Category Archives: Marshall

Komatsu Partners with TSTC for $131,404 Job Training Grant

(MARSHALL) – Texas State Technical College has partnered with Komatsu Mining Corp. in Longview to train 60 workers using a $131,404 Skills Development Fund grant from the Texas Workforce Commission.

Julian Alvarez, Texas Workforce Commissioner Representing Labor, presented the check to officials from TSTC and Komatsu at a 10 a.m. ceremony Wednesday, Aug. 29, at TSTC in Marshall.

“This celebration represents another textbook example of the great state of Texas continuing to support the workforce and industries that drive the state’s booming economy,” said TSTC Provost Bart Day.

The training was designed specifically to meet Komatsu’s needs and will be provided by TSTC instructors. Trainees will include data terminal operators, fabrication machine operators and quality control inspectors. Upon completion of training, the workers will receive an average hourly wage of $18.99.

Komatsu Manufacturing Engineering and Manufacturing manager Kraig Green said he is glad to show that Komatsu is willing to invest in its community.

“We see people who understand we are willing to hire and train to invest in this area,” Green said. “We don’t have to bring people in from big metropolises like Dallas to get skilled labor. It’s right here.”

Wayne Mansfield, president and CEO of the Longview Economic Development Corp., said partnerships are a critical part of development.

“Workforce development is by far the No. 1 critical issue, not just here in Texas, but all over the country,” Mansfield said. “Establishing the foundation for workforce here is important to the continued success of Longview, Gregg County and East Texas.”

Commissioner Alvarez said he is happy that Texans have options for career education.

“Anyone that knows me will tell you that I’m a huge supporter of career and technology education and will always support associate degrees and certificates,” Alvarez said. “Technology is changing every day. … TSTC is keeping up with those changes. We appreciate that. They have an impeccable reputation with us.”

Overall, the grant will have a $3.9 million impact on the East Texas area.

Komatsu (https://mining.komatsu) is a global mining equipment and services provider. With a full line of products supported by advanced technologies, the company helps customers safely and sustainably optimize their operations. The company’s equipment and services are used to extract fundamental minerals and develop modern infrastructure, as well as playing a key role in the construction and forestry industries.

The Skills Development Fund is one of the state’s premier job training programs, keeping Texas competitive with a skilled workforce. For more information on TSTC’s workforce training, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC Holds Summer Commencement

(MARSHALL) – Texas State Technical College held its summer commencement ceremony Friday evening in Marshall. More than 40 graduates walked the stage in the presence of their family and friends.

TSTC Provost Bart Day said the ceremony not only signifies an end for the graduates, but also a beginning.

“Tonight represents an end, in that each of you graduating this evening has set and reached a goal and readied yourself for the challenges of the workforce,” Day told the graduates. “But tonight’s celebration also represents a beginning because you’ve made the transition from TSTC student to TSTC graduate.”

Garrett Bradshaw, a Process Operations student, was one of the night’s honor graduates. Bradshaw is completing an extended internship with Eastman Chemical Company in Longview. He began his internship as a materials handling operator in May.

“I flow product from the storage tanks to rail cars and trailers for shipping,” Bradshaw said. “That can involve using pumps, process valves. I collect samples and have analyses run on them. For shipping, paperwork is involved. All things to get the product to the customer.”

The Longview resident is graduating from TSTC with a 4.0 GPA.. His advice for incoming and current students is that “you get what you put in.”

“You’re going to have to do work,” Bradshaw said. “If you’re willing to put in the work, you’re going to get results.”

David Golden, Human Resources manager at Norbord Inc. of Jefferson, spoke at the ceremony. He reminded graduates that they control their own journeys.

“You must plot and steer your course,” he said, “because you are ultimately in command of where your ship goes. You’ll get lots of navigation advice from other captains, but you must steer your own ship.”

TSTC in Marshall graduates earned degrees in all 12 of the programs offered at the campus — Business Management Technology, Computer-Aided Drafting and Design, Computer Networking and Systems Administration, Cyber Security, Diesel Equipment Technology, Electrical Lineworker Technology, Industrial Controls Technology, Industrial Maintenance, Precision Machining Technology, Process Operations, Software Development and Welding.

Fall classes begin Monday, Aug. 27. For more information on the college, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC in Marshall Presents Staff Member of the Year Award

(MARSHALL) – 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.

