Category Archives: North Texas

TSTC Holds Spring Commencement in Waco

(WACO) – More than 550 graduates received certificates and associate degrees at Texas State Technical College’s Spring 2017 Commencement held Monday, May 1, at the Waco Convention Center.

Students from TSTC’s campuses in Waco, Williamson County, North Texas and Fort Bend County took part in the ceremony. The Waco campus had 495 graduates, Williamson County had 48 graduates, North Texas had 15 graduates and Fort Bend County had one graduate.

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

Kody Teague, 20, of Rockdale and a graduate of Caldwell High School, received an associate degree in Electrical Power and Controls. He will start work soon as a relay technician at Power Grid Engineering LLC in Dallas.

“It feels pretty good at 20 making good money,” Teague said. “It’s not too bad.”

Teague said attending TSTC gave him the opportunity to meet new friends who share his interests and to learn life lessons.

“I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” he said.

Matthew Warrington, 21, of Corsicana received associate degrees in Diesel Equipment Technology Heavy Truck Specialization and Off-Highway Specialization. He will begin work this month at Waukesha-Pearce Industries in Pflugerville.

“I had fun and made a lot of friends,” Warrington said. “I liked the hands-on classes.”

TSTC had more than 1,200 graduates this spring across the state and has graduated more than 100,000 students in its more than 50-year history.

For more information, log on to tstc.edu.

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Midlothian Economic Staff Visits TSTC

(RED OAK) – Members of Midlothian Economic Development recently toured Texas State Technical College in North Texas to learn about technical education.

“The short drive to the facility is a value to our existing industry and new businesses looking to expand to Midlothian,” said Larry S. Barnett, president and chief executive officer of Midlothian Economic Development, the city’s growth and economic arm. “Having the hands-on equipment in the machine shops and qualified program leaders brings credibility for economic development as we demonstrate the ongoing efforts to educate the workforce and provide a trained workforce to industry.”

Some of Midlothian’s industries focus on steel manufacturing, retail distribution, cement production and auto processing.

“Midlothian Economic Development relies on training through the Skills Development Fund to benefit both existing and new companies,” Barnett said. “Our goal is to expand the use of these funds to more industry, and TSTC will play an important role in this effort.”

Midlothian and TSTC have forged a valuable alliance in Ellis County.

Gerdau Ameristeel on Ward Road is one of the city’s largest employers. The company sends workers to study industrial maintenance at the Red Oak campus. And, Midlothian High School students have visited the campus in the past for Program Highlight Day.

“Our ultimate goal is to place more Texans, and working closely with organizations like Midlothian Economic Development helps us accomplish that,” said Jessica Ford, a field development officer for The TSTC Foundation. “A strong, skilled and highly trained workforce is a key component to economic growth, so we are hoping to be able to work closely with all the economic development councils to build the workforce they need for their local economies.”

Midlothian had at least 22,000 residents in 2015, with more than 90 percent of them having at least a high school diploma, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. About 70 percent of the civilian labor force is 16 and older, according to the census bureau. The city’s median household income was $74,881 as of 2015, according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.

 

 

TSTC Receives Money For New HVAC Scholarship

(RED OAK) – The Texas Air Conditioning Contractors Association has given financial support to students for Texas State Technical College in North Texas’ Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology program.

The Austin-based nonprofit trade association has given $10,000 to the HVAC program for scholarships and plans to contribute more money later this year. The money creates the TACCA Presidential Scholarship that will go to TSTC in North Texas HVAC students.

“Our organization has been a supporter of TSTC for years, and we have had numerous members of our board of directors that have sat on the HVAC programs at TSTC all across Texas,” said Todd McAlister, the association’s executive director.

Stephen Pape, executive director of student learning at TSTC, is an association board member.

“Air conditioning is a good industry for students who want to work with their hands and have a good mechanical aptitude,” Pape said. “You are not stuck behind a desk and you get outside. People are appreciative of your work. You get immediate feedback on the quality of your work.”

TSTC’s HVAC program began in fall 2014 and graduated its first students in 2016. There are more than 30 students in the program for the spring semester. The program teaches students to work in residential and commercial environments.

“What are we are trying to do is place students with contractors and get them some hands-on experience, and that means the upper-level students are taking more evening classes than they are during the day so they can work,” Pape said.

Texas had more than 21,000 heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers with an annual mean wage of $42,830 in May 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Woodlands-Houston-Sugar Land area had about 5,400 workers and the Dallas-Plano-Irving area had more than 3,800 employees in the field in May 2015, making them the areas with the largest concentration of HVAC workers in Texas, according to the labor statistics bureau.

The trade association was founded in 1969 and is made up of more than 500 members of the state’s HVAC industry. The group’s focus is on HVAC advocacy and education.

