Author Archives: Amanda Sotelo Sotelo

TSTC recognizes Board of Regents honor grads with medallions

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College Board of Regents honor graduates are recognized every semester for maintaining perfect grade-point averages.

Recently 10 of these students attended a dinner hosted in their honor by the TSTC Board of Regents at the college’s Cultural Arts Center in Harlingen and were awarded medallions to commemorate their outstanding achievement.

They were joined by their families along with TSTC faculty and leadership, including Provost Cledia Hernandez, Vice Chancellors Rick Herrera and Ray Rushing, and Board of Regents member Alejandro “Alex” Meade III, who also serves as Pharr’s city manager.

“You have burned the midnight oil to be where you are,” said Hernandez. “But so have your families, so I congratulation everyone.”TSTC Board of Regent Honor Graduates

Among the students was Building Construction Technology graduate Emmanuel Cantu, 30, who said it took a lot of sacrifice and time management to maintain his high grades.

“I had to choose homework and studying over everything else,” he said. “It was about going to a family barbecue but being the only one with a laptop or book studying. But it was all worth it, and I’m excited for what’s ahead.”

Cantu, also a former Marine, worked in construction while serving, which inspired his career choice.

“Choosing a career was easy; it’s been the transition to civilian life that’s been challenging,” said Cantu. “But with my experience and the training I received at TSTC, I’ll be starting a new chapter in my life really soon.”

The Brownsville native has been hired by a construction firm in his hometown.

Also part of the elite group was Katrina Esquivel. A mother of two, she earned a certificate as a dental assistant.

“As soon as I saw I got all A’s my first semester, I made it my goal to continue getting A’s,” said the 25-year-old. “And this medal is proof of my accomplishment. I really wanted to show my kids that anything is possible.”

Esquivel said her family has been supportive throughout her journey and made her feel like she can accomplish anything. And with their continued support, she hopes to return to TSTC for an associate degree in Dental Hygiene.

In his remarks to the attendees, Meade said he was proud of all the work that had to be done to earn perfect GPAs.

“The success that you have earned has a great impact on you and our region,” said Meade. “It is you, the skilled workforce that companies look for when they consider opening in the Valley. And it’s your technical skill set that you have received here at TSTC that sets you apart.”

The other Board of Regents honor graduates celebrated at the event were Emilio Acosta, Charles Colelli, Dylan Ehrlich, Janelly Garcia, Jeromy Jeffries, Hector Lima, Melchor Rivas and Gabriela Rivera.

The honor graduates received further recognition at Friday’s Commencement Ceremonies at the Harlingen Convention Center.

Registration for Summer and Fall 2019 is currently in progress.

For more information on TSTC and the programs it offers, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC grad fabricates success despite challenges

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – At an early age, Abel Garcia was responsible for supporting his mother and brother. But with his learning disorder, not many people believed he could become a college graduate and earn gainful employment.

But this Friday, the 23-year-old will prove his naysayers wrong and earn a certificate in Machining from Texas State Technical College. Additionally, he already has a job in his chosen field.

Garcia will join more than 300 other students who will earn certificates or associate degrees during TSTC’s Commencement Ceremonies at the Harlingen Convention Center tonight at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“It took me a while, but here I am. I took it one day at a time,” said the San Benito native. “I never thought I would see the day I would graduate from college. I’m ready to finish strong.”

When Garcia first enrolled, he was nervous about how he would succeed with dyslexia, a disorder that makes it difficult to read or interpret words, letters and other symbols.Abel Garcia

“Everything I look at, letters or numbers, gets jumbled. But with determination, studying and the help of my instructors and other TSTC resources, I was able to learn and pass my classes so I could graduate,” he said.

Unfortunately for Garcia, midway through his program he had to make the difficult decision to leave school to become his mother and brother’s caretaker and to work to afford their medication.

His mother suffers from blood clotting and strokes, while his brother has bradycardia, or a slower-than-normal heart rate.

