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Phillips 66 donation provides TSTC students with scholarship opportunities

October 25, 2020 by Ben Barkley

(WACO, Texas) – Students from Texas State Technical College campuses across the state can take advantage of scholarship funds donated by energy company Phillips 66.

The TSTC Foundation was recently awarded $50,000 from Phillips 66 to assist students with scholarships and student aid funds. 

“The Phillips 66 scholarship is an example of an ideal partnership with TSTC because it provides students with financial opportunities to lessen the financial burden of college tuition,” said Beth Wooten, chief executive officer of The TSTC Foundation. “Because of their investment in TSTC and our students, we are able to fulfill our promise to provide Texas with a highly skilled workforce. We are incredibly thankful to Phillips 66.”

Since 2018, more than 30 TSTC students have been awarded these scholarships.

“We recognize this is a trying time for our college partners, and Phillips 66 remains a proud and committed partner to TSTC,” said Leigh Harris, talent acquisition manager at Phillips 66. “We hope that our contribution for the 2020-21 academic year will continue supporting our shared vision of building an inclusive and diverse community that inspires innovation to provide energy and improve lives.”

The scholarships help students in programs that include Diesel Equipment Technology, Electrical Power and Controls, Industrial Systems, and Instrumentation Technology.

Diesel Equipment Technology is available at the Fort Bend County, Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater and Waco campuses. Different educational opportunities are available to students and vary by campus. Students have access to labs to work on vehicles that will prepare them for the workforce.

The Electrical Power and Controls program is offered at the Abilene, Fort Bend County, North Texas and Waco campuses. It is the only two-year Associate of Applied Science degree program in Texas specifically focused on the many aspects of electrical power technology.

Industrial Systems is available at the Abilene, East Williamson County, Fort Bend County, Marshall, North Texas, and Waco campuses. Students learn industry-standard safety procedures, mechanical and electrical skills, and diagnostic techniques, and they work with motors, pumps, chillers, boilers, and other equipment.

The Waco campus offers Instrumentation Technology. Students are trained on everything from basic electronics to programmable logic controllers.

 For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC Industry Job Fair is going virtual

October 23, 2020 by Ben Barkley

(ABILENE, Texas) – Texas State Technical College students will meet potential employers virtually on Thursday, Oct. 29.

Due to COVID-19 recommendations covering social distancing, TSTC will host its annual Industry Job Fair virtually this year. More than 100 businesses will have representatives available to meet with TSTC students statewide.

Six West Texas companies are among those scheduled to have representatives available. They are Bruner Motors in Stephenville, Cogdell Memorial Hospital in Snyder, Eastland Memorial Hospital, Hendrick Health System in Abilene, Ludlum Measurements in Sweetwater and Mesa Springs Mental Health in Abilene.

Students will have access to a variety of companies, including health care, construction, engineering firms, public entities and utility companies.

With the job fair going virtual, West Texas students will have more opportunities to meet prospective employers, said Julia Humphrey, director of TSTC Career Services.

“One of our disadvantages in West Texas is we are so spread out. Being able to do our job fair virtually will eliminate that distance,” she said. 

In addition to Texas, companies from California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and Oregon will be available to speak with students.

Humphrey said current students are training on how to access the fair through their computers, as well as updating resumes. Career services representatives are also helping students with interview skills.

“We are getting the students ready to enter the workforce,” Humphrey said. “The companies are excited to be part of this virtual experience, and so are the students.”

This is the first time TSTC has held the event virtually. In the past, company officials set up booths in the Student Center on the Sweetwater campus. Humphrey said with the virtual event, students may visit with potential employers anytime during the fair.

“We want them to be successful with the process of talking to potential employers,” she said.

Students will have access to the fair through their hireTSTC accounts.

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC alumna enjoys career as dental hygienist

October 23, 2020 by Naissa Lopez

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College alumna Maxene Prado completed the Dental Hygiene program in 2017. Now she is enjoying the perks of her career as a dental hygienist and credits the support system she had at TSTC for helping her succeed.

Why did you decide on a career in this field?

A representative from the Dental Hygiene program spoke to our (high school) class one day about career options, and I was intrigued. After more research, I decided dental hygiene was what I wanted to do.

How would you say that the Dental Hygiene program at TSTC prepared you for your career?

