Category Archives: Marshall

TSTC and MEDCO to Partner on New Diesel Equipment

(MARSHALL, Texas) – The Marshall City Commission recently approved the Marshall Economic Development Corp. (MEDCO) request to spend more than $170,000 for two mobile diesel engine training modules for Texas State Technical College’s Diesel Equipment Technology program.

“The equipment is the most modern equipment available that complies with all the emission regulatory entities,” said Donna Maisel, MEDCO’s executive director. “This equipment is not available just anywhere. Having the equipment in Marshall is significantly unique. We are at the forefront of training for this program, which could be accomplished through the partnerships.”

The equipment will be housed at TSTC and used by students. The equipment can also be taken to area recruitment events or used for workforce training.

“This will help our students get the troubleshooting experience needed to be comfortable working with this new technology,” said Brandon Ogden, an instructor in TSTC’s Diesel Equipment Technology program in Marshall. “Emission standards are changing fast and are here to stay. This new technology will put TSTC at the front lines of the diesel world.”

TSTC’s Diesel Equipment Technology program is one of Workforce Solutions East Texas’ targeted career areas, according to information from MEDCO. Workforce Solutions predicts a 20.6 percent increase in diesel occupations through 2026 in the East Texas workforce development area. Some of the jobs are in farm equipment repair and bus and truck maintenance, according to MEDCO.

“Diesel equipment is used in almost every sector of the economy,” Maisel said. “It will continue to grow as well. As most of the labor force is of mature, experienced individuals, interest in this field is vital. Training new people to be able to fill positions as there is a turnover through retirements, etc., will support that growing need.”

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TSTC in Marshall Earns Gold Medals at State SkillsUSA Postsecondary Conference

(MARSHALL, Texas) –  Texas State Technical College in Marshall won six gold medals, five silver medals and one bronze medal at the SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary State Leadership and Skills Conference recently held in Waco.

The gold medalists are eligible to compete at this year’s SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in June in Louisville, Kentucky.

“We are incredibly proud of both our Marshall competitors and our TSTC teammates who gave so much of themselves to lead this group to Waco,” said Barton Day, provost of TSTC in Marshall.

Micki Chaney of Mount Enterprise participated for the first time in SkillsUSA and won a gold medal in the Customer Service contest.

“I was surprised I won,” she said. “It made me feel really good about the path I am on. I hope to gain new experiences and meet new people in Louisville, and of course bring home a medal for TSTC.”

Other TSTC in Marshall’s gold medalists are:

CNC Turning: Trevor Dammeir

Cyber Security: Kyle Hancock and Andrew York

Industrial Motor Control: Jason Aydelotte

Technical Computer Applications: Mikayla Walden

Eighteen two-year institutions took part in this year’s state conference.

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TSTC Alumna Turns Childhood Dream Into Career

(MARSHALL, Texas) – From an early age, Destiny Stoker knew she was passionate about technology.

“I have been working with computers since I was 12,” Stoker said. “It was always something I was interested in.”

Stoker is a graduate of Texas State Technical College and is a computer network technician for the Waskom Independent School District.

“My favorite part is that I get to interact with so many people, and I love the kids,” Stoker said. “I’m learning new things every day.”

Amy Hertel in TSTC’s Cybersecurity program in Marshall wants women to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) degrees and careers, even though they are historically male-dominated fields.

“It’s always good to have a different, fresh perspective,” Hertel said. “Having a female in a STEM profession is a new and different way to look at things — new approaches and new ideas. Women are going to come into the workforce and provide something different than a roomful of men would.”

Stoker encourages other women to follow her lead.

“Go for it. You only have one life to live.” she said.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

TSTC Alumna Turns Childhood Dream Into Career

TSTC Holds Spring Commencement in Marshall

(MARSHALL, Texas) – More than 70 graduates received certificates and associate degrees at Texas State Technical College’s Spring 2019 Commencement held Friday, April 26, at the Marshall Convention Center.

