(SWEETWATER) — From horse-drawn carriages to vehicles that reach upwards of 160 mph, the transportation industry is constantly moving forward. To help students keep up with the evolving industry, Texas State Technical College hosted a program highlight day that allowed high school students from Colorado City to learn about transportation jobs in a hands-on environment.
“We’re trying to bring in the new age of mechanic-technicians and give them the skills they need to succeed,” Mike Myers, head automotive instructor at TSTC in Sweetwater, said.
The automotive industry employs over 749,900 technicians and mechanics nationally and is expected to grow to 795,800 by 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Automotive technicians are a dying breed,” Myers said. “We hope these students will stay in the program because it gives them an option to stay local and learn in a very strong program.”
For some students in attendance, the automotive industry runs in their family. Nathan Read, 17, a senior at Colorado High School, said his father has been a mechanic for over 20 years and he hopes to follow in his footsteps.
“I want to build my own shop someday,” Read said. “This a great experience because I really enjoy the hands-on training TSTC has to offer, and I plan on coming here after graduating high school.”
Students had the chance to change headlights, clean parts and explore different job opportunities available in the industry.
“This was great because I wanted to learn how to replace a headlight and got to do it,” Brandon Myers, 18, a senior at Colorado High School, said. “I like TSTC, and love that the school sponsored us to visit. I’m planning on coming to the automotive program after I graduate.”
For those interested in the automotive industry, TSTC offers associate degrees and certificates of completion at campuses located in Harlingen, Sweetwater and Waco.
For more information about Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.