Completing the program is one of my greatest academic achievements, and it shaped me into the dental hygienist that I am today. The program was rigorous and prepared me to be a well-rounded clinician. This is largely attributed to my amazing instructors at TSTC who guided me and provided me with the knowledge and support that I needed to succeed along the way.

What do you enjoy most about your career?

It’s nice getting to wear comfy scrubs to work every day. Jokes aside, I enjoy the flexibility and job security that it provides me. I can choose to have a set schedule at one office or float through different offices. I live in Austin, and many areas have a large demand for dental hygienists.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start the program?

I cannot emphasize the importance of teamwork throughout the program enough. Collaboration and teamwork with my classmates were a large part of learning and succeeding. Be prepared to work hard and keep focused.

Dental hygienist careers are expected to continue to grow faster than average until 2029.

To learn more about TSTC’s Dental Hygiene program, visit https://www.tstc.edu/programs/DentalHygiene.

TSTC celebrates employees with drive-thru ceremony

October 23, 2020 by Naissa Lopez

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Honks and cheers were heard during a drive-thru ceremony at Texas State Technical College recently in celebration of the Employee Service Awards, which recognize TSTC employees for their years of service.

Employees were given a commemorative plaque and yard sign to thank them for their dedication to TSTC. Celebrated years ranged from five to 35, and 50 employees qualified for recognition.

TSTC Human Resources business partner Julie Gonzalez said that it is essential that employees know they are appreciated for their hard work.

“It is so important to celebrate every milestone we reach in our careers, especially at TSTC,” she said.

During the event, which followed TSTC’s strict coronavirus safety guidelines, employees were required to stay in their vehicles, and all accolades were given without physical contact.

Gonzalez said that those who have dedicated their time to TSTC play an important role in the ultimate purpose of the college: to help students succeed.

“Our employees with many years of service believe in the mission of TSTC,” she said. “It means that they are truly invested.”

Gonzalez, who is a recipient of an award for 15 years of service, thanked her colleagues for making the environment so special.

“Thank you for all you do to make TSTC a great place to work,” she said. “One thing that my co-worker, Melissa Aleman, and I talk about often is how TSTC and the employees we work with on the Harlingen campus are not just co-workers, they are family.”

Provost Cledia Hernandez reiterated that TSTC staff and faculty are pieces of the puzzle that help keep the campus running.

“Our employees are the essence of TSTC,” she said. “They are the driving force of accomplishing why we do what we do. We cannot do what we do without them.”

To learn more about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

TSTC to host virtual job fair for its students and alumni

October 23, 2020 by Naissa Lopez

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College is committed to helping its graduates find jobs in their respective fields. Next week, TSTC students will be given the opportunity to find their new careers during the college’s Virtual Job Fair.

The event, which is online due to TSTC’s coronavirus protocols, will take place on Oct. 29 and is open to TSTC students and alumni.

TSTC’s director of Planning and Special Events, Hannah Luce, said that despite not having a physical location, the job fair will work much as it traditionally would have.

“Those attending will still be able to visit with attending employers and network just as if it were an in-person event,” she said. “One of the differences is the format.  The job fair starts at 11 a.m., and each employer will be in their virtual booth every hour for 45 minutes.”

Luce said that because of this, students will have to be selective about which prospective employers they decide to visit. She also suggested that students be prepared with interview-related materials and dress appropriately, just as they would if the event were in person.

“Students should have a resume prepared before the job fair and make sure to dress to impress,” she said. “There will be video capability at the Virtual Job Fair, so students and alumni should make sure they look professional.”

TSTC’s director of Talent Management, Viviana Espinosa, said that students should also make sure they test their login information prior to the job fair.

“Students and alumni should make sure they can log in to hireTSTC,” she said. “They should make sure their profile is up to date, upload their resume, and register for employer sessions they are interested in.”

Ultimately the Virtual Job Fair aims to continue TSTC’s mission of helping students and alumni find well-paying jobs.

“Our purpose is to help our students and alumni find great-paying jobs in their chosen field,” Luce said. “It is very important that we continue to have a way to connect them to companies that are hiring in their fields.”

Espinosa added that despite the job fair being online, the dedication to making sure that students get hired is still the same.

“It is of utmost importance that we host the Virtual Job Fair and give our students the opportunity to connect with employers,” she said. “This is our first one, and we have over 100 employers from all over the state registered to participate. We are excited that our students will have the opportunity to access a wider network of employers.”

To learn more about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

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