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California Company Gives Money for TSTC Wind Energy Scholarships

February 13, 2020 by Daniel Perry

(SWEETWATER, Texas) – Carlsbad, California-based BayWa r.e. Wind has given $155,000 to Texas State Technical College’s Sweetwater campus to provide scholarships to students in three area counties.

Fifteen students graduating this year in Fisher, Kent and Stonewall counties — five from each county — will be eligible for the $10,500 Amadeus Wind Energy Scholarship to study in TSTC’s Wind Energy Technology program in Sweetwater.

“This is a huge opportunity,” said Daniel Martin, TSTC’s student recruitment director for the West Texas campuses. “The scholarship is covering nearly 100 percent of their tuition costs. They should not have a reason to leave TSTC with any debt.”

Martin said TSTC has good relationships with the four high schools in the counties.

“We are not just there to recruit their students,” he said. “We are there to be helpful in the education process.”

Students receiving scholarships can take advantage of a growing career field. The number of wind turbine technicians is projected to grow to 10,300 through 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The jobs have a nationwide median annual wage of more than $54,300, according to the agency.

The scholarship is named for the Amadeus Wind Project, which will encompass land in Fisher, Kent and Stonewall counties. The project is expected to have more than 90 wind turbines, according to information filed with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Construction is expected to be completed at the end of this year.

TSTC offers a wind energy technician certificate and Associate of Applied Science degree in Wind Energy Technology in Sweetwater.

TSTC’s Wind Energy Technology program and BayWa r.e. Wind will host a Program Highlight Day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 24, at Aspermont High School in Stonewall County. Students from Jayton, Roby and Rotan high schools are also scheduled to attend.

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TSTC Precision Machining Graduates Needed in Williamson County

February 07, 2020 by Daniel Perry

(HUTTO, Texas) – Astro Mechanics in Round Rock is one of the few manual machining shops in the Austin area, said Carrie Stemp, the company’s president.

“I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars looking in Texas, and I just don’t get anybody,” she said. “I may get one or two (potential employees), but they do not have experience in machining.”

Texas State Technical College’s Precision Machining Technology program on the Williamson County campus in Hutto teaches both manual and computer numerically controlled machining processes.

Tim Hemesath, an instructor in TSTC’s Precision Machining Technology program, said machining is facing a growing skills gap that is leaving jobs open. He called it a good problem to have.

“If you like to work with your hands and have an entrepreneurial spirit, then this trade is for you,” Hemesath said. “You definitely always have a job until you decide to retire.”

Stemp said the company began using an employee search firm for the first time this month to find qualified job candidates. She said machining should be taught in schools to entice youth to pursue the field once they graduate.

Jobs for machinists are projected to grow to more than 405,000 through 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Texas had more than 26,000 machinists in May 2018, according to the agency.

In the third quarter of 2019, there were more than 360 machinists working in Williamson County making an average mean annual wage of $44,100, according to Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area in Cedar Park. A majority of the county’s machinists work in machine shops, while others are in agriculture, construction and mining machinery manufacturing.

The agency predicts 74 jobs will be added in the next seven years in Williamson County.

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TSTC’s Precision Machining Technology Graduates Needed in Dallas County

February 07, 2020 by Daniel Perry

(RED OAK, Texas) – Rodie Woodard, president of Maximum Industries in Irving, said finding qualified machinists depends on the timing of market conditions.

“There is plenty of talent in the pool, but when things are strong with Lockheed, Raytheon, Bell Helicopter, they nab every single experienced multi-access machinist there is,” he said. “They are able to pay and offer benefits that smaller companies cannot compete with.”

Some of Texas State Technical College’s Precision Machining Technology graduates at the North Texas campus have been hired at Cannon & CannonIndustrial Machining in Greenville, Fabricon Machining in Duncanville, Martin Marietta in Dallas, and other businesses throughout the region.

“Precision Machining Technology graduates working for smaller companies still have great advantages. However, due to the common fluctuations of today’s economy, stability is jeopardized,” said Adrian Castanon, a TSTC Career Services coordinator. “A majority of our students strive to get employed with bigger, well-known companies.”

Jobs for machinists are projected to grow to more than 405,000 through 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Texas had more than 26,000 machinists in May 2018 earning an annual mean wage of more than $46,800, according to the agency.

Woodard said machining is a unique skill not everyone can quickly learn. The company does work for the aerospace, defense and other industries.

