Category Archives: Waco

Texas Workforce Commission Funds TSTC Training for Two Companies

(WACO, Texas) – Today the Texas Workforce Commission awarded a Skills Development Fund grant totaling $115,132 that was used for customized training provided by Texas State Technical College for two companies.

 The grant created industry-related training for 58 new and incumbent workers at Cargill, a Minneapolis-based company whose Waco plant processes cooked meats, and Eagle Systems Inc., which provides professional security services.

 Company representatives were invited to join TWC and TSTC officials for the check presentation ceremony held at the John B. Connally Technology Center on TSTC’s Waco campus.

 TSTC Provost Adam Hutchison opened the ceremony by commenting on the importance of keeping workers well trained to help local businesses and economies thrive.

 “The dollars that go into a project like this are reflected back in paychecks and resources that are invested into our community,” he said. “And it’s real people, earning a better living, who may then turn and contribute more meaningfully into our local economy and to the communities they serve.”

 Prior to signing the oversized presentation check, Bryan Daniel, the TWC chairman and commissioner representing the public, spoke about the importance of workforce training to employee retention.

 “So many companies have reached out to us and are taking advantage of the Skills Development program and working with both technical colleges and community colleges to create actual, real, customized programs,” Daniel said. “These are skills that the companies invest in because they want those employees to stay.”

 The training at Eagle Systems included training for its supervisors, who are located in different locations along the Interstate 35 corridor from Dallas to Austin.

 Sherri Springman, human resources manager for Eagle Systems, said the company had grappled with a solution to getting all of its supervisors together in one place for training.

 “This training was huge — just another piece of the puzzle for us to strengthen our team as a whole and just really connect those pieces and make us stronger all across the board,” she said.

 Officials from Cargill were unable to attend the presentation.

 For more information on TSTC Workforce Training, visit https://tstc.edu/workforce/home.

TSTC Environmental Class Provides Field Experience for Students

(WACO, Texas) – Texas State Technical College students pursuing the Associate of Applied Science degree in Environmental Technology Compliance are given many opportunities for hands-on experience. The Environmental Sampling and Analysis class is no exception. 

Fourth-semester students taking that class recently were given the opportunity to go outside the classroom and apply what they have learned by dividing into groups and testing drinking water at several campus locations. 

At each building they visited, students followed an assigned water sampling process: flush the water, retrieve the sample, “zero” (clear) the sample, add anre-agent chemical to activate chlorine, read the sample and record results. The results showed students the chlorine readings in each water sample. 

Environmental student Maxwell Vollan said this was his first time to go out and do water sampling himself.

“One of the biggest challenges we faced was trying to make sure that we had a nice, clean environment to get a representative sample,” Vollan said. 

Fellow student Pamela Jackson likes the program at TSTC because she is a hands-on learner, and the class allows her that opportunity. 

“I like going out there and doing stuff, rather than just watching somebody else doing it,” Jackson said. “I like to do it myself and get a feel for it.”

TSTC Environmental Technology state department chair Lester Bowers said even though the TSTC water system is monitored by the city, he wants the students to gain the hands-on experience while they are at TSTC.  

“If they go out and get a job as a field technician, this is what they will do,” Bowers said. “It is part of that job description, so I figured why not give them the technical aspect here, so when they go out there, they already know what they are doing.”

For more information on Texas State Technical College, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC, Central Fort Bend Chamber host MFG Day community event

National Manufacturing (MFG) Day is around the corner and Texas State Technical College,

in partnership with the Central Fort Bend Chamber, will be celebrating with a community event.

MFG Day, traditionally held on the first Friday in October, will be hosted October 4, 2019, from 9 a.m. to noon at the TSTC Brazos Center.

“This event gives our local students, local manufacturers, and our community an opportunity to

experience TSTC in a unique way as employers will be introduced to a segment of our future workforce,” said TSTC field development officer John Kennedy. “Events such as Manufacturing Day are great for TSTC because they highlight what we do – educate, train and prepare men and women for a great-paying career.”

MFG Day is an annual event that allows manufacturing facilities and education institutions across the country to open their doors and open more minds to a growing industry that is vital to the economy and to show how 21st century manufacturers are solving tomorrow’s challenges today.

