(ROSENBERG) – Steve Hefner knew the time was right in his career to give a financial helping hand to students.
Earlier this year, Hefner donated $10,000 to the Texan Success Scholarship for students attending TSTC in Fort Bend County.
Hefner, senior vice president of construction at Camden Living in Houston and a graduate of Texas State Technical College in Waco, is familiar with the statistics: more than 1.1 million carpentry workers will be needed by 2026 and more than 27,000 brickmasons will be needed in the same period, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Roofers, managers, drywall and ceiling tile installers and others will also be needed in the construction field as workers retire in the upcoming years.
“You have less people wanting to get into our business and more people exiting,” said Hefner. “Tenacity and drive will always outshine people and a good work ethic is key. I have seen our generation change and the millennials today are different. They work smarter and multitask a little better.”
“We so appreciate our alumni giving back to our college,” said John Kennedy, a field development officer for The TSTC Foundation at TSTC in Fort Bend County. “Supporters such as Steve not only help our current and future students, but it shows how much they value the education they received at TSTC. Steve is a shining example of how one can be very successful as a result of the knowledge gained through technical education.”
Hefner hopes the money can help students whose financial means are not the most abundant.
“The thing I’m seeing today are the kids we are hiring have $100,000 debt at 6 percent interest,” he said. “They can’t get a break to get ahead.”
TSTC in Fort Bend County Provost Randall Wooten encouraged TSTC alumni to visit and see the technology that students work with.
“There are numerous TSTC alumni in the greater Houston area who are making a difference every day by applying their skills in a multitude of industries,” Wooten said.
Hefner grew up in Lubbock and briefly attended two universities before switching to TSTC in Waco.
“I could not find my way of what I wanted to do and my passion,” he said. “My dad was in banking and my family was in farming. I always had a passion and worked in the lumber industry and loved lumber.”
Hefner graduated in 1985 from TSTC in Waco with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Building Construction Technology. He said it was a special time to be part of the program because of being able to travel with other students to competitions and the national construction industry boom in the 1980s.
“I remember the day I graduated I had 21 job offers and it was amazing,” said Hefner, a resident of Kingwood. “Luckily, I made a choice to do multifamily.”
Hefner has been at Camden Living for more than 20 years.
For more information on how to give to TSTC, go to tstc.edu/tstcfoundation/foundation.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.