(ABILENE, Texas) – While attending Snyder High School in 1985, Terry Steelman was impressed with Texas State Technical College.
After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps for 20 years and the private sector for several more, Steelman still remembered his visit to the Sweetwater campus.
“When I got out of the Marine Corps, I knew I wanted to go back to school. TSTC was my first choice,” Steelman said.
After graduating from TSTC in 2019 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Industrial Systems, Steelman was hired as the workforce trainer at the Abilene campus.
His first few weeks included sessions he needed in order to provide workforce training to area businesses.
“Terry had a lot of military training and earned military certificates, but he did not have training for the civilian side. His first few days on the job included OSHA training,” said TSTC Workforce Training Executive Director John Dosher.
Steelman will provide training for businesses in West Texas, including what Dosher called big projects at plants in Sweetwater and Abilene.
“We set up meetings with different companies. We will do whatever training they want us to do,” Steelman said. “We will look at the curriculum they want us to teach.”
Having Steelman based in West Texas will benefit TSTC, Dosher said.
“Having Terry here in West Texas will open a lot of opportunities,” he said, adding that some previous training was either provided by instructors from Waco or outsourced. “That made our prices higher. With Terry on board, we are going to be more competitive.”
Steelman said his top priority will be to provide what the customers want.
“We are going to listen to the customers. We are going to provide them with quality training opportunities,” he said.
Dosher said Steelman has strengthened TSTC’s training opportunities.
“His bank of knowledge is surpassed by most everyone,” he said. “This is going to be a new experience for him. I know he is up to the challenge.”
One of those challenges will be fast-track courses
“I plan for him to lead some of our certificate courses and turn them into fast-track classes. Instead of 12 months to complete, it could be a six- to eight-week class,” Dosher said. “That is a huge possibility for us. With his knowledge, we will be able to deliver classes not seen before.”