Tag Archives: Texas State Technical College

Two TSTC Employees Recognized With Statewide Award

(Sweetwater) – Two employees at Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater have been honored for their outstanding service and dedication to TSTC.

James Spivey, a building maintenance supervisor, and Karen Waller, chief of staff of Strategic Relations, have received TSTC’s Chancellor’s Excellence Awards.

“Yearly, the Chancellor’s Excellence Award honors those who have consistently demonstrated a work ethic above and beyond their job descriptions, which aligns with our core values of excellence, accountability, service and integrity. On a daily basis James Spivey and Karen Waller exemplify these values; hence, their induction into this elite group is well deserved,” Rick Denbow, provost at TSTC in West Texas, said.

The Chancellor’s Excellence Award began in 2001 and has been given to more than 300 TSTC employees statewide. Recipients are nominated by their peers for their work toward advancing the technical college’s mission.

“The teammates who win this award model excellence for us all and are recognized for both their sound character and for advancing TSTC’s new direction,” said TSTC Chancellor Mike Reeser. “Due to their caring and dedicated efforts, TSTC continues to make a difference in the employment success of our students.”

Spivey joined TSTC in 2016 as a maintenance worker and quickly moved up to a leadership role. He was surprised to learn he had won the award but sees it as a win for his team.

“This means my team is working really hard because they are the ones that make me look good. I am exceptionally proud of them, and I am personally flattered,” he said.

Spivey’s first encounter with TSTC was when he was in high school taking welding courses at what was then known as Texas State Technical Institute. He says fate must have been sending him a sign because he decided to work at TSTC after reconnecting with his high school sweetheart, another TSTC employee, who is now his wife.

“This is my home. A lot of places you work at they don’t even know your name, but here there is compassion. I will be here for as long as TSTC will have me,” he said.

Spivey said this is the first time he has received recognition for his work from a company.

Waller felt honored to win the award and said it fueled her passion even more.

“I truly appreciate that my peers felt I deserve this honor. Our work at TSTC is important because we can affect so many lives and have a positive impact in a student’s life and career,” she said.

Waller has dedicated her career to education and has worked the last 26 years in education administration. She started at TSTC in 2012 and promotes educational partnerships with other community colleges, universities and industry leaders.

“I am very proud of my accomplishments at TSTC and plan to continue to make TSTC a great place to work and also a great place for our students to get an education. We are here to educate our students and provide them with a foundation that will serve them the rest of their lives,” she said.

A Snyder native, Waller has lived and worked in the West Texas area her whole life. She is a certified public accountant and has a bachelor’s degree in interior design and a master’s degree in income tax accounting from Texas Tech University.

Spivey and Waller will join 33 other TSTC employees statewide who will be honored at the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s Excellence Awards Dinner and Celebration in May in Austin.

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

James Spivey, from Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater, is a building maintenance supervisor. He was awarded the Chancellor’s Excellence Award. 

Karen Waller, from Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater, is chief of staff of Strategic Relations. She was awarded the Chancellor’s Excellence Award. 

TSTC Hosts Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Information Seminar

(Sweetwater) – April is Sexual Assault Awareness month, and Texas State Technical College is helping to raise awareness of sexual assault and domestic violence by partnering with representatives from Hendrick Medical Center and Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital to provide information seminars.

A session was held on the TSTC campus in Sweetwater on Friday, April 12, and more are scheduled for the summer and fall semesters.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four women and one in nine men are victims of sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner.

Griselda Sanchez, director of Student Services at TSTC in Sweetwater, said she sees this as an opportunity to delve further into the information already given to faculty, staff and students.

“TSTC makes sure to have these discussions with everyone once they get on board with us. But, it’s important for us to give our people in-depth information of how to prevent, report and help those suffering from sexual assault or domestic violence because it can happen to anyone, anywhere,” Sanchez said.

Stephanie Lebowitz, trauma coordinator and emergency manager for Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital, led the domestic violence information session, while Ann Marie Willoughby, outreach clinical lead for Hendrick Medical Center, led the sexual assault session.