“With the growth that is anticipated in Fort Bend County within the next five to 10 years, we need to create awareness about the educational opportunities in our area for this industry,” said Kristin Weiss, president and chief executive officer for the Central Fort Bend County Chamber. “And TSTC plays an integral part in our community by helping us build our workforce and keep our workers local. So partnering with TSTC for this event was a no-brainer.”TSTC MFG Day 2019 Precision Machining Technology

According to a press release from the Manufacturing Institute and National Association of Manufacturers, last year there were nearly 3,000 MFG events held across North American with more than 80 percent of students saying they became more convinced that manufacturing provides interesting and rewarding careers after attending the events.

“Modern manufacturing environments are commonly thought of as dark, dangerous factories designed for low-skilled workers, but MFG Day addresses this misperception,” the MFG Day press release stated. “Over the next decade, manufacturers will need to fill 4.6 million jobs. These jobs offer long-term career opportunities, high pay and exposure to cutting-edge technology and innovations.”

Kennedy said the event will include TSTC campus tours, a panel of industry specialists and former career and technical education students, and exhibitor visits with 20 industry partners such as CenterPoint Energy, Englebrecht Manufacturing, Frito-Lay, FW Murphy Production Controls, I Build America and Gurecky Manufacturing Services.

“We are very thankful for our industry partners who have decided to participate in this opportunity and we hope that the students who attend this event will be intrigued by what we offer and decide to continue their education at TSTC after they graduate from high school,” said Kennedy. “Our mantra is ‘Placing more Texans in great-paying jobs,’ and we hope to offer that opportunity when these students are ready.”

More than 300 high school juniors and seniors from surrounding school districts, college students, their parents and educators are expected to attend.

They will not only gain knowledge in manufacturing careers, but also learn about the programs TSTC offers that can help them gain employment in the industry.

Attendees will take an in-depth look into programs such as TSTC’s Robotics, Electrical Power and Controls, Industrial Systems Technology and Precision Machining.

To register for the event, contact the Center Fort Bend Chamber at 281-342-5464 or visit, cfbca.org.

 

Local students celebrate new-age manufacturing opportunities

Monica Raumaker, a senior at Cinco Ranch High School and Miller Career and Technology Center in Katy, was one of nearly 200 local high school juniors and seniors who attended Manufacturing (MFG) Day at Texas State Technical College on Friday.

The 17-year-old, said the event was an eye opener for her in regards to manufacturing in the 21st century.

“This event was a great opportunity for students like me,” she said. “I learned about so many different career paths that I can take within the industry and it was amazing to see that what I’m learning in class is all applicable to the real world.”

The Katy native added that she is excited to enter an industry with so much opportunity.

The community event hosted in partnership with the Central Fort Bend Chamber, is part of a national celebration that is launched annually on the first Friday of October.TSTC, Central Fort Bend Chamber MFG Day 2019

Among the relevant manufacturing programs offered on the Fort Bend County campus include Precision Machining Technology and Industrial Systems.

The halls at the TSTC Brazos Center were lined with nearly 20 industry partners who were ready to network with high school and college students, educators, and leaders and members of the community.

Central Fort Bend Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Kristin Weiss said this is the first time the event has been put on by the Industrial Division of the Central Fort Bend Chamber.

“I am on cloud nine right now. The event was a great success,” said Weiss. “Seeing students excited, interacting with the companies and telling us that they’re learning so much makes me so happy. That is what this event was all about.”  

The event held from 9 a.m. to noon included campus tours, industry visits and a panel discussion with industry specialists and former career technology education students including TSTC Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) alumnus Brandon Felts.

Kellen Dorman from Gurecky Manufacturing in Rosenberg said there is a misperception about what manufacturing careers entail, and with an increase in demand for skilled technicians in the industry this has been a great event to educate and increase awareness about how the growing industry is vital to the economy and provides a number of career opportunities.

“Hosting this type of event was a great idea,” she said. “It’s so important to show our future generations that there are other options outside of a four-year university and how manufacturing is evolving.”