“Air conditioning is one of the most important items you need, whether it is residential or commercial,” McAlister said. “Unfortunately, our industry is one that has an aging workforce. The average age of an HVAC technician is 55. So, we need the younger generation to come into the industry, and obviously things like scholarships and other opportunities that help fund somebody is something we think is vital. It is important to have programs like TSTC as just one of the many avenues to get the younger people in our industry.”

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TSTC Courses for Red Oak Students to be Featured This Week at Meetings

(RED OAK) – Red Oak High School students and parents can learn about dual enrollment offerings, including those from Texas State Technical College in North Texas, this week at two special information meetings.

The Red Oak Independent School District will host Dual Credit/Advanced Placement Parents Night meetings at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 24 and Thursday, Jan. 26 at the high school at 220 Texas Highway 342 in Red Oak.

“In Red Oak, we are committed to preparing students for the world they will enter after graduation,” said Brenda Flowers, Red Oak’s deputy superintendent and chief academic officer. “Dual credit and college programs can prepare the students to go straight into a college or go into a career.”

Students who will be sophomores, juniors and seniors in the 2017-18 academic year can take dual credit classes in Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair and Visual Communications Technology – Design Specialization Technology. Students can also take classes in programs that TSTC in North Texas offers: Computer Aided Drafting and Design Technology; Computer Networking and Systems Administration; Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology and Welding Technology.

“Some of these programs will be taught by credentialed instructors at the high school and for some programs, the students will come to TSTC for on-site instruction,” said Kori Bowen, interim director of dual enrollment at TSTC.

Flowers said flexible scheduling between the high school and TSTC enables students to walk to and from the campuses to take classes.

“It is a very unique partnership because very few school districts in the state have a full college campus adjacent,” Flowers said.

Career and technical courses are a school-wide effort. The high school has about 1,800 students in grades 9 to 12.

“As part of our graduation plan, everyone takes a career and technical class,” Flowers said.

Red Oak High School students will begin advising and registering for next year’s classes in February.

For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu.

For more information on the parents meeting, go to rohs.redoakisd.org.

TSTC Campuses Hold Fall Commencement

(WACO) – More than 480 graduates received certificates and associate degrees at Texas State Technical College’s Fall 2016 Commencement held Friday, Dec. 9, at the Waco Convention Center.

Students from TSTC’s campuses in Waco, Williamson County, North Texas and Fort Bend County took part in the ceremony. The Waco campus had 449 graduates, Williamson County had 19 graduates, North Texas had 18 graduates and Fort Bend County had two graduates.

Many of the graduates either have jobs or career offers.

Hobie Horrell, 20, of Edgewood graduated with an associate degree in Diesel Equipment Technology. He described his new job working on diesel equipment at Autoworks Sales and Service in Edgewood as a good opportunity to work in his hometown.

“It feels good to get my life started being that I’m 20,” Horrell said.

Salvador Ceja, 20, of Mansfield said he was excited to receive his associate degree in Diesel Equipment Technology. He will soon start a job at Warner Enterprises Inc. in Dallas.

“It has been awesome at TSTC,” Ceja said. “You get to make some good money in my field.”

Some graduates are still making plans.

Ty Webb, 20, of Corpus Christi graduated with two associate degrees in Instrumentation Technology and Electrical Power and Controls. He chose the fields to study because of his relatives’ work. Webb said his time at TSTC was a challenge but one he enjoyed. The Tuloso-Midway High School graduate said he is job hunting but also thinking about pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

TSTC had more than 900 graduates this fall across the state.

TSTC has graduated more than 100,000 students in its history.

For more information, log on to tstc.edu.

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Veteran to Graduate from TSTC with New Career

chris-sheehan(RED OAK) – When hundreds of thousands lost their oil field jobs in 2015, Texas State Technical College Logistics student Chris Sheehan was no different. The army veteran had worked off the coast in the oil industry for 12 years and found himself looking for employment.

“I went and talked to a counselor, and they mentioned this great school — TSTC in North Texas — and asked if I wanted to go have a look, maybe start a new career,” Sheehan said. “So that’s exactly what I did. I went to talk to the instructors and I really liked the school. I could see opportunity in the field.”

Sheehan was chosen to complete an internship with Walmart, working at their distribution center in Bentonville, Arkansas.

“It’s because of TSTC that I was selected to attend the internship with Walmart,” he said. “It was highly competitive. I was competing against students from Baylor, TCU and UT. They only select a handful of people to attend — one person per distribution center. ”

The experience gave Sheehan a look into the world of logistics.

“You don’t have squadrons of interns walking around serving coffee; you actually get to know the job,” Sheehan said. “They give you the opportunity to see what you can produce. Typically 90 percent of the people that intern are offered a job. Because you’ve already been selected to attend the internship, they already know they want you to work for them. They just wanted to see if you fit with the organization, their values and everything else.”

