Category Archives: Williamson County

EWCHEC to Host Faculty Job Fair

(HUTTO)  – Texas State Technical College and Temple College will host a faculty job fair from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, at the East Williamson County Higher Education Center. The colleges are seeking faculty for academic and technical positions.

“Both Temple College and TSTC are in need of instructors and a candidate pool, and this will be a great opportunity for us to showcase our employment opportunities,” said TSTC Provost Edgar Padilla.

TSTC is looking to hire in the areas of HVAC, Precision Machining and Welding. Temple College is seeking instructors in all programs.

“EWCHEC offers great teaching opportunities for people who would like to teach during the day, in the evenings or during the summer,” said Temple College Director Robbin Ray.

Human resources representatives from both colleges will be available to answer questions and assist with applications.

The East Williamson County Higher Education Center is located at 1600 Innovation Blvd. in Hutto.  Anyone who is qualified to teach college-level courses is encouraged to attend. Both full-time and part-time positions are available.

For more information, call 512-759-5900.

Late Registration Ongoing at TSTC

(HUTTO) — Texas State Technical College in Williamson County is still offering late registration for the spring 2018 semester. Registration will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday, Jan. 12. Students registering late will incur a $100 late fee. Classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 16.

TSTC offers a variety of educational avenues, including certificate options and full associate degrees. High school students who want a head start on their college education may also opt for online training or dual-credit programs.

Among the many programs the college offers are Culinary Arts, Cyber Security, HVAC, Precision Machining Technology and Welding.

Students seeking financial aid should contact the TSTC Financial Aid office immediately at 254-867-3620 to allow time for processing. More information on financial aid, including an online application, is available at tstc.edu.

For more information on registering or about the college, call 512-759-5900.

TSTC Holds Fall Commencement

(WACO) – More than 550 graduates received certificates and associate degrees at Texas State Technical College’s Fall 2017 Commencement held Friday, Dec. 8, at the Waco Convention Center.

Students from TSTC’s campuses in Waco, North Texas and Williamson County took part in the ceremony. The Waco campus had 479 graduates, Williamson County had 46 graduates and North Texas had 27 graduates.

Many of the graduates already have jobs and are ready to work.

Anthony Warren, 22, of Gatesville graduated with a machining certificate. He has been working the last few months at Unique Machine Shop in Oglesby as a CNC operator/machinist.

During his time at TSTC, he had a son.

“I did what I set out to do and I will do what I need to do for me and my son,” Warren said. “If you pursue what you are good at, you will succeed.”

Some graduates are preparing to go to work.

Khadeeja Qurashi, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y. living in Waco, received an Associate of Applied Science degree in Laser Electro Optics. She will start in January her new job as a wafer fabrication technician at Texas Instruments in Dallas.

“I’ve made it,” Qurashi said. “It’s amazing and I’ve learned so much. I’m confident in my abilities and I get to show everyone that when I am walking across the stage to get my degree. TSTC was a learning experience, and it was more than math and science.”

For more information, log on to tstc.edu.

 

TSTC in Williamson County Fall Commencement to be held Friday

(HUTTO) – When Industrial Maintenance student Jesse Franco walks the stage at Texas State Technical College’s fall commencement Friday, he’ll be completing a long-anticipated goal.

Franco began taking classes at TSTC in Williamson County in 2015, but his work schedule only allowed him to attend school part time.

“Normally half of the guys graduate in three or four semesters, a year and a half,” Franco said. “It took me almost three years. I’m very happy right now. I’m making sure I’m going to walk too, because I earned it. Golly, I earned it.”

Franco began the degree hoping to become a maintenance mechanic at ICU Medical, where he has worked for 17 years.

“I always wanted to be a mechanic there at work, but unfortunately I needed the degree,” Franco said. “They don’t take your word for it, even if you can show them you have experience. They want to know you can do it, and how do they know? Your degree. So whenever this school opened in Hutto, I was very excited because I didn’t want to drive an hour and a half to Waco to get it done. When this school opened, it opened up a lot of opportunities for me.”

The degree Franco will earn Friday helped him go a step further than maintenance mechanic. Earlier this year he was promoted to supervisor.

“I manage and supervise 20 people on the production line,” Franco said. “I make sure everything is running okay and communicate with the mechanics.”

Industrial Maintenance instructor Lance Antilley said Franco is a hard worker.

“Jesse deserves this,” Antilley said. “He would help the younger guys in class. He was kind of a leader to them because he could share his life experience.”

Franco is among 46 students eligible for graduation at the Williamson County campus and will finish his time at TSTC with a 4.0 GPA.

He enjoyed the technical aspects of TSTC.

“I’m more hands-on than I am a bookworm,” he said. “It’s great to be able to do the book work and actually put it into practice. For me, it stays better and I learn quicker that way too.”