Dorman also added that she was excited to see so many young girls interested in pursuing careers in the manufacturing industry and she hopes that she was able to encourage them.

“We have two women at Gurecky, one of them is a machinist,” said Dorman. “That just goes to show that there is room for women in this industry, especially as the industry’s technology becomes more sophisticated.”

TSTC field development officer John Kennedy said the day was wildly successful for TSTC.

“To have so many students and potential employers in one place was fantastic,” said Kennedy. “The support we received from educators and the community regarding this event was overwhelming. I can already see this event grow annually.”

Kennedy and Weiss said they hope to continue working together to make MFG Day even bigger and better for years to come. 

TSTC Cybersecurity student breaks barriers to find success

(ROSENBERG, Texas) – Rosit Youssef was only 13-years-old when her family moved from Egypt to the United States. She has struggled, but has persevered, and now at age 18, is one of the youngest students in Texas State Technical College’s Cybersecurity program.

“I struggled with being in a new country, but I knew we had to do this to escape our country’s revolution, for better opportunities and so my sister and I could have a chance at an education and a better life,” she said. “But it was all still so scary.”

Yet, she overcame her biggest obstacle yet – learning English.

“I was already learning English before we left Egypt, so I understood the words, but it was speaking it that gave me problems,” said Youssef.

She quickly caught up to her classmates and ended up excelling in high school, graduating at only 16.

However, that year was unconventional in every aspect for Youssef because of the devastation Hurricane Harvey had brought to the area, her family included.Rosit Youssef TSTC Cybersecurity student

“We graduated, but without any type of honor roll because all records had been lost in the flooding, but it’s okay, I was just happy that my family and I were safe,” she said.   

The Youssef’s new home was a total loss after the flooding. But what Youssef said she finds miraculous is that they were able to weather the storm safely in that same home, with no food or water.

“It’s been a bumpy road, but we’ve made it and now I’m here at TSTC working toward a career I love,” she said.

It was in 10th grade, during a TSTC recruitment presentation that Youssef realized Cybersecurity was the path she needed to take.

“I loved the idea of cyber safety and using cyber processes to help companies and individuals stay safe,” said Youssef. “So early on I knew that TSTC was the college for me.”

Youssef’s entire family is in the healthcare field but that didn’t stop her from pursuing her own passion.

“I’ve always wanted to do my own thing and my family has always been supportive,” she said. “And that’s why I’ve been able to succeed.”

Not letting her age be a barrier or excuse, Youssef currently boasts a perfect 4.0 grade-point average, was recently invited to join Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and expects to earn her associate degree in Spring 2020.

What Youssef said she loves about the college and what has made her experience positive is the focus on hands-on learning and the small class size for more one-on-one help. She said this has allowed her to find her niche in the field: Digital Forensics, where she said she’ll get to do good for this world.

“Even right now that I still have some time before graduating I already feel confident that I am ready to enter the workforce because of the practice and experience I’ve been able to get here at TSTC,” she said. “I could not have gotten this type of opportunity anywhere else.”

And as the only woman in her class, Youssef has also been able to take advantage of resources offered to non-traditional students in their field.

She has received some scholarships and has been able to use TSTC’s Lending Library, which has allowed her to borrow, instead of purchase, the books she needs.

“All of this has really saved me and my family money. I’ve only paid a minimal amount for my education,” she said. “I thank TSTC for helping their students in any way they can because now I am not in debt.”

Youssef said she hopes to finish her last semesters strong and help other women also enter the field of cybersecurity.

“This field needs more women and there’s plenty of room,” she said. “I want to encourage other women to pursue their passions without fear or intimidation because technology is advancing and we have to be a part of it.”

Cybersecurity is also offered at TSTC’s Harlingen, Marshall, North Texas, Waco and East Williamson County campuses.

For more information on TSTC Cybersecurity, visit https://tstc.edu/programs/CyberSecurity.

TSTC Police Officer Honored by Lacy Lakeview

(WACO, Texas) – A Texas State Technical College police officer was among four local law enforcement officers honored Tuesday by the Lacy Lakeview City Council.