Lebowitz stressed the importance of empowering victims and educating residents of rural areas.

“The attorney general has recognized the prevalence of abuse in rural areas, and the lack of reporting and resources available.  So, we have been given the means to educate, spread awareness and help unite communities to rally around these victims and help them,” Lebowitz said.

Lebowitz and Willoughby said people think of domestic violence and sexual assault as separate, but they can be interconnected.

“Sexual assault is more common than burglary on most college campuses. I’m not saying TSTC, but at colleges in general students have a chance of being assaulted, and we want to educate them, and faculty and staff, so they can help each other,” Willoughby said.

For TSTC automotive instructor John Kirchmeier, the message hit home.

“Everything they said was spot-on. It’s important for us to know this information because we are with the students every day, and we may see something. We have to be the first line of defense,” Kirchmeier said.

The National Sexual Assault Hotline can be reached at 800-656-HOPE (4673). The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at 800-799-SAFE (7233).

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

Students, faculty and staff listened to presentations about domestic violence and sexual assault from representatives from Hendrick Medical Center and Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital.

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TSTC and 3M Brownwood Celebrate TWC Skills Development Fund Grant

(Brownwood) – Leaders from Texas State Technical College, the Texas Workforce Commission and 3M Brownwood gathered Thursday to commemorate a $78,771 Skills Development Fund grant aimed at improving 35 workers’ skills at the 3M Brownwood facility.

The grant will provide customized training for 33 incumbent and two new 3M Brownwood employees that will take place at both TSTC in Brownwood and the 3M Brownwood plant. Employees will receive training in electrical safety and craft skills training.

3M Brownwood EHS/Plant Engineering Manager Chad Benton believes this is a great opportunity to improve the skills of their employees.

“The increase of new technology at the plant means we need to increase the skills of our folks operating the technology,” Benton said. “This grant is a big success for TSTC, for us and for the community.”

Training is already underway and will be completed in July.

“TSTC has an impeccable record. They are following the governor’s orders and putting people to work. When we gather for events like this, it shows, and we see all the partnerships needed to create jobs and support the economy,” Julian Alvarez, commissioner representing labor for the Texas Workforce Commission, said.

Ray Tipton, executive director for the Brownwood Municipal Development District, said he is excited and thankful for what the grant will do not only for the 3M employees, but also for the city of Brownwood.

TSTC in West Texas Provost Rick Denbow agreed, saying he believes this is a success that will be felt beyond Brownwood.

“This is a win for everybody. It’s a win for the employees, the local economy, the state of Texas and for TSTC. We are putting people to work, and that’s what TSTC was chartered to do,” Denbow said.

The Skills Development Fund has been used since 1996 to localize workforce training for companies. It enables companies to work directly with local partners to develop training tailored to employees’ needs. The grant has assisted more than 4,200 employers statewide, according to the TWC.

3M Brownwood began manufacturing in 1965 and is a leading manufacturer of reflective sheeting for highway signs, license plates, protective clothing and security laminates throughout the world.

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

From left to right, Chad Benton, EHS/Plant Engineering Manager at 3M-Brownwood, Julian Alvarez, Commissioner for the Texas Workforce Commission and Rick Denbow, Provost at Texas State Technical College in West Texas hold the check for $78,771 from Texas Workforce Solutions.

 

TSTC’s EMS Program Turns Experience Into College Credit

Time for an upgrade? The Emergency Medical Services program at Texas State Technical College in Abilene recently created a program that brings more opportunity to current and future students.

The EMS program now gives certified paramedics and emergency medical technicians college credit for some certifications they already have. The certifications are transferred toward earning an Associate of Applied Science degree in Emergency Medical Services Paramedic to becoming licensed paramedics.

“We are offering an opportunity for students who already have some experience,” said Ronnie Pitts, an EMS instructor and the college’s statewide department chair. “We evaluate the certifications they have already obtained, and they can transfer those certifications toward our degree plan here at TSTC.”