David Golden, human resources manager at Norbord in Jefferson, told graduates to always be prepared in the workplace and set others up for success.

“It’s important to be a good member of a team,” Golden said. “Make an effort to help others.”

Many of the graduates already have jobs.

Travis Spence of Waskom graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Networking and Systems Administration and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Cyber Security. He is working in information technology at the federal courthouse in Shreveport.

“It feels really good,” Spence said about graduating. “I feel accomplished. I will miss the friends I made, and the instructors and the atmosphere here.”

Spence said he was celebrating his achievement with a steak supper.

Some of the graduates will continue job hunting.

Alicia Davis of Marshall received a welding certificate and is weighing job options in Harrison County.

“It feels amazing,” she said. “I’m a single mom. Right now, it feels great.”

Davis said she was going to eat Japanese food with her family to commemorate her graduation.

The ceremony marked the 70th time students have graduated from TSTC’s Marshall campus. And, the newest graduates join more than 3,400 Marshall alumni.

TSTC has more than 1,000 students graduating this spring across the state.

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TSTC Holds Spring Commencement in Marshall

TSTC and Kilgore College Signal Continued Area Partnership

(MARSHALL) – Representatives of Texas State Technical College and Kilgore College signed an updated memorandum of understanding on Thursday regarding technical programs being taught at the East Texas Advanced Manufacturing Academy in Longview.

“It’s not a competition, but a partnership,” said Brenda Kays, president of Kilgore College.

The academy is about to finish its first year of operation in Longview. It offers the opportunity  for area high school juniors and seniors to take technical classes and earn dual-credit hours in programs including Instrumentation and Precision Machining Technology.

Under the updated agreement, TSTC in Marshall will continue to credential the instructors teaching the Precision Machining Technology program and Kilgore College will continue supporting the Instrumentation program.

Elton Stuckly Jr., TSTC’s executive vice chancellor and chief strategic relations officer, said there has been confusion in Longview about TSTC’s involvement in the academy.

“We want to do this today to show that we are area partners here,” Stuckly said. “We come in with the invitation of Kilgore College to work with them here.”

Earlier in the day, Stuckly toured the academy and said he was impressed with the labs and equipment.

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TSTC and Kilgore College Signal Continued Area Partnership

TWIC Recognizes Five TSTC Technical Programs

(WACO) – Five technical programs at Texas State Technical College were recently recognized by the Office of the Governor’s Texas Workforce Investment Council at a ceremony in Austin.

Associate of Applied Science degree programs for Biomedical Equipment Technology, Electrical Lineworker Technology, Process Operations, Solar Energy Technology and Wind Energy Technology were recognized for merging industry-defined skills standards into hands-on learning.

“Being recognized by the TWIC is the culmination of hard work and dedication of the program leads and instructors,” said Tony Abad, a member of TSTC’s Board of Regents. “The best part is that the students are the real winners.”

With TSTC students learning the skills standards, the programs are meeting the needs of state employers in creating a competitive workforce, according to the TWIC.

Mark Plough, TSTC’s statewide department chair for Biomedical Equipment Technology for the Harlingen and Waco campuses, said it was easy to include the standards in the curriculum.

“Since we have the equipment and the instructors with the background of field experience, I think that helps us a lot,” he said.

Plough said the caliber of students coming into the program is improving.

“The students are more motivated,” he said. “We are able to place our graduates. Our program is recognized as one of the top programs in the country for two-year technical and community college-type programs.”

Eric Carithers, TSTC’s statewide department chair for Electrical Lineworker Technology for the Fort Bend County, Marshall and Waco campuses, credited the Texas Workforce Commission for using industry data to define key skills needed to be successful in technical occupations.

“Being recognized by the TWIC ensures that our students are being taught the most up-to-date and relevant skills in their pathway to the workforce,” Carithers said. “This is a large part of what makes our students from these programs elite to our industry partners.”