He also enjoyed the rapport with his instructors.

“The instructors see our weaknesses and try to make them our strengths,” Franco said. “They guide us, and I like that a lot. They get involved with us and try to have a relationship with you. That’s what I enjoy about it. You’re not just being taught; you actually get to build a relationship, even with your fellow classmates as well. There’s a strong bonding, and that’s what I enjoyed the most.”

His advice to those considering TSTC? Put in the work.

“The resources are there for you to learn and to graduate; you need to do the work, though,” Franco said. “Everybody is willing to help you out.”

TSTC provides training in specialized, hands-on instructional courses leading to Associate of Applied Science degrees and Certificates of Completion in areas such as Cyber Security, HVAC, Industrial Maintenance, Culinary and more.

TSTC has more than 1,100 candidates for commencement this fall across the state and is now enrolling for the spring semester. To apply, visit tstc.edu.

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TSTC Welding Instructor Honored for 25 Years of Teaching

(HUTTO) – The American Welding Society honored Texas State Technical College welding instructor A. Keith Wojcik for 25 years of service in the welding industry and in higher education at its annual FABTECH conference in Chicago.

Wojcik said the award is a personal milestone.

 

“It means that I didn’t give up,” Wojcik said. “It’s 25 years of persistence, 25 years of plugging away. The reason my students got to see that is because I wanted them to understand the importance of being a professional and I did that by my actions, not by my words.”

 

Wojcik was inspired to become a welder by his college professor Roy Hulfachor.

 

“He told me, didn’t ask, but told me I was going to be his lab assistant and I was going to teach an introductory class,” Wojcik said. “He was a great man. He became my professor, my boss, my mentor, my guidance counselor and, probably the biggest thing, is he was a friend of mine. So I didn’t get to choose welding, it chose me.”

 

Early after graduating from college, Wojcik began both welding and teaching.

 

“I’ve done both for virtually my entire career,” Wojcik said. “I would weld during the day and I would teach at night. It started one week after I had graduated. I was told by Roy that the local community college needed a welding instructor, so I became the welding department at Kishwaukee Community College in Malta, Illinois. I was a department of one.”

 

Later, Wojcik went on to work at Caterpillar Inc. in Aurora, Illinois.

 

“I started as a welder and got into management training at that point, at the ripe old age of 23,” Wojcik said. “I became the youngest supervisor ever in that plant. And I taught school at night. I taught continuing education for the Aurora school district.”

 

Later, Wojcik moved to Houston where he worked for Airco Technical, and started the Research and Development department at CRC Automatic Welding with his Airco co-workers. After getting married and having a daughter, the family moved to the Austin area, where he taught welding at Austin Community College for 13 years. He began teaching at TSTC in April of 2012.

 

Wojcik, currently a Round Rock resident, said his proudest moment as a teacher came at the FABTECH conference, when he saw a former student speak.

 

“I was so proud when I heard the words uttered ‘My name is Alejandro Alvarez and I’m a doctoral candidate in Welding Engineering at Ohio State University,’” Wojcik said. “I met his advisor and he said ‘Alex speaks very highly of you because you pushed him in that direction.’ That is the pinnacle of my teaching career: that I inspired somebody so much that he would get a doctorate in Welding Engineering. It doesn’t get better than that.”

 

Three of Wojcik’s welding students attended the conference in Chicago as well.

 

“I know I’m making an impact because I have three students that showed up in Chicago just to see what was going on,” he said. “The only draw was this show and the fact that I was getting an award. They all came back excited. I’m passing on the torch, if you will.”

 

Wojcik credits his mentors with helping him in his career and is glad to show his students that way as well.

 

“I’ve had many great mentors who never really gave me a straight answer; instead they gave me a path to follow,” Wojcik said. “I try to do the same. It’s not about the end, it’s about the career.”

 

The American Welding Society (AWS) was founded in 1919, as a nonprofit organization with a global mission to advance the science, technology and application of welding and allied joining and cutting processes. AWS strives to move the industry forward in both thought and action, as well as inspire new generations to see the exciting career opportunities available today.

