Category Archives: Marshall

TSTC Hosts Future Fair For Residents

(MARSHALL, Texas) – Texas State Technical College showed East Texas residents on Saturday why their future can be brighter with a technical education.

The first TSTC Future Fair in Marshall highlighted 11 technical programs on campus, many of which serve industries in need of qualified workers.

Visitors of all ages did hands-on demonstrations, such as the virtual welder, toured labs and ate at food trucks parked next to the South Building on campus.

“We have had visitors as young as middle school,” said Patty Lopez, TSTC’s regional director for dual enrollment. “In eighth grade, students have to choose a career path. Hopefully this can lead to dual enrollment classes and then coming here.”

Michael Calhoun, a senior at Harleton High School, made his first visit to TSTC.

“My guidance counselor told me to look into this college because I am interested in information technology,” he said.

Calhoun said he looked forward to graduating from high school and starting college.

“It will be a lot of fun and a change,” he said. “I felt really welcomed today, especially by the people giving the campus tours.”

Alex Hernandez, a senior at Jacksonville High School, drove with a friend more than an hour to Marshall to attend the event. He said he enjoyed talking to faculty and staff members learning about TSTC.

Hernandez said he is interested in studying Process Operations, which combines electronics, engineering, instrumentation and troubleshooting for the chemical, gas, petroleum and other industries.

Industry was also represented at the event to show the more than 50 people who attended what career possibilities are in the region.

Joe Razza, a regional recruiter at Crown Lift Trucks in Arlington, said students going to college to prepare for the workforce can have an impact on their families.

“There are a lot of opportunities in the trade industry and that ties into the mission of TSTC,” said Razza. “You need to get your hands on it and experience it before you make a career of it.”

Fidelity Communications Co. in Marshall provided a $1,000 scholarship that was drawn early Saturday afternoon for a student planning to attend TSTC this fall.

TSTC worked with the Marshall Independent School District and the Marshall Economic Development Corp. to put on the event.

For more information about Texas State Technical College, go to

TSTC, TWC, STEMCO Celebrate Skills Development Fund Grant

(MARSHALL, Texas) – Leaders from Texas State Technical College, the Texas Workforce Commission and Longview-based STEMCO gathered Thursday in Marshall to commemorate a $166,657 Skills Development Fund grant aimed at improving workers’ skills.

More than 100 STEMCO employees have taken over 900 hours of technical and nontechnical training in collaborative team building, decision-making, electrical safety, Excel, Google Suite and other topics. 

“TSTC makes a positive difference in the lives of our working citizens by helping them earn more in their careers through their increased knowledge and skills,” said Kelly Kinsley Overby, the Longview Economic Development Corporation’s business retention and expansion director. “Training grants from the TWC such as the Skills Development Fund help provide this needed training and foster economic growth and prosperity in East Texas.”

This was the first time the company utilized TSTC for workforce training. The work started last summer and ended in May.

“I think we have built very good relations with STEMCO,” said Dirk Hughes, TSTC’s executive director of workforce training in Marshall. “As soon as we get another grant, we need to continue doing this type of training.”

William Leadaman, STEMCO’s manager in Longview, said staff from the company’s human resources office and TSTC had discussions about specialized training for employees.

“Our company is really focused on the dual bottom line, so not only is it the growth and sustainability of the business, but also the growth of the colleagues and their technical base,” Leadaman said.

The Skills Development Fund has been used since 1996 to localize workforce training for Texas companies. This enables companies to work directly with local partners to develop training tailored to employers’ needs. The Skills Development Fund grant has assisted more than 4,200 employers statewide, according to the TWC.

“Our labor force continues to be among the most sought-after in the world, thanks to the state’s commitment to implement strategies to improve the skills of Texas workers,” said Julian Alvarez III, the TWC’s commissioner representing labor.

STEMCO supplies brake, suspension and wheel-end components for the commercial vehicle  industry.

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TSTC Wins First Medal at National SkillsUSA Conference

(MARSHALL, Texas) – Texas State Technical College won its first-ever medal at the 55th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference held June 24-28 in Louisville, Kentucky.

SkillsUSA is a professional organization teaching employability, leadership and technical skills helping middle school, high school and college students pursue successful careers and build a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA has more than 100 competitive events ranging from 3D Visualization and Animation to Welding Sculpture.

Mikayla Walden, a Computer Networking and Systems Administration major from Broaddus, won the gold medal in Technical Computer Applications.

“I honestly didn’t expect it,” Walden said. “It took about 10 seconds to realize I was getting gold. I have a feeling of accomplishment.”

Amy Hertel, a TSTC Cyber Security instructor who traveled with the Marshall delegation, said Walden never lost faith in her skills.

“The competition was tough and had many elements over a two-day span,” Hertel said. “It was a test of endurance as well as technical ability.”