Other TSTC programs receiving the recognition are the Process Operations program in Marshall, the Solar Energy Technology program in Waco and the Wind Energy Technology program in Harlingen and Sweetwater.

“With this recognition, students have a state of Texas golden seal on their certificates of completion,” Carithers said. “With this seal, it is stating that our programs are being backed by the governor of Texas. What a wonderful thing to be able to tell a prospective student. Not many people can put that type of credential on their resume.”

Only 23 Texas colleges offer programs with the industry-defined skills standards designation, according to the TWIC.

The TWIC promotes the development of a highly-skilled, well-educated workforce and meets the needs of Texas businesses of all sizes. The TWIC carries out these mandates through strategic planning, reviewing local and state workforce plans and maintaining the Texas Skills Standards system.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

TWIC Recognizes Five TSTC Technical Programs

TSTC in Marshall PMT Program Adding Night Classes This Fall

(MARSHALL) – Texas State Technical College’s Precision Machining Technology program in Marshall will offer its first night classes starting this fall.

“The goal of this is to try and help those who are working during the day to have an option for taking classes in the evening and to try to grow the PMT program in Marshall,” said Daniel Nixon, a TSTC program instructor. “I am looking forward to being able to serve our students during the evening hours.”

Kelly Overby, business retention and expansion director at the Longview Economic

Development Corporation, applauded the night classes.

“We have an under-employed workforce, and not very many people can afford to just not work and go to school,” she said. “For TSTC to make the decision to offer the classes at night gives the affordability so people can work a full-time job and go to school at night to get their skills higher up and make more money.”

There are more than 1,500 computer numerically controlled machine tool programmers for metals and plastics in Texas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Workers are concentrated in the Dallas-Fort Worth and The Woodlands-Houston-Sugar Land areas. The annual mean wage is more than $58,000, according to the agency.

Faye Pettigrew, human resources director at Tyler Pipe and Coupling, said the company uses job search engines to fill available positions.

“The need is there,” she said. “A skilled trade alone, whether it is CNC (computer numerically controlled), electrical or millwright individuals, is extremely hard to fill.”

TSTC in Marshall’s program will continue to offer day classes. The program offers a machining certificate and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Precision Machining Technology.

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TSTC in Marshall ELT Program Adding CDL Course

(MARSHALL) – Students enrolling this fall in the Electrical Lineworker Technology program at Texas State Technical College will have the opportunity to take commercial driver’s license lessons.

Students will first need to get a commercial learner’s permit before the end of their second semester, said Eric Carithers, TSTC’s statewide chair for the Electrical Lineworker Technology program.

“The students are required to have their permit and also a copy of their driving record,” he said. “They need a driving record for every state they have lived in the last seven years. They also need to undergo a drug screening.”

Students will take a new commercial driving course through the Texas Workforce Commission in the third semester of the associate degree program. The first group of students will start learning how to drive in summer 2020, Carithers said. The class is backed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which regulates all registered commercial motor vehicles for interstate freight, passenger and hazardous materials transportation. .

“It cuts down on the costs for the employer and makes the student more sellable,” Carithers said.

Representatives of area electric providers said the new course is vital for job candidates.

“As an electric utility, it’s imperative for us to have employees with a CDL,” said Bryan Blanton, a distribution system manager at Southwestern Electric Power Co. in Longview and chair of TSTC’s Electrical Lineworker Technology advisory board. “It will be a huge success when graduates come out of TSTC’s linemen program already having their CDL.”

Kathy Wood, general manager of the Panola-Harrison Electric Cooperative (PHEC) in Marshall, said it is a challenge to finding job candidates who already have commercial driver’s licenses.

“TSTC including the CDL with its Electrical Lineworker program is very beneficial,” Wood said. “It will save PHEC the cost of driving the employee to the testing site for testing. It will also benefit the applicant because the CDL makes the applicant more valuable to the cooperative.”