“We’ve moved from house to house. We’ve never had a place to call our own because I couldn’t afford food, medication and a place to live working small jobs,” said Garcia. “It’s been really difficult, but I keep a positive outlook and a smile on my face for my family.”

Fortunately, Atlantic Durant Technology Inc., a metal fabrication company in Harlingen, gave him his big break and hired him as a part-time employee for the experience he had already gained in TSTC’s Precision Machining Technology program.

He has already celebrated his one-year anniversary at Atlantic Durant and will continue working with the company upon his graduation.

“I went up and down Harlingen’s industrial park applying for jobs, hoping someone would give me a chance,” said Garcia. “Luckily, Atlantic Durant gave me an opportunity to be a part of their team.”

Garcia added that this job allowed him to support his family and keep them comfortable during their difficult time.

“This has been a long time coming. What a process,” he said. “I wanted a change for me and my family, and TSTC has given me the opportunity.”

He said his Precision Machining Technology instructors, Ricardo Limas and Isaac Gonzalez, have always stayed in touch, even while he wasn’t in the program, to check on him.

“Not many instructors or colleges care this much about their students,” said Garcia. “But at TSTC, I never felt alone. There were so many people rooting for my success and who genuinely cared about me.”

Garcia will return to TSTC in the fall to pursue an associate degree in Precision Machining Technology and Mechatronics, joining his brother, who also recently enrolled at TSTC after seeing how the college has changed Garcia’s life.

“My family has been my biggest support system. They never doubted me,” he said. “They have tried working to help me, but I know it’s difficult for them. So I’m glad that TSTC has led me to a successful career so they don’t have to worry. And now, it’s time for me to cheer on my brother also.”

More than 1,000 students will graduate from TSTC this month statewide.

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC Profiles in Excellence – Tracy Deadman

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Tracy DeadmanTracy Deadman is a Sweetwater native who transplanted to the Rio Grande Valley for the booming wind energy industry.

Deadman, who was trained on the job, has worked in wind energy for 18 years, and the last seven years have been spent as a site supervisor with E.ON, one of the world’s largest owners of renewable power projects, based outside of Raymondville.

With the company rapidly expanding its wind, solar and energy storage portfolio, Deadman knew there was a promotion around the corner, but the job advancement required a college degree. That’s where TSTC came in.

The 44-year-old will graduate this month with an associate degree and honors in Business Management Technology, which has led to his promotion as Regional Operations Manager for E.ON and a significant pay increase.

When did you first learn about your job offer?

I first learned I had received the promotion in January, way before even thinking about graduating. I knew this promotion was around the corner, so a couple of years back I started preparing for it. TSTC made it possible and now I can even call myself a college graduate. Before this I had never stepped foot inside a college classroom.

How did TSTC prepare you for your career?

A lot of the classes I was enrolled in already dealt with topics I’ve encountered at work as a supervisor, but what I loved about TSTC was its class flexibility. I work minimum 40 hours a week and I am a father of five, so that was very important to me. The flexibility of on-campus and online classes made it convenient and manageable.

Who has had the greatest influence on your success?

Fortunately for me I’m a self-motivator and self-starter, but my Business Management Technology instructor and advisor Steve Szymoniak kept me going if doubts snuck in. He pushed me, in fact all of his students, to do the work and do our best.

What are your future goals?

The next goal on my list is to pursue my project manager professional certification. This is something I have always wanted. I had the experience and work hours, but not the college degree. Now as a college graduate this is the next step in my career. TSTC has opened doors for me.

What would you tell a student thinking of pursuing a two-year degree vs. a four-year degree?

As a site supervisor and now regional manager, one of my responsibilities is to hire. And out of the 30 people I oversee, nearly half are TSTC graduates. There are plenty of job opportunities that only require a two-year degree, and those people are the ones with the skills. They’re marketable and in demand. So I would tell them, go for it. You could be one of those making $20 or more an hour after graduating.