To take advantage of the program’s credit by certification, a student must already be a certified EMT or paramedic.

“When these students graduate, they will have a college degree on top of all the previous certifications they already obtained to work in the field to be more marketable in their job hunt. It helps our students save time and money, and to increase their growth in the field,” Pitts said.

Pitts stated that students can save time because instead of having to retake the basic courses to be admitted into a paramedic program, TSTC will accept the Texas Department of State Health Services certifications as college credit after a student credit evaluation is completed along with a $25 fee per course that is transferred. Students are only required to take 15 hours, or 20 percent, of the degree plan at TSTC to earn the associate degree.

Randall Noe, a firefighter/paramedic with the Mineral Wells Fire Department, earned his certifications through another institution and was able to transfer all of his credits to TSTC.

“I want the degree because it can further your career,” Noe said. “I’m able to earn it online, so it doesn’t interfere with my work schedule much.”

This will be Noe’s first degree. He is expected to graduate in summer of 2019.

Zachary Henderson, a firefighter/paramedic with the Baytown Fire Department, earned his EMT basic certification at TSTC but his paramedic certification through a third party.

“My time at TSTC really helped me in the long run because it laid the foundation for other training,” Henderson said. “My goal is to become a teacher, and the degree is important to have because it gives me that option and the opportunity to go even further with my degree and get a bachelor’s.”

Henderson chose the program with TSTC because he can complete it online while still working in the Houston area. Henderson is expected to graduate with his associate degree in spring of 2019.  

Once a student graduates from the program and passes the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians exam, he or she can work with emergency medical services, schools, hospitals or as safety officers.

TSTC’s EMS program is always accepting applications and hosts an information session every Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the Industrial Technology Center at 2082 Quantum Loop in Abilene.

For more information on TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC in Abilene is offering state certified paramedics and ETMs the opportunity to earn an Associate degree and work toward becoming a licensed paramedic.

TSTC Student Exemplifies Dual Enrollment Success

(Brownwood) – Education means opportunity, and no one values that more than Alan Acosta, a Welding Technology student at Texas State Technical College in Brownwood.  

Acosta plans to be the first member of his immediate family, who immigrated from Mexico when he was 6, to earn a college degree. He started working on that goal while still a Brownwood High School student, earning college credit through TSTC’s dual enrollment program in welding.

After graduating high school in May 2018, Acosta became a full-time TSTC student working toward a structural welding certificate.

“I first tried welding in middle school and was fascinated by it, but I was pretty horrible,” Acosta said. “But after the classes in high school, I felt a lot more confident, and I’m learning faster now in college.”

The partnership between TSTC and Brownwood High School allows high school students to experience college courses before committing as a full-time traditional student.

“Dual enrollment students become much more experienced in college coursework than other students entering college having never attended a college class, not knowing what to expect,” Rene Ralston, TSTC director of dual enrollment, said. “Brownwood High School is in TSTC’s backyard, so it makes sense to partner with the school.”

TSTC welding instructor Stephen Hope believes that dual enrollment allows students the chance to figure out what they want to do in life and learn what opportunities are available.

“Alan is a determined young man, and he works so hard because he knows that there are so many job opportunities waiting for him,” Hope said. “He will go far because of his determination, and I’m proud of him.”

Acosta encourages anyone interested in getting a well-paying job to pursue their education. “If you have the ambition, you can do it. It may be hard, but you will learn it,” Acosta said. “And the people at TSTC are so helpful and willing to be there for you.”

Acosta’s younger brother, Domingo, is following in his footsteps and is currently enrolled in the welding dual enrollment program at Brownwood High.

Alan Acosta plans to pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree in Welding Technology at TSTC in Abilene and hopes to graduate in April 2020.

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

TSTC in Brownwood student Alan Acosta is working on a structural welding certificate after completing the welding dual credit program with TSTC and Brownwood High School.