Student Success Coach Jason Beach was chosen as staff member of the year.

He was happy to receive the award.

“I felt truly appreciated and was reminded immediately of the many administrators, staff and faculty for whom I have sincere gratitude,” Beach said. “These women and men have taught me a lot and they continue to guide me today.”

Beach, a Longview native who lives in Gilmer, has worked for TSTC for 14 years. He has had titles such as System Analyst II for Institutional Effectiveness, Research and Planning and also provided employees support for TSTC’s Colleague system.

Employees of the campus submitted nominations for the award, and the final winner was chosen by a vote.

Employees had inspiring comments about Beach, with one teammate writing, “Jason works hard to help every student. There is hardly any time in the day that he is not working with students. He is here at TSTC early and works late many evenings. He is a great team member that will assist other staff when they need help.”

Another comment reads, “Mr. Beach is a testament to being a servant to our students and to his coworkers. He has not only accepted a role change but has made the transition with honor and excitement. Mr. Beach takes a very active role in the success of our students along with the success of our college. He continually goes the extra mile even to the extent of taking registration load off the shoulders of our lead instructors.”

Beach’s favorite part of his job is knowing he helped make a difference in students’ lives.

“Hearing students share where they are going to work on Monday after graduation, getting to see caring faculty and staff provide support to those who are learning, and knowing I’m a part of something that changes the lives of people from all walks of life in the surrounding communities, region and state,” he said. “That’s my favorite thing about TSTC.”

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 Graduate Serves South Central Texas With Electric Company

(MARSHALL) – Texas State Technical College graduate Ed Wheat has been serving the San Antonio area with his electrical expertise for over 10 years.

The 1995 honor graduate earned an associate degree in Electrical Instrumentation from TSTC in Marshall and went to work shortly thereafter.

“I had zero lag time — I went straight to work the next week at a facility,” Wheat said. “I got some really good experience. I was there for about three years. Then I went to another place, Louisiana-Pacific. I worked there for almost eight years, and I progressed through the ranks. I became the youngest electrical supervisor in the history of the company. I progressed again to maintenance superintendent and was also the youngest maintenance superintendent in the company.”

After working in the industry for 12 years, Wheat started his own company, Wheat Electric & Controls LLC, in 2007. The company, based in Spring Branch, Texas, covers the Hill Country and San Antonio regions. Wheat moved to the area after marrying his wife, Rachel.

“I married a woman from South Texas, so we relocated down here,” Wheat said. “I like the region, I like the people in the area, and I like the culture.”

Wheat Electric offers industrial, commercial and residential electrical services. Overall, Wheat seems pleased with his field of choice.

“It has its ups and downs, but I definitely have an affinity for it,” he said. “I have the drive for it. It’s a really demanding job. In advanced leadership you’re responsible for things 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Wheat’s advice for those considering TSTC is to make sure you’re ready.

“When I first graduated high school, I went to college somewhere else and I wasn’t mature enough for it,” he said. “I went to the Army, came back with a much higher level of maturity, and I took college much more seriously. If you make sure that you’re serious and ready for it, dig in as deep as you can. Really be serious about the theory side. If you really understand the theory, you can learn anything from there.”

Wheat expanded his business to Corpus Christi in 2016. Read more on the company at wheat-electric.com.

TSTC’s Electronic Instrumentation program is now called Industrial Controls and is offered at the Marshall campus. For more information on the college and its programs offered statewide, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC Visionary Murray Watson Jr. Remembered for Service

(WACO) – Texas State Technical College mourned Wednesday the loss of former Texas legislator Murray Watson Jr., who filed legislation in 1969 to separate what was an arm of the Texas A&M University system into a stand-alone institution for technical education that would become TSTC.

“If there was ever a Mr. TSTC, it would be Murray Watson,” said Elton Stuckly Jr., TSTC’s executive vice chancellor and chief strategic relations officer.

Watson died Tuesday at age 86.

Watson was a state senator when he filed legislation to make the James Connally Technical Institute independent and rename it Texas State Technical Institute (now TSTC). Gov. Preston Smith signed the bill’s final version in May 1969 in Austin.

At TSTC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration in April 2015 in Austin, Watson was honored with a Founder’s Award.

Watson’s name is on TSTC’s student recreation center on Campus Drive. That factored into his wife, Greta, having been honored with the nearby Culinary Arts building being named for her.