 What is your advice for future TSTC students?

Work hard. In college and in life you get out what you put into it.

TSTC’s mock disaster drill prepares first responders for mass casualty incidents

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – A two-car accident, flashing emergency lights, first responders and patients with simulated traumatic injuries set the scene earlier this week at Texas State Technical College during the first mock disaster drill hosted by the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program on campus.

“This drill served as a training for our students and to have them put their skills and knowledge into practice during a mass casualty incident while working with other first responders at the scene,” said TSTC EMS instructor Adriana Contreras.

Participants who brought the mock disaster drill to life included TSTC emergency medical technician (EMT) and paramedic students, TSTC nursing students, TSTC campus police, the Harlingen Fire Department, the Weslaco Fire Department, South Texas Emergency Care, and AirLife.

“You can never fully prepare for an emergency,” said Contreras. “But drills like this give our students a real-world experience so they are better prepared to enter the field.”

This is the first drill of this magnitude for the EMS program since transitioning from continuing education to a certificate and associate degree program within TSTC.TSTC Mock Disaster Drill

A similar mock disaster drill is hosted every semester by the EMS program at TSTC in Abilene, and Contreras said they played a huge role in this event’s organization.

“The instructors and students in Abilene really guided us and helped us put this together,” said Contreras. “This is something we expect to host every semester for our students. The more practice in patient care they get, the better prepared they will be for a real emergency.”

To raise awareness about distracted driving, the mock drill included a car full of distracted students “crashing” head-on into another vehicle, also causing mock injuries to area pedestrians.

TSTC nursing students acted as injured patients made up to resemble an actual mass casualty scene. Mock head, brain, face, neck and spinal injuries were a few of the “traumas” treated by TSTC EMS students and first responders on scene.

TSTC EMS student Jasper Salazar said the program and this drill have expanded his grasp of the medical field and patient care.

“This is my first rodeo,” he said. “I’ve worked in the medical field in acupuncture and other oriental medicines, but never in this capacity. This training is a good thing. It’s a great learning experience for all of us.”

He said he is grateful to TSTC for giving the students this type of opportunity because it raises awareness of the do’s and don’ts at an emergency scene.

“Our job as EMTs is to save lives and make our cities safer,” said Salazar. “And this prepares us while teaching us how to interact and communicate with other first responders and nurses at the hospital. In the real world, we all have to work together, and this is great practice.”

Contreras said drills like this expose students not only to scenarios and injuries they might face in the field, but also to the emotional aspects they might encounter from patients and other first responders.

“Emotions can run high at scenes like the one we set up,” said Contreras. “Our EMTs and paramedics need to know how to handle that as well. Sometimes we’re there to hold a hand and provide a feeling of safety; other times we need to save a life. And it’s important that, no matter what, we can build a trust with our patients.”

TSTC Police Chief Eduardo Patino said it is crucial to build relationships with other first responders, and drills like this allow the building of a cohesive team.

“Together, we are being proactive and preparing for emergencies before they occur,” said Patino. “And by building a strong working relationship with other emergency responders, we are able to respond and handle any incident accordingly.”

Contreras said she is thankful to all of the emergency responders who participated and to the students who helped make the mock disaster drill a success.

“There is a huge demand for highly skilled EMTs and paramedics throughout our region and statewide,” she said. “And we are working to ensure that our students possess the skills they need to be marketable in the field, to get hired and start working to save lives.”

She said she expects to hold mock disaster drills often to ensure that everyone is ready for any emergency that may come their way.

TSTC’s EMT and paramedic programs are currently accepting applications for Summer and Fall 2019, respectively. Information sessions are held every Tuesday.

For more information on TSTC’s Emergency Medical Services program, visit tstc.edu or call 956-364-4741.

TSTC students bring home the gold

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – To earn a spot at this year’s SkillsUSA national competition, Texas State Technical College Mechatronics students and teammates Ricardo Vera and Maria Lara worked diligently for six hours building, wiring and programming their programmable logic controller, or PLC, during the SkillsUSA state competition earlier this month at TSTC in Waco.

