(ABILENE, Texas) – Why learn just one skill when you can learn multiple?
The Industrial Maintenance Technology program at Texas State Technical College in Abilene is commonly known as the jack-of-all trades program; something both students and instructors says is one of the best selling points of their chosen career field.
“My favorite thing about industrial maintenance is that you always get to work on something new, whether its related to hydraulics or electrical or welding or pneumatics, you know how to do it all, and work on it all. You’re never bored, that’s for sure,” instructor Daniel Diaz said.
With over 35 years of shared field experience between Diaz and fellow instructor Demetri Jones, students are getting a true insight to their job demands.
“Daniel and I both are TSTC alumni and we both worked in the field for years. So we get the chance to relate to these students on the level as ‘hey, we’ve been in your shoes’ but also as professionals who know what industry needs and wants now,” Jones said.
Diaz graduated from TSTC in Brownwood in 2004 and Jones graduated from TSTC in Waco in 2009. Both gentlemen earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Industrial Maintenance Technology.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas has the highest level of employment for Industrial Machinery Mechanics and Machinery Maintenance Workers with an expected job growth of seven percent between 2016 to 2026.
“There are so many career fields these students can choose to enter, whether it’s wind energy, oil field, working in a hospital or an office building or a factory, the options are limitless honestly,” Diaz said.
On top of having a diverse skill set, the class itself is full of students from all walks of life. One student, always gets a laugh that he is older than the instructors he learns from.
“I graduated high school in 1980, before a few of my classmates were even born,” David Cooley, student in Industrial Maintenance said. “This is my first time in college and after working in industrial maintenance for about 30 years and seeing how quickly the technology was changing, I knew I needed the degree from TSTC to stay current.”
Cooley is a Hawley High School alum and is currently pursuing his Associate of Applied Science degree. He is expected to graduate in April of 2020.
Cooley’s classmate, Caleb Ames is a little younger, but just as excited for what the program has to offer him.
“I spent a couple years working to figure out what I did and didn’t want to do and I learned I love to work with my hands. This program is great because there are so many job opportunities for us out there and we are working with our hands everyday on something different,” Ames said.
Ames graduated from Abilene High School in 2014 and is expected to graduate from the Industrial Maintenance program with a Certification of Completion 1 in August 2019.
No matter the age or career goals, the Industrial Maintenance program has a place for you.
“We welcome everyone. Whether you’ve never touched a wrench or you’ve spent your whole life turning wrenches, we can teach you and we want to see you succeed,” Jones said.
Diaz and Jones encourage anyone interested in the program to come to the campus and schedule a tour.
Registration for the Fall Semester 2019 has started.
For more information about TSTC, go online at tstc.edu.
Industrial Maintenance Technology student David Cooley is helping construct a water flow system to that will be used by him and other students.