“Murray and I walked out of the old (TSTC) system’s building, and we were about a million dollars short to build the new Culinary Arts Center,” Stuckly said. “I said, ‘Mr. Watson, I want you to think about something. Your name is on that (the recreation center) building. Wouldn’t it be nice for it (the new building) to be called the Greta W. Watson Culinary Arts Center? If you give us a million dollars, you could look at each other forever.’ It wasn’t a couple of weeks later that he called and said he was going to do it.”

Stuckly said Watson was a mentor who would give him advice.

“He always stayed in contact with me by email,” Stuckly said. “He was always looking for ways and ideas of how to make TSTC a better college.”

Stuckly said he and Watson always found much to talk about.

“He grew up in Mart, and I was raised in Penelope,” Stuckly said. “He always wanted to ask about TSTC first, then talk about farm cattle and his feed store and what I used to do on the farm. He said, ‘Elton, there aren’t many people that I can talk to who relate to those times.’”

Verna Lastrapes, a TSTC college outreach specialist, grew up knowing the Watson family in Mart. She said Watson’s family owned the local feed store, which she would visit as a four-year-old with her father at least twice a week to catch up with residents.

“Murray Jr. was a senior at Mart High School then,” she said. “I knew him well because he and my sister, Barbara, were friends.”

Pete Rowe, TSTC’s vice president for institutional development, hauled hay for Watson when he was a teenager in Mart. Rowe also graduated from Mart High School.

“It’s a personal loss for me because I loved him so much,” Rowe said. “He was a great mentor to me. He and Mrs. Watson have always been very kind to me and have done a lot for me in my life and career.”

Lastrapes said residents in Mart thought Watson would be president one day.

“He did not become president, but he did become our state representative and our state senator,” she said. “As a teenager, I remember helping campaign for him. Just about everyone in Mart campaigned for him.”

The feed store factored into Watson’s law career.

“When he lost the campaign for U.S. representative and went into private law practice, he had his office in Waco and one in Mart above the feed store,” Lastrapes said. “For years that is where he conducted all legal transactions with my daddy and other rural area farmers and businessmen.”

Rowe said Watson raised cattle andis sure he must have encountered on his ranch some of what TSTC teaches today.

“Murray was a highly intelligent person,” he said. “He was way ahead of the curve in the education field. He really studied education. He knew what to do.”

Lastrapes worked several years at the Brazos Higher Education Service Corp. Inc., which financed student loans. Watson was one of the organization’s founders.

“He had his own time schedule,” she said. “We began to say, ‘The starting time is when Murray Watson gets there.’ That was for everything!”

John K. Hatchel, chair of the TSTC Board of Regents, worked with Watson as a member of the Brazos Higher Education Service’s board of directors.

“He was very quiet, but he was consistent,” Hatchel said. “If there was a person who needed something or help, he was the first in line to do his part. He did it not expecting any accolades or thank-you’s. He just did it as a person.”

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

 

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 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 skillsusa.org.

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

 

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.

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.

TSTC in Marshall Welcomes New Recruiter

(MARSHALL) – For one Longview native who enjoys getting to know people, a satisfying job was not far from home.

Clayton Brooks now brings his people skills and enthusiasm to Texas State Technical College in Marshall, where he joined the recruitment team on June 1.

He is excited to be at TSTC, and he hit the ground running on his first day with a large tour group.

“The tours were really good for me. I was learning as the students were learning,” he said. “I feel like having that tour on the first day helped me get a jump-start in the role.”

So far he is enjoying getting to connect with students.

“I love getting to meet the students and sharing information with them and sharing my background, getting personal with them,” Brooks said. “I like helping them find something that they want to do in their life.”

Brooks attended Hallsville High School in Longview and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Louisiana Tech University in 2017.

He enjoys the different perspective TSTC offers potential students.

“Everybody has this one viewpoint where you have to go to the four-year school,” Brooks said. “We’re offering something completely different. And because of that, TSTC can help so many more students.”

Coordinator of student recruitment Patty Lopez said she is happy to have filled her team.

“We’ve expanded our student recruitment team, and we are thrilled at the addition of Clayton to our TSTC family,” she said. “Growing our team has been one of the greatest things to happen this year, and I am excited for the upcoming fall recruiting season.”

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.