“The competition was real and tough,” said Vera. “So when we found out we had received a gold medal, we were surprised. After countless hours of studying for a 104-question test and preparing for the technical aspect of the competition, it’s a true honor and makes everything worth it.”

It’s an honor that he shares with 22 other TSTC in Harlingen students who also earned gold medals.

The gold medalists will advance to the 2019 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, on June 24-28.

SkillsUSA is a professional organization teaching technical, academic and employability skills that help high school and college students pursue successful careers. Members build these skills through student-led team meetings, contests, leadership conferences and other activities.

Students in SkillsUSA participate in hands-on competitions in various fields such as science; technology; engineering; mathematics; building construction; and heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

TSTC Provost Cledia Hernandez said TSTC prides itself on being a leader in technical training and a vital partner in closing the skills gap in the Texas market, and that SkillsUSA, which she also calls the Olympics for technical education, is a validator of the strong impact TSTC students and their abilities have on the Texas economy.

“We are very proud of all our students and especially our gold medalists,” she said. “They not only represent TSTC well, but they are a testament of our goal of student success. This award is about them and how they have demonstrated that they are ready to enter the workforce with the highest caliber of skills for their industry.”

Also earning gold and competing for the first time this year were Digital Media Design students Matthew Rojas and Rafael Vasquez.

“I was so confused when we won. I had to be reassured we had won,” said Vasquez. “With it being our program’s first time competing and not knowing what to expect, we didn’t think we’d win gold. But it was a pleasant surprise, and we’re excited for nationals.”

Rojas and Vasquez competed in the Digital Cinem

They were then required to present their final project for judging.

“My students knocked it out of the ballpark with this win,” said their Digital Media Design instructor, Jimmy Villarreal. “Competition was strong, but we had also prepared endlessly during and after class for this competition.”

Villarreal said the preparation time for nationals will double, and because of conflicting schedules, it’s going to be a challenge — but a challenge that both students have accepted because they’re in it to win.

“I’m not going to lie; I’m a little nervous,” said Rojas. “I’ve never been out of Texas, and I hear there are thousands of students at this competition. But we’re going to get ready and go out there to do our best and make TSTC proud with another gold medal.”

Statewide, 63 TSTC students earned gold medals during the recent state competition.

For more information on TSTC and the programs offered, go to www.tstc.edu.

TSTC students bring home the gold

Top Row (left to right) – Ricardo Vera, Mechatronics Technology; Flavio Tello, Mechatronics Technology; Joesaline Orta, Mechatronics Technology; Rafael Vasquez, Digital Media Design; Alexandra Lugo, Business Management Technology; Gabriel Flores, Precision Manufacturing Technology; Abraham Jimenez, Precision Manufacturing Technology; Michael Garcia, Automotive Technology
Bottom Row (left to right) – Anahi Reyes, Education and Training; Matthew Rojas, Digital Media Design; Victoria Rincones; Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics; Maria Lara, Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics and Building Construction and Precision Manufacturing Technologies; Isela Rodriguez, Business Management Technology; Jonathan Collins, Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics and Marco Silva, HVAC
(Not pictured): Carlos Davila, Noah McCoy, Marco Arroyo, Iris Juarez, Christopher Garcia, Hazel Camacho and Martin Ramos

 

From university to technical college, TSTC grad finds lifelong career

(ROSENBERG, Texas) – Brian Bradley was once a Texas State University Bobcat, yet he never graduated. But now, at 29 years old, he can call himself a graduate of Texas State Technical College.

The Fulshear native graduated Thursday night as a Board of Regents honors graduate, with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average and an associate degree in Cyber Security Technology.

He joined 38 other graduates of TSTC in Fort Bend County who earned either a certificate or an associate degree during the college’s commencement ceremony at the Stafford Centre.

