Area Companies Using TSTC for Workplace Training

(MARSHALL) – Area companies have turned to Texas State Technical College for training workers to improve their skills in manufacturing and production.

“We do have a training capacity for the local area within a 50-mile range,” said Bryan Maertins, executive director of Workforce Training and Continuing Education at TSTC in Marshall. “We have started a statewide direct marketing campaign geared toward companies.”

Cabot Norit Activated Carbon Americas in Marshall has sent workers to learn about different kinds of welding and process training. The training began in January and ended in April with another session scheduled to start in June. This was the first time the company has partnered with the college.

“Their goal is to run 35 people through the training,” said Maertins.

Master Woodcraft Cabinetry in Marshall continues to send six workers to train for mechanical troubleshooting, motor controls, programmable logic controls and the basics of electricity.

The company makes enough cabinets to fill the equivalent of 65 tractor-trailers a week and sent to 35 states. Some of the equipment workers use include computerized chop and gang rip saws and water-based ultraviolet cured finishing lines.

“In maintenance, the machinery we buy is very sophisticated and highly technical and computerized,” said Mark Trexler, the company’s president and chief executive officer. “We have to continue to educate these guys to work on the more complicated equipment.”

Trexler said having TSTC in Marshall was an asset in utilizing faculty expertise and equipment.

“We are very happy or we would not continue to do it,” Trexler said. “They (workers) have to work their shift and they go over to TSTC for training,” he said. “It’s a huge benefit to have them local. If we had to send them to Longview or Shreveport, we would probably not do it.”

Earlier this year, LP Building Products of Carthage sent eight workers to learn more about programmable logic control systems and hydraulics theory, troubleshooting and design. Maertins said the company requested an assessment of its workers before and after the training to see how much they have developed.

Edward Chaney, an instructor and assistant department chair in Industrial Maintenance/Engineering, said workplace safety comes from respecting the equipment being used and repaired.

“Understanding the how’s and why’s give technicians a better understanding of troubleshooting and a better of understanding of how to design and upgrade equipment efficiency,” he said. “With this knowledge comes a better technical team and a safer team.”

To learn more about workforce training opportunities contact Bryan Maertins, executive director of Workforce Training and Continuing Education at 903-923-3442.