After completing his internship, Sheehan was offered a position as area manager. He began working at the Walmart distribution center in Terrell, Texas, in September.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity,” Sheehan said. “It’s a challenge. It’s a great stepping stone into the field of logistics. You’ll learn a lot from this company. I like the potential.”

Sheehan credits his instructors with helping him get to where he is.

“I liked the fact that the instructors are willing to work with you,” he said. “I could not have done this without them. Being able to work full time and go to school full time, there’s no way. TSTC was more than willing to help me because they realized that this was a really good opportunity.”

Friday, Sheehan will join 17 other TSTC in North Texas students in receiving their diplomas at the commencement ceremony in Waco. The ceremony, which begins at 6:30 p.m., will be held at the Waco Convention Center in downtown Waco.

According to O*NET OnLine, Texas expects a 16 percent increase in jobs for logisticians over the next eight years. TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Logistics exclusively at the North Texas campus.

TSTC offers specialized, hands-on instructional courses leading to Associate of Applied Science degrees and Certificates of Completion in areas such as computer-aided drafting and design, cyber security, diesel equipment technology, HVAC technology, welding and more.

Across Texas, TSTC has more than 900 candidates for graduation this semester and is enrolling now for spring 2017. To apply, visit tstc.edu.

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What: Texas State Technical College Fall Commencement Ceremony
When: Friday, Dec. 9, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Waco Convention Center, 100 Washington Avenue, Waco

Area Companies Partner with TSTC for $527,400 Job-Training Grant

group-check-photo-sm(RED OAK) – Texas State Technical College has partnered with an industrial consortium including Betafence, Cardinal CG, Cardinal Glass Industries, Kinro Texas, Inc. and The Sherwin-Williams Company to train 243 new and incumbent workers using a $527,400 Skills Development Fund grant.

Texas Workforce Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs presented the check to officials from TSTC, Betafence, Cardinal GC and Kinro Texas at a 3 p.m. ceremony yesterday at TSTC in North Texas.

Hughs said the North Texas area has much to be proud of.

“Your unemployment rate is 3.9 percent, which is well below the state average of 4.9 percent and the national average, which is at 4.8 percent now,” she said. “The area has an annual job growth of 3.6 percent, and just over the last year this area has added 109,900 private sector jobs. You’re seeing great growth, and that’s really a testament to all these partnerships that you have and the great work this community does.”

The Skills Development fund is one of the state’s premier job-training programs, keeping Texas competitive with a skilled workforce.

“Employers benefit because they get custom-trained workers, and workers benefit because they get that competitive skill training they need in any job in the marketplace,” Hughs said. “Last year, the Skills program served over 100 businesses and supported the creation of 5,500 new jobs and the retraining of over 10,000 workers in existing jobs.”

Roel Lopez, COO of Betafence, said the company is happy to be participating.

“We are very proud to get this opportunity because we believe in education,” Lopez said. “We are really putting a lot of emphasis on ensuring that our employees at the facility have a high skill in the kind of things they are doing. I support this program 100 percent. Tomorrow we have 18 employees that will be in the class. I’m very proud that they can continue learning.”

Workers trained will include 53 new hires, and 190 jobs will be upgraded. Workers will be from North Texas-area plants and will be trained in the areas of maintenance, mechanical and support operations. Training will be provided by TSTC instructors.

Upon completion of this training, business partners anticipate improved equipment efficiency, greater team member capacity to maintain and manage different systems, career advancement for team members, and increased capacity to move unfinished and finished products through a series of operations.

After completing the training, workers will receive an average hourly wage of $22.16, which is higher than the average wage in the area.

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

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TSTC Welding Instructor Receives District Instructor Award

williams-lab-2(RED OAK) – Texas State Technical College Welding Instructor Donnie Williams has been awarded the American Welding Society’s Howard E. Adkins Memorial Instructor District Award for North Texas.

The award recognizes high school, trade school, technical institute or junior college instructors whose teaching has advanced their students’ knowledge of welding.

“It’s recognition of my dedication to my profession,” Williams said. “It shows me that people recognize my efforts and that what I do is recognized by my peers. I was very glad for it. It kind of validates what I’m doing.”

The Hillsboro resident attended welding school in Dallas and later earned a Certificate of Technology in Petroleum Technology from Odessa College. He began teaching at TSTC in North Texas in January.

A second-generation welder, Williams began welding when he was 16 years old.

“I’ve been a welder all my life,” Williams said. “I spent my first eight years in the industry working in the oil field on pipe. In the early ‘80s, the oil field went bust, so I moved into structural welding and moved out of the oil field. Eventually I got into quality control and weld inspection and got my welding inspector certification. I moved from there into education, became a certified educator through the American Welding Society, and that’s where I am today.”

Williams has been a member of the American Welding Society since 1997. He serves as treasurer and sits on the executive board of the North Texas chapter. Williams is working toward starting an AWS student chapter at TSTC.