“I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” said Bradley. “The fact that I’m graduating hasn’t sunk in yet, but knowing that I now have a trade, a skill, is an achievement to me.”

Bradley started his college career at Texas State University as a kinesiology major because he enjoyed playing sports and exercising, but he soon realized it wasn’t the best career choice for him.Brian Bradley

Noticing the limited career opportunities that kinesiology would have given him and with a newborn baby, he turned to working.

“At this point, I no longer had a career passion or something that I could say I would be happy doing for the rest of my life,” he said. “So with a new family member came added responsibility, and it was time for me to support my family.”

Bradley worked in the restaurant and bar industries and as a sales representative up until he enrolled at TSTC in 2017.

“I spent too much time working jobs that I never really enjoyed, but I needed to make a decent living,” said Bradley. “Enough was enough. There were too many holidays missed with my family, long shifts and crazy hours. It was time to find a career.”

It was through a friend who built and repaired computers that Bradley first realized his passion for technology and computers.

“We’d get together, and he would show me his work.  even helped in his computer build,” he said. “This is when I realized I could make computers and technology a career.”

He did not take the decision of going back to college lightly. It was going to be a large sacrifice and change for his family of five.

Upon enrolling at TSTC, the family sold their home and moved in with relatives, where they still reside.

“I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive family. They have been on this journey with me since day one,” said Bradley. “But the way we saw it is you must give ground to gain ground. And this was really to give my family a better life.”

Bradley and his family made it through the long nights and financial constraints knowing it would all be worth it in the end.

And worth it it was. Halfway through Bradley’s program of study, he was offered an internship with Frontline Computer Services, whose owner was seeking a TSTC Cyber Security student.

“It all happened rather fast, but I owe this opportunity to my instructor, Alan Sulak,” he said. “Along with the real-world training I received at TSTC and the experience I have gained at Frontline, I feel like I’m prepared and ready to conquer the cyber security industry.”

At Frontline, Bradley has been able to work with small and medium businesses, providing network infrastructure monitoring, network security, hardware repair, and maintenance and technical support.

Frontline is also the place where Bradley will begin his career upon graduating. Ultimately Bradley hopes to work in penetration testing, which is hacking into networks to help companies repair vulnerabilities and protect identities.

“It feels great knowing the opportunities that lie ahead,” he said. “I now have a career, a passion, and I’m on the right path because of TSTC. And I want to tell anyone thinking of pursuing a two-year degree to just do it. Having a skill and trade improves employability and opens doors of opportunity.”

Bradley celebrated his achievement with his wife, children, his father, who is Rosenberg Police Department Sergeant Michael Bradley, and other family members.

More than 1,000 TSTC students will earn a certificate or degree statewide during Spring 2019, joining an alumni network of 100,000 strong.

TSTC student meets challenges head-on in quest for college degree

(FORT BEND COUNTY) – Getting to college and becoming a college graduate was no easy feat for Adam Alvarado, especially without a high school diploma.

But that is all in the past, because the 48-year-old will earn his associate degree in Cyber Security Technology at 6 p.m. on Thursday during TSTC’s Commencement Ceremony at the Stafford Centre.

“I always knew I wanted to become a college graduate. I never thought it would be possible,” said the Rosenberg native. “And it’s still hard for me to believe this is actually happening.”

Alvarado said he grew up in the ‘80s in a predominately white school, where he dealt with a lot of racial issues.

He said this, and the necessity to work, put a damper on his motivation to learn and led him to make poor decisions about his education.

“I’ve had to own my choices. They’ve weighed heavy,” said Alvarado. “I’ve always felt like I’m ‘less than,’ but TSTC has changed that for me. It has built a confidence in me that is hard to explain, but now I feel like I can achieve anything.”Adam Alvarado

Alvarado worked for Frito-Lay for 15 years as a lead and night supervisor, also handling technical issues at the company’s help desk.

“I enjoyed what I did and learned a lot, sparking my interest in technology,” he said. “But not having a college degree hindered any opportunity I had of growing with the company.”