TSTC police officer Landon Rowell, along with Lacy Lakeview Police Department officer Scott Dent, received the Blackinton Commendation Bar, Life Saving for their work in helping to keep a woman alive on Sunday, Sept. 8. Lacy Lakeview police officers Kadaro Klanika and James Plummer were also honored but unable to attend the ceremony. 

“The honor is very prestigious,” said TSTC’s Lt. Roman Proctor. “Even though officers face a lot of different challenges and have certain things they are recognized for, being recognized for saving someone’s life is paramount.”

According to the Lacy Lakeview Police Department, the officers answered the late evening call for help on North Rita Street. When the officers arrived, they found a 64-year-old woman having medical issues and who was unresponsive. When the woman’s breathing and pulse stopped, the officers began CPR) and used an automated external defibrillator to revive her.

“We all switched out doing CPR and moving her off the bed and moving around the furniture,” Rowell said.

Rowell said he did what he was trained to do in the situation.

“You never know what the day will bring,” he said.

An ambulance arrived at the scene and took the woman to an area hospital as an officer rode along to continue administering CPR. Unfortunately, the woman died a few days later, according to the Lacy Lakeview Police Department.

Rowell grew up in Waco and was home-schooled. He said he always wanted to be a police officer to help serve a community. He is a graduate of the McLennan Community College Law Enforcement Academy.

Before joining TSTC’s police force, he worked for two years for the Woodway Public Safety Department.

“He (Rowell) adds value to our department as far as his willingness and his service to us,” Proctor said. “He helps out by always being available to assist when needed.”

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.

TSTC Students Chosen for Nationwide Safety Conference

(WACO, Texas) – Four students from Texas State Technical College’s Environmental Technology Compliance and Occupational Safety Compliance Technology programs have been selected to attend the American Society of Safety Professionals’ 2019 Future Safety Leaders Conference from Nov. 7 to 8 in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Joshua Campbell of Bruceville-Eddy, Chris Garibay of Mart, Robert Johnson of Waco and Craig Womack of China Spring are the first students from TSTC chosen by the organization to attend the conference.

“These are the ones that have stood out the last year I have been here at TSTC,” said Kimberly Williams, an instructor in TSTC’s Occupational Safety Compliance Technology program.

The students completed an application and wrote an essay to be considered. They are among 150 students nationwide going to the conference.

“I was excited to get four accepted,” said Williams. “It will put the program out there and the people who are graduating out there that are transitioning into the workforce.”

Garibay keeps safety in mind daily as a bus driver for the Connally Independent School District. He works in the mornings and on weekends for special events to earn money while attending TSTC.

Garibay said he looks forward to attending the event.

“It seems like it would be a good opportunity,” he said. “I hope I come back with a job. Just about everyone needs some kind of safety person.”

The students took different paths to their programs of study, and all hope to gain more knowledge from the conference.

“I have always been into safety,” said Campbell. “I was in the Boy Scouts. At work, I was the one that watched out for people.”

Campbell said he wants to work for a company as a health, safety and environmental specialist after graduation next summer.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.

TSTC Students Tour Merrick Engineering Inc. in Waco

(WACO, Texas) – Students from Texas State Technical College’s Facilities Management Technology and Industrial Systems programs toured Merrick Engineering Inc. in Waco on Friday.

The tour occurred on Manufacturing Day, which is observed nationwide on the first Friday in October.

“We want them to understand the manufacturing fundamentals,” said Ali Jawady, the company’s operations manager. “Anything we can do to help attract new people in this trade is what I am hoping for.”

The students learned about the company’s production of plastic clothes hangers, bowls, plates and other items. The company supplies these products to Dollar General, Target, Walmart and other retailers.

“It was a pleasure talking to area students today about the great work going on at Merrick Engineering in Waco, the thousands of jobs they create for Texans and the relationship they share with Walmart,” said Rudy Garcia, manager of Walmart’s Franklin Avenue location in Waco.

Students saw Merrick Engineering’s inventory, production, recycling and shipping areas. Large machines hummed and employees stacked newly made plastic goods and boxes as students walked through the plant.

Michael Hubbard, lead instructor in TSTC’s Industrial Systems and Engineering department, said he was glad to see the students engaged during the tour.