TSTC’s Marshall campus also had students compete in CNC Turning, Customer Service, Cyber Security and Industrial Motor Control.

“We are incredibly proud of Mikayla, as well as each of her teammates who represented TSTC and East Texas in such fine fashion,” said Barton Day, provost of TSTC’s Marshall campus. “These competitions are a great experience for our students and a terrific showcase of the skills provided by a top-notch technical education.”

Also at the national conference, TSTC’s students from the Harlingen campus received a silver medal and students from the Waco campus received one gold medal, four silver medals and a bronze medal.

TSTC’s competitors qualified for the national conference by winning the SkillsUSA Texas State Leadership and Skills Conference held in Waco last April.

More than 6,400 students from Alaska to Puerto Rico competed at the national conference, with more than 1,100 gold, silver and bronze medals awarded. In-kind industry and education contributions in equipment, materials and time totaled more than $36 million for the event, according to SkillsUSA.

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TSTC Cyber Security Reinforces Importance of Protection in Health Care Industry

(MARSHALL, Texas) – Just like illnesses invade the body, so can viruses of a more technical kind invade digital devices.

The health care industry is entrusted with sensitive patient information, and Texas State Technical College’s Cyber Security program trains technicians to diagnose vulnerabilities and protect data from intrusion in digital systems such as those maintained by hospitals and medical offices.

Some of the biggest security problems plaguing health care include phishing emails, human error, and the compromise of digital devices by third-party vendors, according to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s 2019 HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey.

Less than half of the problems were discovered by internal security teams, according to the survey.

“Cybersecurity is essential for any business that has government regulations policing it,” said Amy Hertel, an instructor in the Cyber Security program at TSTC’s Marshall campus. “Health care is a great example of that due to thorough and complex HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) regulations aimed at protecting patient privacy, whether it be a family practice or a whole system of hospitals.”

Texas has more than 24,800 cybersecurity jobs currently open, according to More than 60,000 people are employed statewide in the cybersecurity field.

Hertel said cybersecurity internships can be difficult to get in the health care industry because of the patient data being stored. But, graduates can be hired as entry-level analysts to build trust in their workplaces.

“Rural health care facilities have a great opportunity to hire TSTC graduates who have first-class cybersecurity knowledge but prefer to stay in the local community instead of moving to a large city,” Hertel said.

David Dowdle, network administrator for HealthCARE Express in Texarkana, which has locations in Longview and Marshall, said geography factors into finding qualified people to fill jobs. He said finding good mentors can help students build on their interest in cybersecurity.

Malicious new viruses — like ransomware, a type of software that denies access to a computer system or data until a ransom is paid — are a constant threat.

“I think one of the biggest responsibilities any information technology professional has is to stay on top of the industry news,” Dowdle said. “Ransomware, for example, was not heard of by your average professional a few years ago. By 2015, it was on everyone’s minds. People who were not staying on top of the news were blindsided by ransomware.”

TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Cyber Security in Marshall and at several other locations throughout the state. A certificate option is available.

“We teach students to plan and implement the policies and procedures that keep health care organizations HIPAA-compliant,” Hertel said. “This includes network setup and security, intrusion detection and prevention, and end-user protection and training.”

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

TSTC in Marshall ELT Program Hosts Longview Boy for Up-close Visit

(MARSHALL, Texas) – Members of Texas State Technical College’s Electrical Lineworker Technology program on Monday gave a Longview boy an afternoon he will not soon forget.

Five-year-old Luke Harris received his own lineworker helmet and a TSTC Electrical Lineworker Technology poster from the faculty and students. The youngster learned how to operate a digger truck and run wire up a pole. He also gave directions to the students during a pole circle exercise.

“You can never begin too young to have an impact from an education standpoint,” said Eric Carithers, statewide chair for TSTC’s Electrical Lineworker Technology program.

Harris’ visit stemmed from a photograph his father, Matthew Harris, took of his son with a lineworker from Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) working in his neighborhood on May 11. SWEPCO workers were restoring power after a storm with straight-line winds caused more than 70,000 power outages in the area on May 8, said Mark Robinson, a SWEPCO external affairs manager in Longview.

The elder Harris noticed his son looking out the window at the activity taking place near their house. He said his son has been interested in power poles and likes climbing, especially up trees.

“Luke pops out, and he’s got his own little lineman outfit put together that his brother helped him with,” the elder Harris said.

Luke’s father said he could go in the front yard and wave the lineworkers.

Robinson came across the photo on social media and took some promotional items from SWEPCO to the younger Harris and his siblings and asked if the photo could be shared on the company’s Facebook page.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

TSTC in Marshall ELT Program Hosts Longview Boy for Up-close Visit

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.”

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to

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.

For more information on SkillsUSA, go to

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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.

For more information on the East Texas Advanced Manufacturing Academy, go to

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TSTC and Kilgore College Signal Continued Area Partnership