Alvarado said he prayed a lot about making a career change because before he could enroll at TSTC, he needed his General Education Development (GED) diploma.

Determined to succeed, Alvarado soon earned his GED diploma and was able to enroll at TSTC as a Cyber Security Technology student.

“It all happened so fast,” said Alvarado. “I credit a lot of my success to Melanie Pruett, my TSTC enrollment coach, because she helped me kick-start everything.”

He added how intimidated he was by TSTC because he had no high school diploma, but his time at the college has shown him how the seemingly impossible can be possible.

“TSTC was able to turn a man who felt beat down into a career man,” he said. “I can now pursue my passion of computers and technology, thanks to the education and training I received at TSTC.”

Of course, the journey didn’t come without challenges.

“I was no expert on computers coming in,” he said. “My instructors, though, helped me understand everything and always pushed me to keep going and cross that finish line. And because of them, I even became a lab assistant helping other students. It’s funny how things work themselves out.”

The father of four said balancing a family life as a full-time student was demanding, but his religious faith kept him going, and being able to study while his children did their homework kept him motivated.

“My family are my biggest supporters. They supported me throughout my journey,” he said. “I want to be a good example for my kids. They do what they see, so I wanted them seeing me working hard and overcoming obstacles. If I can do it, so can they.”

Alvarado’s experience, however, not only inspired his children, but also his 18 brothers and sisters.

“There are several who always wanted to get their GEDs and even maybe go to college, so I feel like my experience at TSTC has helped me pave the way,” said Alvarado. “TSTC is changing the dynamics of my family and opening doors of opportunity.”

Alvarado is exploring his career options and hopes to work for a surrounding school district’s information technology or networking department. Ultimately he hopes to open a business.

“At the beginning of all of this, I was so nervous,” said Alvarado. “But my life has changed so much, for better, because of TSTC. And I encourage others who think it’s impossible to embrace the challenge and give TSTC a place in their lives.”

 

TSTC Electrical Lineworker instructor earns prestigious award

(FORT BEND COUNTY) – Troy Eads is only two years in as the Electrical Lineworker Technology instructor at Texas State Technical College, but he is already making a lasting impression on his students and colleagues, earning him a 2019 Chancellor’s Excellence Award.

“When I received notification about the award, I had no idea what was going on or what this award meant,” said Eads. “It was definitely a surprise and after learning more about its meaning I am honored to have been thought about so highly by those I work with.”

The Chancellor’s Excellence Award has celebrated employees who exhibit TSTC’s core values of Excellence, Accountability, Service and Integrity for nearly the past two decades.

To receive this award, TSTC employees are nominated by their peers, provosts and vice chancellors, and are chosen for their distinguished service, commitment and dedication to the college, communities and their state for this award.Troy Eads

“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.”

Eads was selected among 160 faculty and staff members who were nominated and is one of 35 recipients statewide.

Eads arrived at TSTC with extensive experience as a lineworker and employee for American Electric Power (AEP), where he worked for nearly two decades.

At AEP, Eads learned the trade with eight years of AEP school to hone his skills.

“I was 22-years-old when I got to AEP. I had other odd jobs, but this was my career,” said Eads. “This is what I love, where I grew up, but the demands of the job got to me when I hit my forties.”

It was during this period when Eads began looking for something not as tedious, but still doing what he loved.

That’s when he found TSTC and the available instructor position.

“As soon as I set foot on TSTC grounds and I met my supervisor Eric Carithers, it felt like home,” said Eads. “This is where I was supposed to be.”

Despite other interviews Eads had at the time, his heart was set on TSTC.

Eads said he is proud to have been a part of helping the Electrical Lineworker Program grow in the Fort Bend County and Houston area.

“A lot of work and hands went into making this program what it is,” he said. “It was brand new when I came on board. We’re watching it grow and, even better, watching our students grow and gain careers.”