“It is fun for me to listen to the students repeat things they are hearing in class,” he said. “It means they are listening.”

Kevin Wright, a Facilities Management Technology student from Sherman, said the program’s field trips are valuable learning experiences.

“You can only learn so much in class,” he said. “We get to see the real aspects. There is just so much. You have the pneumatics, the hydraulics. We get to know the parts and their importance.”

The company has more than 850 employees at facilities in Waco, along with Corona, California, and Clarksburg, West Virginia.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.

TSTC Program Sees Largest Female Cohort

(RED OAK, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s North Texas campus has three women enrolled this semester in its Industrial Systems – Electrical Specialization program, the largest female cohort for that program in the campus’ history.

Biatris Arevalo of Red Oak and Abby Ramsey of Maypearl are pursuing associate degrees, while Tiquila Dawson of Dallas is studying for a program certificate. The women have things in common, including having grown up in the country and being curious about how the equipment works.

“I probably talk to them about working on stuff more than the guys,” Arevalo said.

John Walker, an instructor in TSTC’s Industrial Systems – Electrical Specialization program, said the students are enthusiastic and come to class each day ready to work.

“Abby is so sharp,” he said. “Tiquila is coming here to enhance her skills and get set to move up the pay scale. Biatris wants a better income and opportunities. She likes working with her hands.”

The Industrial Systems – Electrical Specialization program has more than 50 students this semester taking day and night classes. Walker said the program’s goal for the spring semester is starting a new night cohort. Some of the skills students are learning include commercial wiring, electrical theory and machinery installation.

Ramsey is a home-schooled high school senior who began taking dual enrollment classes this year at TSTC. She said picking her major was a natural fit for her.

“I live in a small town where we do a lot of hands-on things,” Ramsey said. “That is the mindset of small towns. My family is very hands-on. If you break it, you fix it.”

Dawson is doing some of this work already at the Kohl’s Distribution eFulfillment Center in DeSoto, where she has been employed for three years. She works three days a week and goes to classes four days a week.

Earlier this semester, she received a $250 scholarship from The TSTC Foundation as part of TSTC’s Shaping You to Get Hired campaign. She said the money enabled her to buy tools and other items for classes.

Dawson said she did not think she would go to college. She grew up in Elkhart and said she did not have the guidance needed to plan for life after high school. But, she had a breakthrough while in circumstances that were not ideal. 

“I guess it was my second time going to prison when I realized you get older, and the years, you can’t get back,” Dawson said. “Either you are going to do right or go back where you have been.”

Dawson said she is content working and going to classes.

“Everything is new to me,” she said. “I am meeting new people. It’s tough trying to work and go to school.”

Arevalo grew up with an interest in robotics and majored in criminal justice at a four-year university before realizing it was not a good fit for her. She also endured a sports injury that took her away from playing soccer.

Arevalo said she had a period when she had to think about her career and incorporating her mathematics and science abilities. She eventually knew TSTC would be the right place for her.

“Here, the instructors explain it, and then you work on it,” she said.

Arevalo said her career goal is to work at Oncor.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.

TSTC Hosts Mock Interview Sessions for Students

(WACO, Texas) – Several Texas State Technical College students have become better prepared for job hunting after practicing their interview skills on Wednesday and Thursday.

TSTC’s Career Services department in Waco hosted an interview practicum at the Murray Watson Jr. Student Recreation Center for students to sit down with business recruiters and TSTC staff for mock interview sessions.

“Many of our students have not had an interview before, and this event is a great opportunity for them to get practice in doing so,” said Jose Muniz, TSTC’s Career Services director in Waco.

After the sessions were completed, students received forms highlighting their strengths and weaknesses.

Josue Lopez of La Grange is a first-semester Electrical Power and Controls student who attended the practicum to see how he can refine his interview skills. He said he is eager to use what he learned when he meets with potential employers upon graduation.

“I’m feeling confident, but I don’t want to be too confident,” Lopez said.

Jeff Williams, an Industrial Systems major from Temple, said he wants to better his soft skills. He said what he learned will help him throughout the fall as he prepares for graduation in December.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.