 

For more information on Texas State Technical College and the welding program, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC Raises Money for Scholarships at Annual Welding Event

(HUTTO) – Ten teams competed in Texas State Technical College’s 2nd Annual Welding Pro-Am competition and Show-n-Shine Saturday, Oct. 28.
Competing welders built miniature barbecue pits, which were sold after the competition to raise money for scholarships. All money raised at the event benefits the welding department at TSTC in Williamson County and will help provide scholarships for incoming students.
Teams consisted of professional welders, and a welding student from the college was assigned to compete with each team. Welding Instructor Sam Flener said the event helps students build experience.
“Being able to work with a professional and have that experience prior to going out into the profession and seeing how they work, the tools they use and the experience they bring adds another dimension to their experience,” she said.
It also helps the students build industry contacts.
“Several of our pros commented on how well the students work, and they appreciated their skill level,” Flener said. “Overall, they were really happy with the students and their performance.”
Flener hopes to keep the event going next year and spread the word about TSTC.
“It broadens our exposure in the community not just locally, but even beyond that,” she said. “It gets the word out on what we’re trying to do here and the quality of the students we’re producing.”
The team of student Jonathan Chesser and professional Troy Hendrix of BT Water Jets took first place. Student Nate Logiudice and Ky Benford of KBG Welding took second, and student Brantley Hearn along with the Samsung team placed third.
TSTC in Williamson County Provost Edgar Padilla said that overall the event was a success.
“The event has exceeded our expectations, and this year we raised thousands of dollars that will be matched via our Texan Success Scholarship campaign,” Padilla said. “Local and regional vendors supported our efforts and generously contributed to the event, and the students gained valuable insight and experience before they enter the field. We’re really excited about next year’s’ event.”
At the event, TSTC raised $13,000 from sponsorships, entry fees and raffle and food donations. The TSTC Foundation will match cash amounts raised.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, visit tstc.edu.

 

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TSTC Volunteers Create Dog Toys for Shelter Animals

(HUTTO) – Students at the East Williamson County Higher Education Center made chew toys for dogs last week as part of a volunteer event for Make a Difference Day.

Make a Difference Day is one of the largest annual days of service nationwide. The day aims to improve the lives of others, and Texas State Technical College hosted the event for students to give back to the community.

TSTC was able to donate 53 dog toys to the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter.

“It’s a win-win, as students were treated to a service project and food and we provided a valuable service to a community partner,” said TSTC Provost Edgar Padilla. “We are proud to have that component as part of our mission at TSTC.”

Adele Clinton, TSTC’s Executive Director of Student Life, said students have shown an interest in service projects over the last few years.

“They love it,” Clinton said. “When the students engage in community service, they’re learning communication skills, teamwork skills, conflict resolution, and they’re getting TSTC’s name out to communities who may not know that we’re right in their backyards. It’s also teaching students that volunteerism has been so much fun.”

TSTC began participating in Make a Difference Day at the Harlingen campus in 2008 but has recently added the volunteer projects at its other campuses.

“Since I became a state lead and TSTC became one, we’ve taken it statewide and our numbers have increased exponentially ever since,” Clinton said.

Padilla said he hopes to continue these types of projects at the school.

“At TSTC, we understand that our success depends on the support and viability of our local communities,” said Padilla. “We believe in service and understand that we’re part of a business community that is vibrant and interconnected. It’s our goal to continue to grow by cultivating relationships and showing that we care, and I’m exceptionally proud to be part of a team that takes so much pride in doing so.”

For more information on Texas State Technical College, visit tstc.edu.

 

TSTC Welcomes Two New Recruiters

(HUTTO) – Texas State Technical College welcomed two new student recruiters this month at its Williamson County campus.
Stephanie Guillory, of Round Rock, and Melissa Zamora, of Hutto, joined the recruitment team at the beginning of September.
Guillory made the move to TSTC after working for Round Rock ISD for 15 years, beginning as a teacher and later working in administration. She and her husband, who is also a teacher, share a passion for education.
“I want to help students reach their highest potential. My husband and I were raised in two different households. My husband is one of 19, and I’m an only child. For myself, being raised by a single mom, it was a big deal to get an education and have a successful career. It was ingrained in me early, but my husband didn’t have that. He was encouraged more by his teachers.”
Guillory became interested in joining higher education by listening to recruiters at college nights with her students.
“I wanted a career change, but I still wanted to be in higher education,” she said. “The recruiters piqued my interest.”
So far, Guillory is enjoying the position and is eager to tell students about TSTC.
“I’m excited about being able to go to schools and tell them about TSTC and what we have to offer. I’ve been in the classroom for so long and all they’ve promoted are the four-year colleges, not a trade or another option for post-high school. I’m excited to get the word out.”
Zamora is a four-year TSTC veteran who moved to Hutto from TSTC’s Harlingen campus. She is excited to see the campus grow.
“I know what TSTC has to offer, so I’m excited about spreading that across the state,” she said. “I love the transparency of the Williamson County campus. We can view so much — our labs and facilities — while we’re giving our tours.”
Zamora has also enjoyed the campus faculty and staff.
“Everybody has been so welcoming,” she said. “It feels like a very strong TSTC community.”
As a TSTC graduate herself, Zamora wanted to help students navigate their college years.
“I was kind of clueless as a student, and I think that’s what made me want to help others,” she said. “I’m a first-generation college student and I’m the youngest in my family. For me it’s like, ‘how can I help someone that was me?'”
Her favorite thing about TSTC is its job placement record.
“We put our money where our mouth is,” she said. “I feel like we’re on the cusp of changing education. We’re about change and we’re about results.”
TSTC Provost Edgar Padilla was happy to welcome the two to the team.
“It’s exciting to see great talent joining our Williamson County team,” he said. “Melissa brings a wealth of knowledge and institutional experience from her previous role in Harlingen and will immediately contribute to our success. Stephanie is a longtime educator with Round Rock ISD and understands the evolving nature of secondary education. Her expertise will go a long way in bolstering our recruitment efforts. We are very pleased to welcome them both to our phenomenal team!”
TSTC touts itself as 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 Waco, North Texas and Williamson County Hold Summer Commencement