Eads said it’s hard to believe how far he has come, since asking a meter reader one day about his job and taking a leap of faith by applying to AEP with no experience.

“I don’t recommend students get into the career the way I did,” he said. “What took me eight years of training, takes only two years here at TSTC. Plus you get a technical degree, which in the long run leads to more opportunities.”

Eads will be honored in May at the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) awards dinner and celebration in Austin where he and the other Chancellor’s Award recipients will receive their medallions and honors.

Just Hired Profile – Saul Pena

(HARLINGEN) – Saul Pena recently graduated with two associate degrees in Aircraft Airframe Technology and Aircraft Powerplant Technology from Texas State Technical College in Harlingen and is now working as aircraft maintenance mechanic with Hunt Pan Am Aviation in Brownsville.

Pena is only one of the many students who find employment before or immediately after graduating. TSTC statewide holds a 94 percent job placement rate.

Saul Pena

TSTC, Valley Regional Medical Center receive grant to fund customized training

(HARLINGEN) – Texas State Technical College and Valley Regional Medical Center have recently formed a partnership to provide workforce training and development to more than 100 employees at the hospital.

And, to ensure that every employees receives the customized training needed for advancement and success, the Texas Workforce Commission and Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez, recently presented both organizations with a Skills Development Fund Grant in the amount of $202,162.

“We are all so happy to see this partnership come to fruition,” said TSTC Provost Cledia Hernandez. “This is a great opportunity for Brownsville and South Texas. This will support the skills advancement here in our region.”

The training provided by TSTC Workforce Development and Continuing Education, which began a couple of months ago, is customized for 153 workers and focuses on health care, social assistance and facility maintenance.

Trainees from Valley Regional Medical Center include certified nurse assistants, registered nurses, therapists, social workers, surgical technicians and facility workers and maintenance technicians, among a few other technical positions.

Frank Acevedo, Valley Regional Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer, said this partnership has been exceptional for the hospital and its employees.TSTC, Valley Regional Partnership awarded grant

“Without TSTC and the help of Richard Mesquias I don’t think this grant or training would have been possible,” said Acevedo. “This training has enhanced patient care and has given our employees a deeper competency to do their jobs.”

Mesquias formerly worked for TSTC’s Workforce Training and Continuing Education, but was recently promoted to Senior Field Development Officer for The TSTC Foundation.

Acevedo added that he has received positive responses from his employees regarding this training because of the experienced instructors and class flexibility to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity of attending training despite work schedules.

TSTC Board of Regent and Pharr City Manager Alex Meade, called the presentation of this check an important day for Brownsville and the workforce industry in the Rio Grande Valley.

“When we recruit businesses to the Valley it’s important to already have the type of workforce they need. There’s no time to wait,” he said. “And TSTC makes this possible. Its grants like these that continue to attract businesses and build our skilled workforce. And it’s exciting to be a part of that.”

TSTC, a leader in technical education, offers more than 60 technical programs of study in addition to workforce training and continuing education.

Because of its legislative mission, the college has focused its resources and efforts on technical education and emerging technology, and filling the skills-gap that exists statewide.

Workforce Solutions Cameron Executive Director Pat Hobbs said this training is further proof of the value of a technical education. .

“It’s been believed that if you didn’t receive a four-year degree you were a failure in life,” he said. “But this isn’t true. The majority of the jobs out there are technical in nature and do not require a four-year degree.”

He went on to add that with large companies coming into the region, having a technically trained and skilled workforce is now more important than ever.

“The partnerships between TSTC and industries in South Texas and statewide help promote our area,” he said. “And you can expect us to continue working closely with the college in providing the workforce we need. We’ll be back with more Skills Development Fund Grants across the whole region.”

TSTC will be awarded two Skills Development Fund Grants next week in partnership with the Harlingen Consortium and High Demand Job Training.

For more information on the services offered by TSTC’s Workforce Training and Continuing Education, visit tstc.edu/workforce/home.