“We do a lot of machining. But we do what you consider fabrication work, meaning water-jet and laser cutting of parts,” he said. “We have a pretty young workforce, but probably at least half of our employees have been here more than 10 years.”

Richard Perez, research manager at Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas, said there is a need for machinists in Dallas County, particularly in Garland, its manufacturing hub. The demand can be seen through postings for jobs, which Perez said is taking some companies more than a month to fill.

Perez said Workforce Solutions is working with career and technical education programs in Dallas County school districts to spur interest in the machining field.

“We are increasing that student pipeline and letting them know there are good jobs available,” Perez said. “You do not have to go to a four-year university if you do not want to.”

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Leander Company Gifts Scholarship Money to TSTC

February 07, 2020 by Daniel Perry

(HUTTO, Texas) – A Leander company recently gave a $10,000 gift to Texas State Technical College’s Williamson County campus for student scholarships.

One Source Manufacturing is a contract manufacturer specializing in precision machining for the aerospace, semiconductor, gas and oil industries. The company has about 100 employees.

“We are in the business of machining parts, so we have a hard time finding employees,” said Kevin Shipley, the company’s owner and president. “I am big on the trades.”

The scholarship money is for students living in the Leander area who are interesting in attending TSTC.

“We have been hyper-focused on the east side of the county,” said Michael Smith, a senior field development officer for The TSTC Foundation. “Our mission is to take care of our backyard before we go into other areas. We have been focusing on Hutto, Taylor and Georgetown; Leander is next.”

Smith said TSTC’s Precision Machining Technology graduates recently toured the company. 

Shipley graduated in 1983 from the Computer Maintenance Technology program at Texas State Technical Institute (now Texas State Technical College) in Harlingen. He also employs several TSTC graduates.

Shipley said he anticipates the company giving additional scholarship money to TSTC in the future.

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New Regents Sworn In at Texas State Technical College

February 07, 2020 by Daniel Perry

(WACO, Texas) – Two new members of the Texas State Technical College System Board of Regents were sworn in Wednesday, Feb. 5, during a ceremony led by board chairman John K. Hatchel.

Kathy Powell and Ron Widup, who were appointed to serve as TSTC regents along with returning regent Keith Honey by Gov. Greg Abbott last December, were sworn in by Judge Vikram “Vik” Deivanayagam of McLennan County.

The three board members’ terms are set to expire August 31, 2025.

The swearing-in ceremony took place during a private dinner held at TSTC’s Greta W. Watson Culinary Arts Center, where guests were treated to a menu prepared and served by TSTC Culinary Arts students.

Powell, of San Angelo, is administrative director of nursing at San Angelo’s Shannon Medical Center, where she is responsible for emergency, air medical, and trauma services. 

She is a member of the Emergency Nurses Association, Society of Trauma Nurses, Association of Air Medical Services and Texas Association of Air Medical Services. Additionally, she is a member of the Boys & Girls Club of San Angelo board of directors and the 2018 Class of Leadership San Angelo. 

Powell received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Texas Christian University, Master of Science degree in Nursing Administration from Texas Woman’s University, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the University of South Alabama.

Widup, of Arlington, is vice chairman of the board of directors, senior advisor of technical services and former CEO of Shermco Industries, where he has served since 1983.

He is a former two-term president of the InterNational Electrical Testing Association (NETA), and he is a member of the NETA board of directors and the NETA Standards Review Council. He serves on multiple National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) committees, and he is chairman of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Recommended Practice for Electrical Safety in Industrial and Commercial Power Systems committee. 

He is a past member of the TSTC Regents’ Circle and is on the advisory board for the Electrical Power and Controls program at TSTC. 

Widup received an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electrical Power Distribution from TSTC.

Honey, of Longview, is a retired registered professional engineer and former external affairs manager of AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company. 

He is a former member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, Texas Society of Professional Engineers, and Society of Mining Engineers. He is a board member of the Gregg County Appraisal District, Northeast Texas Regional Mobility Authority and Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center. Additionally, he is a former board member and two-term chairman of the Longview Economic Development Corp., and he is a former board member and chairman of the Longview Chamber of Commerce. 

Honey received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering from Montana Tech University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Dallas.

TSTC is governed by a nine-member board of regents, who provide a statewide perspective and are appointed by the Texas governor to six-year terms. 

The board meets quarterly to provide leadership and enact policies for the successful management and operation of the campuses.

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