(WACO) – More than 580 graduates received certificates and associate degrees at Texas State Technical College’s Summer 2017 Commencement held Friday, Aug. 18, at the Waco Convention Center.

Students from TSTC’s campuses in Waco, North Texas and Williamson County took part in the ceremony. The Waco campus had 515 graduates, Williamson County had 40 graduates and North Texas had 34 graduates.

Many of the graduates already have jobs and are ready to work.

Rosie Zamora of Fort Worth graduated with a Certificate in Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology. She is following her father and grandfather into the profession. Zamora will continue working as a plumbing apprentice in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“It was an experience,” Zamora said about her time at TSTC. “I learned things I didn’t know before.”

Cesar Castillo, 19, of Del Rio received an Associate of Applied Science degree in Welding Technology. He follows in the footsteps of several other Del Rio students who have graduated from TSTC’s Welding Technology program.

“This program tests if you really want to go down your career path,” Castillo said. “It’s a lot more welcoming since most of your instructors know where you came from.”

Castillo said he will continue job hunting.

“I’m excited to go out on my own,” he said.

TSTC had more than 1,200 graduates this summer across the state.

For more information, log on to tstc.edu.

 

Manufacturing Consortium Partners with TSTC for $293,211 Job-Training Grant

(TEMPLE) — Texas State Technical College has partnered with a manufacturing consortium including The Butler Weldments Corp., Reynolds Consumer Products LLC and Temple Bottling Co. to train 130 new and incumbent workers using a $293,211 Skills Development Fund grant.

Texas Workforce Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez presented the check to officials from TSTC, Butler Weldments, Reynolds Consumer Products and Temple Bottling Co. at an 11 a.m. ceremony today at the Temple Economic Development Corporation’s Board Room.

Steven Dobos, president of Butler Weldments, said the company is excited to get more training for employees.

“It’s a win-win for everybody involved,” Dobos said. “Skilled labor has been very difficult to find lately. What better way to bring about a solution for us than customized in-house training for our employees. It’s a phenomenal thing to do.”

Kyle Butler, plant operations manager at Temple Bottling Co., agreed.

“Our employees are primarily unskilled and this is going to go a long way,” he said.

Rick Villa, plant manager of Reynolds Consumer Products, said they’ve tried several other training programs, but they didn’t work for the company.

“This is the first program that we’ve really been able to lock our teeth into,” Villa said. “We’re training our operators to become mechanics, our mechanics to become electricians, and taking our electrical skills up in the plant. You need to bring those skills along if you want to be successful.”

Commissioner Alvarez said the training provided is necessary with changing technology.

“Each person that spoke today mentioned that skills have changed,” Alvarez said. “The face of manufacturing has changed. We’re talking about technology and terminology that didn’t exist before. It’s changed. Times have changed and the folks on the receiving end of this grant know that the change is coming. And so, the fact that they’re talking about keeping up their skills and keeping up with today’s technology says a lot.”

Charley Ayres, vice president of the Temple Economic Development Corporation, said the grant speaks to the sense of community in the area.

“It’s exciting to know that this grant doesn’t just involve Temple companies, it also involves our neighbors in Cameron,” Ayres said. “We work together very closely to try to make our businesses more successful. We understand that what happens in Cameron makes Temple better. That workforce makes us all stronger in our region.

The Skills Development Fund is one of the state’s premier job-training programs, keeping Texas competitive with a skilled workforce. Commissioner Alvarez said the grant would have an overall impact of $4 million.

Workers trained will include 35 new hires, and 95 jobs will be upgraded. Workers will be from Temple-area plants and will be trained in the areas of production, maintenance, mechanical and support occupations. Trainees will include machinists, maintenance technicians and production workers, and training will be provided by TSTC instructors. After completing the training, workers will receive an average hourly wage of $20.90.

For more information on TSTC’s workforce training, visit tstc.edu.