Women Set Example in TSTC Electrical Construction Program

(WACO, Texas) – It is an achievement that Letha Novosad, lead instructor in Texas State Technical College’s Electrical Construction program, is happy to see happen.

For the first time since she began teaching at TSTC in 2010, Novosad will see three women complete the Electrical Construction certificate program this summer.

Chrystal Robinson of Killeen is a candidate for graduation at TSTC’s Summer 2019 Commencement at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 16 at the Waco Convention Center, while Keely Brown of Bertram and Amber Voss of Axtell are scheduled to finish the certificate program and continue their studies at TSTC.

“Chrystal, Keely and Amber work very hard to be at the top of their class,” Novosad said. “They study between breaks and at lunch. They even book a private room in the library to study when they have breaks. It has been very rewarding as an instructor to watch them grow closer together. I have seen them support each other and get through not only classes, but also whatever life decides to throw at them.”

Although Robinson’s work in the U.S. Air Force as a medical lab technician is a career opposite from electrical construction, she said the challenges she encountered in the military prepared her for her studies at TSTC.

“I was so happy to see other females in the class,” Robinson said. “We want other women to know because we are in a male-dominated field, but we are still women.”

Robinson and her classmates learned how to use power tools, how to wire for commercial and residential buildings, and electrical theory.

“I am about diversity and learning a little bit of everything,” she said.

Robinson plans to find an electrical apprenticeship in the Killeen area after graduation.

“Never quit,” she said. “You start and finish the race. You don’t know what you can accomplish.”

Robinson will join a growing career field. The number of electricians that will be needed in the United States is projected to be more than 726,000 by 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Brown and Voss are scheduled to earn Electrical Construction certificates this semester, but have more work to do. They are also working toward the Energy Efficiency Specialist certificate and the Associate of Applied Science degree in Solar Energy Technology. 

Voss is also pursuing the Associate of Applied Science degree in Electrical Power and Controls.

“I grew up around it,” she said. “It’s my path.”

Brown said she became interested in her fields of study after taking a woodshop class in high school and learning how to use tools. She said she realized she could do hands-on work as a career.

“My mother told me when I was younger to go to college, get a job, take care of yourself, and that I do not need a man taking care of me,” Brown said.

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