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TSTC Electrical Lineworker Students Do Morning Emergency Simulation

(MARSHALL) – Students in Texas State Technical College’s Troubleshooting Distribution Systems class were doing hands-on learning before the sun rose Thursday.

The third semester students in the Electrical Lineworker Technology program experienced their first in-the-dark emergency simulation lab at the Marshall campus campus’ pole yard behind the South Building.

“It went really good,” said Stephen Woods, an instructor in TSTC’s Electrical Lineworker

Technology program. “They learned about what happens in the middle of the night. There were real-world situations they got to get in.”

The students spent the night on campus and were awakened at 2 a.m. for a simulated emergency call. When they arrived at the pole yard, they found it “damaged” by a hypothetical storm. The students broke into two teams to fix problems that included a broken power pole, downed power lines and other issues.

The students adapted to their first work in the dark by using their own light sources.

“In the dark, things get slowed down quite a bit,” said Dalton Simmons, a TSTC Electrical Lineworker Technology major from Henderson. “You are working with a flashlight. In this humidity, your glasses fog up.”

Lee Russell, a TSTC Electrical Lineworker Technology student from Tyler, said he learned about safety while adjusting to the dark.

“It was fun learning something new,” he said. “Everyone remained calm and got the job done.”

The hands-on lab was a teaching lesson for faculty also.

“We see a lot of areas we need to cover better to help them out,” Woods said. “In the end, it makes our program better.”

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TSTC Electrical Lineworker Students Do Morning Emergency Simulation

TSTC in Marshall Employees Recognized With Statewide Award

(MARSHALL) – Two employees at Texas State Technical College in Marshall have been honored for their work and skills.

Neal Andrews, an electrician, and Amy Hertel, a Cyber Security instructor, have received TSTC’s Chancellor’s Excellence Awards.

“We’re incredibly proud of both Amy and Neal,” said TSTC Provost Barton Day. “Both of these great teammates model TSTC’s core values daily and are a joy to serve with.”

The Chancellor’s Excellence Award began in 2001 and has been given to more than 300 TSTC employees statewide. Recipients are nominated by their peers for their work toward advancing the technical college’s mission.

“The teammates who win this award model excellence for us all and are recognized for both their sound character and for advancing TSTC’s new direction,” said TSTC Chancellor Mike Reeser. “Due to their caring and dedicated efforts, TSTC continues to make a difference in the employment success of our students.”  

Andrews joined TSTC in 2018 and said he was surprised by the recognition. He said a key to being a good co-worker is to be agreeable.

“I had to have someone explain it to me,” he said of the award. “I am the only electrician on campus.”

He said TSTC is the first place where he has not had to wear a hard hat or do shift work.

Andrews grew up in Kilgore and said he considered becoming an industrial arts teacher. But, while in college, he applied for an internship with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and stayed in the profession.

Andrews is also a member of the Union Hill Independent School District Board of Trustees in Gilmer.

Hertel said her email notification about the award was an unexpected surprise.

“I think I stared at the email a good 10 minutes before processing it,” she said.

She began teaching Cyber Security classes at TSTC in 2014.

“I know exactly why I’m here,” Hertel said. “I like to get a student in the program and see them grow. I’ve seen them get confidence and get out of their shell. I work with them on their resumes and prepare them for interviews.”

Hertel grew up in Winnsboro and said she wanted to teach since her childhood days of lining up to give lessons to her stuffed animals. She received her first computer when she was 4. While growing up, she learned about computer parts and software upgrades from a relative who worked at Texas Instruments.

Hertel studied computer science at Northeast Texas Community College and computer information systems at The University of Texas at Tyler. She has CompTIA certifications in A+, Network+ and Security+ and an AccessData certification in Computer Forensics.

Andrews and Hertel will join 33 other TSTC employees statewide who will be honored at the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s Excellence Awards Dinner and Celebration in May in Austin.

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TSTC in Marshall Employees Recognized With Statewide Award