“We have students becoming members,” Williams said. “A prerequisite for a chapter is that you have at least 15 student members. That’s the phase that we’re in right now.”

Williams said throughout the years he’s seen growth in his students.

“Not only here at TSTC, but a lot of students that I’ve had over the years, I’ve maintained contact with,” Williams said. “Some have gone on to own their own business; some have gone into quality control and inspection. This is why I’m trying to take the students I currently have and expand their knowledge, so they can go into a variety of trades.”

In addition to teaching, Williams is also a certified welding inspector and owns his own welding shop in Hillsboro.

“There’s a lot of real-world application that I bring to the classroom to benefit the students,” Williams said. “Much of what I do at my shop I document. Some of it I film, some I take pictures of. I incorporate that into my lessons in the classroom. I want to include my students in my work to show them the hands-on application of what they’re doing.”

For more information on TSTC’s welding program, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC in North Texas Welcomes First Student Government Association President

Sergio GutierrezTexas State Technical College in North Texas welcomes its first Student Government Association President, Sergio Gutierrez.

Gutierrez was born and raised in Red Oak, where he served on the student council in high school. It was that experience that drove his interest in student government.

The Student Government Association represents the student body on their TSTC campuses.

“We’re in charge of letting the students be heard and, hopefully, meeting their needs,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said being the first president of the group is an honor for him, and he hopes to grow the Student Government Association in his time at TSTC.

“Because of the Student Government Association, students can have their voices heard, and changes can be made at campus to make the campus more student-friendly,” he said.

As the group president, Gutierrez’ ultimate goal as SGA President is to make TSTC in North Texas a welcoming campus for all students.

“I want to help the college have fun events so students can have an even better experience here at TSTC, let students become more aware of their resources, and give students the opportunity to have their ideas implemented at our campus, ultimately making our TSTC campus here in North Texas unified,” he said.

Cory Gropp, director of student recruitment at TSTC in North Texas, oversees Gutierrez as a student ambassador.

“Sergio has been an ambassador for three semesters now and we couldn’t ask for a better student or worker,” Gropp said. “He greets everyone through the door, and is always on top of volunteering to work at events on campus.  His dedication to his studies, work and student government is astounding.  He is definitely the right student to lead the group.”

Gutierrez is in his third semester as a Computer-Aided Drafting student. He chose the field because he loves to draw.

“I’ve always loved to design and draw,” Gutierrez said.  “As a kid I have always wanted to design houses.”

After graduating with his associate degree in Computer-Aided Drafting, Gutierrez plans to pursue a second degree in Precision Machining at TSTC.

TSTC Hosts Local High Schools for Program Highlight Day

NTX Program Highlight Day

Texas State Technical College in North Texas hosted 30 students from the Midlothian and Red Oak High Schools for their second Program Highlight Day last week.

Director of Student Recruitment at TSTC in North Texas, Cory Gropp, said he came up with the idea to hold Program Highlight days because prospective students have a hard time understanding some programs, like Industrial Maintenance.

“Students get caught up on the ‘maintenance’ part and often we hear ‘why do I need to go to college to push a mop?’” Gropp said. “These students do not realize the salary that comes with Industrial Maintenance positions. So, originally, we wanted to get a day for students to get hands-on experience and see what the program is really about.”

Gropp said these highlight days are important to make sure students know about the programs available and give them some hands-on experience with them.

“We do fun activities to pique their interest. Some of the comments I heard last Friday were ‘I never knew TSTC had a program like this,’ and ‘I am definitely coming here when I graduate,’” Gropp said. “We want the students who are thinking about becoming engineers. We want students who excel in math and science. TSTC not only provides the training to help students become engineers, but also to earn high paying jobs after graduation.”

Industrial Maintenance Instructor Kevin Liptak said the high school students toured the building and then instructors spoke to them about the Industrial Maintenance program.

In the afternoon, students competed in a tournament to see who could build a tower with a pneumatic crane fastest. Each school had two groups competing. The Midlothian groups won first and fourth place, and Red Oak won second and third.

“I think everybody had a lot of fun,” Liptak said. “They got pretty competitive on the crane.”

Bryan Rogers, an Engineering and Robotics teacher at Red Oak High School, said the school believes that students should see the opportunities that exist for their future education.

“The crane lab was engaging,” Rogers said. “The school system sees the benefits of exposing the students to the option of a technical education, so we’ll continue to bring groups over.”

TSTC’s first Program Highlight Day was held Dec. 11, with students from Red Oak, Waxahachie, Palmer and Ferris High Schools learning about Precision Machining and Computer-Aided Drafting. The students designed their school’s logo in Computer-Aided Drafting programs and etched the logo onto a plastic plaque in the machining lab.

TSTC is enrolling now for the fall semester. For more information on the college, or to apply, visit www.tstc.edu.