.

Stones competed in 2017 at the national conference in 3D Visualization and Animation.

“I felt like I knew what to expect,” he said. “I feel I got more of an appreciation of what builds people’s skills and how to work hard to be successful.”

The TeamWorks group of Jack Chance, Ricardo Delgado, Joseph Hermann and Andres Zapata won the silver medal. This is TSTC’s first TeamWorks group ever to receive a national medal.

“We need to take this as a learning experience,” Zapata said. “We will use this as motivation. It was fun to hang out with these guys and approach this build as a team.”

The team of Dylan Borg and Travis Pitrucha won a bronze medal in Interactive Application and Video Games Development. The students had to produce an original sample of an interactive video game or multimedia application.

“The conference meant working until about 5:30 a.m. the morning of the competition,” said Pitrucha, 27, of Temple. “It was solid work. Presenting was cool because of what we made. The judges were really nice.”

Juan Alcala won a bronze medal in Collision Repair Technology.

Alcala, 20, of Bertram, is an Auto Collision and Management Technology graduate working on an Advanced Technical Certificate in Auto Collision Refinishing that he will receive in December.

Alcala credited Jacob Pevia, an instructor in TSTC’s Auto Collision and Management Technology program, for helping him develop his skills for the competition. One of the tasks Alcala did in his competition was a damage analysis.

“It is an experience I would do two, three or four more times,” Alcala said. “It’s just great seeing what is in the competitions and how it relates to the real world and the up-to-date equipment.”

TSTC students from Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall, Waco and West Texas participated in the conference. The students qualified for the national conference by winning SkillsUSA Texas’ state conference in April in Waco.

For more information on SkillsUSA, go to

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TSTC Students Represent Texas at National SkillsUSA Conference in Kentucky

(WACO) – Students calculated, hammered and stirred their way through the first day of competitions Wednesday at SkillsUSA’s 54th National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

Texas State Technical College students from the Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall, Waco and West Texas campuses participated in events such as Additive Manufacturing, CNC Technician, Internetworking and Medical Math at the Kentucky Exposition Center. The students qualified for the national conference by winning at SkillsUSA Texas’ state conference in April in Waco.

Noah McCoy, 21, a 2015 graduate of Saint Joseph Academy in Brownsville, represents TSTC in Harlingen in the Automated Manufacturing Technology team contest.

“There are different expectations,” McCoy said. “We are a three-man team. Miguel (Zamarripa) knows machining and Carlos (Davila) is strong in drafting. It’s pretty cool.”

McCoy went to the national contest in 2017 and competed in Technical Drafting.

I’m a little more prepared,” he said. “We show the other students around and how things go.”

Alexander Oldham, 30, is a Computer Networking and Systems Administration major at TSTC in Brownwood taking part in Technical Computer Applications. He said the contest’s components complement what he is studying.

“You never stop learning,” Oldham said.

Oldham, like many students attending the conference, has been trading state delegation pins. So far, he has gotten pins from Georgia, Illinois and Iowa, but has not gotten the elusive Hawaii or Puerto Rico pins yet.

The buildup to Wednesday began Monday night when state meetings were held to go over conference information and rules.

On Tuesday, the opening ceremony was held at historic Freedom Hall and included national awards, a high school parade of states and remarks from NASCAR Team Penske driver and Michigan native Brad Keselowski.

Keselowski talked about his development in racing and how several technical careers factored into his line of work. He said the more effort people put toward their goals, the better the results will be.

“I think the USA will continue to get stronger because of you guys,” Keselowski said, vowing his support to SkillsUSA.”

Attendees cheered when Keselowski changed on stage out of the navy blue blazer he was wearing into SkillsUSA’s signature red jacket.

“Everyone here is a winner,” he said. “This coat represents winners. I like winners.”

The national conference has 102 events with an attendance of 18,000 people, including students, teachers and representatives of 600 national companies, trade associations, labor unions and businesses, according to information from SkillsUSA.

Competitions continue Thursday, along with students visiting Kentucky Kingdom, an amusement park on the grounds of the exposition center.

The closing ceremony will be Friday night at Freedom Hall, where more than 1,000 gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded to secondary and postsecondary competitors.

“When students succeed, America succeeds,” Timothy Lawrence, executive director of SkillsUSA, told attendees at Tuesday night’s opening ceremony,

For more information on SkillsUSA, go to

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